Shake Up Your Cocktail Game with These Home Bar Essentials

Make at-home cocktails as memorable as those enjoyed on a night out by using drinkware tools and tricks that a pro mixologist relies on.

Olivia Palermo Collection blouse, Silvia Tcherassi dress. / Photograped at the Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

Besides keeping your refrigerator well-stocked, finding a moment to unwind and stylishly prepare a drink or two can arguably be deemed as essential. Though it's easy to resort to opening a bottle of wine, with more time to get creative on our hands, why not try elevating your bartending skills?

Olivia's home bar happens to be one of the most curated parts of her home—besides her closet, that is—with all of her glasses and bottles stored in an elegant vintage cabinet for entertaining guests. She knows that crafting the perfect cocktail (or her occasional Aperol Spritz) encompasses the right tools and glassware, so luckily, expert mixologist Cody Goldstein of Muddling Memories is here to share his tips. Avoid going stir crazy and read on to learn more about curating your own space and mixing up your best drink yet.

Piaget watch / Photo:  @johanneshuebl

Tools of the Trade:
"Drinking, in general, should be fun and not taken too seriously, especially at home," says Goldstein. A practical shaker, mixing glasses, a bottle opener come in handy, and some of his bartender-approved brands are Koriko for stainless steel items and Viski for whimsical, art deco-inspired designs. "You should also invest in a muddler, strainer, great cocktail picks, and a 2-inch ice cube mold to step up your old fashioned game," he shares. For beginners, Goldstein also notes that a protein shaker, water bottle, or covered mason jar works well for shaking up a drink. "I also use a tablespoon to measure out my ingredients. Remember 1 tbsp equals 1/2 oz of liquid."

Photo: "Vintage Cocktails", Assouline, 2009.

Decorative Decanters:
The mixologist is also a fan of displaying vintage barware for extra decorative pizazz. "Transport your best bottles into a great glass decanter. Right now, sites like CB2 have great options for the modern apartment, and [future] guests will appreciate your attention to detail."

Jonathan Charles Drinks Cabinet,

Grand Glassware:
"Great glassware is essential in building your at-home bar. Having a variety of options not only enhances the look of a drink but also ensures proper measurements," explains Goldstein. "For example, liquor-heavy cocktails—like an old fashioned—are best in a heavy double rock glass, and a martini goes in a beautiful coupe. Mixed drinks with more ingredients are typically served in a highball or collins glass." Olivia's drinks of choice? An Aperol Spritz garnished with an orange peel or a Prosecco-based Hugo, which both serve up well in stemmed cocktail glasses. "However, our motto here is #nojudgingjustdrinking," he says, "So, as long as you're drinking responsibly, the flavor of the cocktail is not determined by the vessel." 

OP's Cabinet
What's inside Olivia's drink cabinet? "Most of my glasses, especially the wine ones, are by Zalto a small Austrian brand that creates timeless handblown pieces," she shares. Stored next to her and Johannes's favorite liquors and apéritifs are also bottles kept for sentimental value. "One New Year's Eve, I received a special Perrier-Jouët champagne bottle as a gift with my name on it! It was so pretty I didn't want to drink it, so displaying it here is the perfect home."

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