By Beth Zollars

3 Minute Read Time


I love hearing my guests laugh in my home.

My abode always coming alive during the holidays, people co-mingling in my foyer for hours. Warms the cockles of my soul. 

Wait?! The Foyer? 

Why? You may ask.

Having the luxury of designing our current home some 15 years ago, I knew we would be entertaining often. Creating a flow pattern and designating a fixed area for the bar in hindsight, still a masterful decision.

The original spacial design included a mammoth coat closet and a walk-in kitchen pantry (back to back with entrances faces outward). Realizing we didn’t live in Chicago or Minneapolis resizing the coat closet – was a no-brainer. Sizing down the pantry definitley a bit more challenging, however managing to add a few dry storage spots in the kitchen proved to be a better workspace all around. 

Now for the piece de resistance. We cut an opening facing out, towards the foyer, with the ability to close it up if we like with a wainscoting panel. The entrance is at the back of the bar, the front, now creating a total “belly-up” to the bar experience!

Belly up to the Zollars Bar
Ready to serve your customers

You may not be in a position of building a new home, or for that matter renovating an older one, nonetheless crafting your own “at home” bar isn’t difficult with the following tips.


Absolutely no need go out and spend hundreds of dollars on spirits you’ll never use, or for that matter, tools and gadgets. 


I like the tools below for my go-to bar trove;

  • Cutting board
  • Muddler
  • Set of white towels – I like to be able to bleach them
  • Bar key/bottle opener
  • Corkscrew/wine key
  • Jigger
  • Good size cocktail shaker for more than one drink
  • Sturdy knife

Later purchases

  • Blender
  • Red wine aerator
  • Citrus press
  • Electric wine opener
  • Any number of other bar gadgtes and their are thousands.

Don’t invest in what you won’t use yourself! You’ll have lots of time to buy more glassware!

Some basic glassware to get you started:

  • Pint glasses
  • Red wine glasses and white wine glasses (use the whites for soda etc.)
  • Lowball glasses 
  • Martini

Invest in these later:

  • Champagne
  • Highball
  • Coup
  • Copper mugs
  • Punch bowl

Stock up on the mixers especially during the holiday season. Your bartender will want to keep an eye on anyone a bit sauced, and keep the mixer ratio increasing as the evening progresses. Keep a few on hand without a short expiration dates. Don’t skimp on the mixers.

  • Club soda
  • Tonic
  • The juices (Cranberry, Grapefruit, Orange)
  • Ginger beer
Shelving solves the problem of storing all the glassware

Storage, storage and more storage!

Again- start with the basics and brands to fit your budget

  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum
  • Bourbon Whiskey
  • Tequila
  • Scotch Whiskey


Cocktail books offer a ton of great ideas. Have a few on hand

Citrus is your friend and makes most cocktails taste better. Fresh please.

Polish your barware/clean your glasses

Freeze your fresh herbs in the summer to use all year

Double what you think you’ll need in ice

Wine and Beer matter- Buy the best you can within your budget

I love hosting friends and family in our home providing richer experiences in a warmer and more casual environment. People tend to relax, visiting more and creating memories and bonds to last a lifetime. 

Whether you’re a beginner, novice or expert- crafting a cocktail or pouring an exceptional glass of wine should be done with intent and love.

Enjoy the process. 

What are your favorite bar tricks? Do you have a favorite drink? Post in comments below! 


  • Vanessa

    Of course the first comment I would make would be about the bar. My favorite drink is a great martini. With age my drinking palette has evolved and so has my knowledge and appreciation of a great drink.

    • Elizabeth

      Who doesn’t love a great martini? And I agree, our taste do change over time as does our appreciation for “the good stuff”! Thanks for commenting on the post Vanessa!