How to start a mini home bar. 10 tips.

With proper planning, putting together a bar is not a daunting task. As alcohol is taxed very highly in Malaysia and bar tools are not easily available, it’s better to see it as a long-term project. We’ve put together our mini bar over a few months (See it here!). Here are 10 things we’ve learned from this project:

HOME PROJECT: The bar cart we put together at home

1. Plan where to put it
Plan where you intend to place the home bar. Do you have space for it in the living room? Do you have space for it on an existing piece of furniture or do you need to get another one? As we have no suitable place to put our bar stuff so we decided to invest on a trolley.

2. Get styling idea from the net
Find out how you want your bar to look like. We did some ‘googling’ and found plenty of beautiful ideas in Pinterest. Here’s 10 creative ideas for a home bar.

We like the contemporary minimalist style. So we found a white trolley with steel feature. We use bright things  such as neon straws and floral napkins for a pop of colour.HOME PROJECT: The bar cart we put together at home

3. Research and plan what you need to buy
Do a bit of research on the basic necessities of a bar and plan what you want to buy. We’ve make a visual plan on the basic tools you will need for a home bar.

4. Get a book
Though not necessary, we think it helps to get a book to learn more. Most of the books comes with plenty of basic, recipes and beautiful photographs. We’ve gotten one at a book fair at a very good price.

Book. A bartender companion.

5. Start with the bare minimum
Start with the essentials such as basic alcohol (like gin and vodka) and must-have tools (like glasses and a bar spoon). We’ve make a visual plan on the basic tools you will need for a home bar.

6. Collect alcohol when traveling
Unfortunately, tax on alcohol is so high in Malaysia that liquor do not come cheap. Collect it slowly. When you travel, remember to get a bottle at the duty-free shop.JewelPie: Liquor

7. Buy what you like
While many agree on some of the basics like vodka and gin, you don’t have to if your family and friends prefer rum and good old whiskey.

8. Find replacements
Many websites say that a jigger is necessary. Though it’s much more convenient, we think it can be replaced with a large tablespoon used for baking. We’ve also used a long stir spoon not designed for the bar.

bar spoon

9.  Announce your project and possibly get some tools from family and friends
When you tell your family and friends you’re starting a home bar, they might have things for you. We’ve gotten a jigger from family member who has one extra. The cocktail shaker is also a gift as the owner no longer needs it.

10. Experiment and have fun!
This is the most important part: experiment and have fun! Start with basic and simple cocktail such as screwdriver and then gradually learn to make a more complicated ones.


Do you drink? Are you planning to build a bar?

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