DIY Home Bar Plans – 8 Easy Steps

To commemorate our 10 year anniversary, we are making our Official HomeWetBar.com wet bar plans free! Yes, you heard that right! The famous home bar plans  that started it all are now free. It’s our way of saying thanks for the last 10 years of providing you with the most unique and fun items on the internet. Whether you chose to build a basement bar, an indoor bar, or modify these plans into a tiki bar, we hope you have as much fun building your own bar as we had making the original. Cheers!

Home Bar Plans Layout Diagram

Getting Started…Bar Building Supplies Checklist

Start by examining the diagram and bar designs provided. You should have six diagrams: Base Measurements and Post Positions, Top Overview, Upper Front Cross Section, Upper Rear Cross Section, Bar Cross Section, and Horizontal Supports. The Base Measurements and Post Positions diagram will help you when building the bar base and placing the posts. The Top Overview is an eagle’s eye view of the top of the bar. The Upper Front Cross Section, Upper Rear Cross Section, and Bar Cross Section diagrams should convey to you how the bar is built from the base on up to the top. Finally, the Horizontal Supports diagram should give you an idea of how the upper level of 2x4s (discussed later) is constructed.

Essential Tools and Equipment You Will Need

Circular Saw or Table Saw

Powered Drill

Drill Bits

Screw Bits (for a drill)

Protective Eyewear

Calking Gun

Sand Paper (60, 150, & 240 Grit)

Plastic Tarps

Latex Gloves (for staining)

Torch (for Ultra-Glo)

Hammer

Saw Horses

Clamps

Tape Measure

Masking Tape (1 ½ Inch or 2 Inch)

Cotton Cloth Rags

DIY Home Bar Plans

The bar you will be building! – The Original Home Wet Bar

Some things you should realize before starting to build your own bar:

  1. I am not an architect, so although I may have different ways of doing things, they work, the proof is in the pudding (or in this case the bar). Secondly, if you think you should change something in these free bar plans to make the bar even better, feel free to, but realize you will have to adjust the bar designs and diagrams yourself to account for your changes. HOWEVER, I encourage utilize your own home bar ideas to make it more of your own unique creation, not just a carbon copy of my bar; after all this is YOUR OWN BAR!

  2. I am assuming you know how to read and follow directions, and not just these directions; you should always read and follow all directions on the products you use to create own your bar. If you are unsure how to do something such as cutting or staining be sure to ASK someone at the local hardware store where you purchased the item, they are normally very helpful and knowledgeable, it is better to spend the time doing something right the first time instead of having to redo it!

  3. Many times the size of wood and what it is referred to as are different, for example a 2×4 is really 1½”x3½”. Whenever possible I have tried to note this for you but try to remember this, it can be very important.

  4. This homemade bar cost me $1500-$2000 to make, but you can make it much cheaper if you opt to not do certain things such as using pine on the redwood parts, leave off the fish tank, or not using Ultra-Glo on the top.

  5. I am assuming you have basic knowledge of woodworking (For example, I assume you know how to use power tools and know to drill holes before screwing screws in!).

  6. This is meant to be a home wet bar, not a commercial bar. It is sturdy as hell but is not made to take the 24/7 abuse like a commercial bar does.

  7. We are building a BAR, so I tried to make it as waterproof as possible. This means that when I refer to using screws be sure to use outdoor / exterior screws that will not rust, we will always use waterproof glue, and we will try to build this bar as sturdy and waterproof as possible so don’t get cheap on me, it will only lead to problems later!

  8. This can be used as an outdoor bar, or basement bar, but it will last longer when kept under cover or indoors.

Step 1: How to Build a Bar Base

Bar layout - Base measurements and post positions

Home bar plans base layout

Picture 1a

Building a great basement bar starts with a sturdy base. It is arguably the most important thing when building a bar, the stability of the entire bar depends on it. As you can see from picture 1a I chose to make my bar in two pieces so it could be transported if I ever choose to move. Each section is actually a little bit smaller than the main door opening in standard home so it can be moved through the door easily. NOTE: These same dimensions should work for you as well, but it would be wise to measure your door and compare it to the dimensions on the diagrams to be certain that each of the bar sides will fit through the outside door in your home. (A 30” wide doorway is required for the dimensions of this homemade bar.)

Bar base 2

Picture 1b

Our bar designs call for using 2×4 treated pine to help protect it from spills and then is covered with ¾” plywood (picture 1b). You should use waterproof glue to attach the 2x4s to the plywood and then use 1 5/8” exterior wood screws to hold the 2x4s and plywood together and add strength.

Step 2: Building a Bar Internal Frame

diagram of the bar cross section diagram of the bar cross section - rear view

The interior skeleton of our diy bar is made of pine 2×4 pieces. Our home bar plans call for seventeen 2×4 posts of equal height. They should all be cut to exactly the same height, 34 ½” tall, or the bar top will not be level. They should then be attached at the designated areas (See Base Measurements and Post Positions diagram) using one 90 metal angle brace for each post to help anchor it down. In order to attach the brace to the post, mark where the post will go on the base and where the screws for braces will go on the base and posts. Drill the holes for the brace, and then attach one end of the 90 metal angle brace to the post. Next, add glue to the bottom of the post and screw the other end of the brace into the base using 1 5/8” screws. Finally, drill holes through the base into the posts from the bottom, and screw in (2) 3 ½” exterior screws. Repeat for all posts.

bar diagram 2a

Diagram 2a

Next, cut four 16” long 2x4s braces to go in-between the front and rear posts to add strength. Use glue and the flat metal braces to attach the 2×4 braces to the posts. (See Base Measurements and Post Positions diagram – The 2×4 post-braces are denoted by the light dotted lines). Now drill holes for the two large bolts that will hold the bar together in the two top 2×4 braces that meet from each section. (Diagram 2a)     After that, add the first level of 2x4s that lay flat on top of the posts to build an upper frame (pictures 2a & 2b), attach them by putting glue on top of the post and then drill holes down into the post and use (2) 3 ½” exterior screws to attach each post to the upper frame.

front view of our bar designs post positions

Picture 2a

side view of our home bar designs post postions

Picture 2b

Finally, add the 2×4 horizontal supports to the upper frame (shown in Horizontal Supports diagram). Seven of these upper supports will be 28” and you will calculate the other three to fit your exact bar dimensions. Assuming that everything is the same length and width as the dictated in the diagrams you should just have to measure the distance from where the calculated 2×4 will touch one of the 28” long 2x4s and then add 5”. This should give you 5” inches of overhang all around the front of the bar. Attach the upper 2×4 horizontal supports using glue and (4) 90 metal braces on each horizontal support. (Pictures 2c & 2d) bar plans - horizontal supports

front angle of applying top to our home bar

Picture 2c

applying plywood to the top of our homemade bar

Picture 2d

 

Step 3: Adding the Interior Bar Skin

Our bar plans call for two layers of plywood to give it strength. The idea for the bar skin is that the interior ¾” plywood will give it plenty of strength, and the more expensive ¼”redwood exterior will give it beauty. The diy bar top is simply cut to the length of the upper horizontal 2x4s. The easiest way to measure the top is to just set the each side of the bar base on a large piece of plywood, outline it, and then add 5” to all of the front side measurements and then cut out the new dimensions. But if you are off even a little bit the top will not fit properly so I suggest you measure to the end of all of your 2x4s and compare those measurements to those on outline to make sure they are the same. You could even go as far as laying the plywood on top of the bar and using a ruler to trace lines underneath to outline where you need to cut if the other methods don’t work for you. To attach the plywood top you need to drill holes down trough the plywood into the 2x4s. Then, glue the plywood to the 2x4s and fasten the plywood to the 2x4s with 1 5/8” screws. Use clamps to hold the top down while drying. (Pictures 2c and 2d)

For the ¾” plywood bar sides you just need to measure out each of the pieces and make sure to leave a cutout for the fish tank centered in the 23” spot designated for the tank. The actual cutout for the tank is 11”x 19½” and is 16” from the ground on my homemade bar because I used a 10 gallon tank. To attach the sides drill holes trough the plywood into the 2x4s and then add glue and attach the plywood to the 2x4s with 1 5/8” screws. (Pictures 3a and 3b)

Finally, on the two ends of the bar I used ½” plywood, and stained it and waterproofed it in the same way as the ¼”redwood skin discussed below. (The ½” plywood ends are shown on the Top Overview diagram)

side view of the bar interior

Picture 3b

front view of the bar interior

Picture 3b

 

Step 4: Adding the Exterior Bar Skin and Trim

NOTE: I chose to do this before adding the top to the bar because I thought the overhang of the top might get in the way, you can do step 4 or 5 in either order.

I cut out ¼” redwood panels to fit over the interior skin to give our homemade bar the look of redwood. Next, I sanded and stained them using Oil based wood stain (I chose the color Ipswich pine, but you can you whatever you like). (Picture 4a) I then attached the panels to the interior ¾” plywood using generous amounts of glue, finishing nails, and clamps to hold the boards in place while they dried. (Pictures 4b and 4c)

stained front panels

Picture 4a

applying stained front panels to the homemade bar

Picture 4b

all panels installed on the front of the home bar

Picture 4c

trim added to the front of the wet bar

Picture 4d

I then cut the trim to fit the home bar and overlapped the fish tank area by about ½” on all sides so you couldn’t see the edges of the glass. I then stained the bottom trim and attached it using glue and finishing nails. (Picture 4d) Finally, I applied four coats of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane Clear Gloss over the entire exterior of the our diy home bar (including the plywood ends) to give it a waterproof coating that would last.

Step 5: How to Build a Bar Top 

In this step our home bar plans call for adding a ¾” x 5½” redwood trim (referred to as a 1×6) all around the sides of the bar top and the ½” x 3½” redwood trim on top of the bar (referred to as a ½ x 4) for the border on the front. (Refer to Front, Rear, and Top diagrams and pictures 5a and 5b) I then used a router to round off the top and bottom edges of the entire top border to give it a more professional look. (Picture 5c)

This is also when I made the doors for the liquor cabinet and routed them. I used two doors and each door is made out of ¾” solid pine (referred to as 1”); they are 11” wide and 36” tall each. After cutting the boards out I then routed the outer door edges to give a more finished look.

Next, I used wood filler to fill all of the small cracks and gaps, and I then painted the top plywood that was showing black to show off the bottle caps. NOTE: Be sure to mask off the redwood before painting the top to avoid getting black paint on it. I then sanded and stained all of the redwood and the cabinet doors for the wet bar. Finally, I applied three coats of the waterproof sealer to the doors on both sides.

side of the bar top

Picture 5a

the front of the home bar showing how to build a bar in two pieces

Picture 5b

DIY home bar taking shape!

Our DIY home bar doesn’t look so homemade now does it?

 

Step 6: Finishing the Bar Interior

Our plans for how to build a bar would be complete without a liquor cabinet now would they! For the inside of the bar where the fish tank sits I cut ½” plywood (2 pieces – 23”x 34 ½”) and attached it to the 2x4s on both sides of the tank area to make walls in the bar. (Picture 6b) I then made shelves using 1×2 pine screwed into the 2x4s to form the base and then ½ plywood to make the shelf itself. (Pictures 6a & 6b) I then used 1×2 pine to make rails so the liquor would not fall out of our home bar from the back of the shelf and ½ x 2 pine to make the front rail that keeps the liquor from falling out when you open the doors. You can see this in Picture 6a; it is of the left side of the bar (liquor cabinet side). Take care when making your shelf for the right side, make sure you line it up so the fish tank will be visible only, and no other space will be showing. Now you need to sand and stain the inside of the bar, and then apply 3 coats of the waterproof sealant to the wood. Finally, put in the window from the backside of the bar, it is just 1/4” thick glass custom cut for the hole in my bar (11”x 19½”) by a local glass shop. It is attached by see-thru calking applied to the back of the glass and plywood to form a tight, waterproof bond all the way around the glass.

Bar liquor cabinet

Picture 6a

backside of our homemade bar where the fridge and fish tank will go

Picture 6b

 

Step 7: Finishing the Bar Top

The first step in finishing the bar top is to apply 2 coats of Ultra-Seal to the plywood and the redwood on the top and the top trim, one coat in each direction. This seals off some of the pours in the wood so it won’t bubble as much later when we apply the Ultra-Glo. The second step is to apply a third layer of Ultra-Seal to the plywood and stick your bottle caps to it. The way I recommend to build a bar top you’ll like is to first layout all of your bottle caps where you want them and then pick them up in small sections and glue them all down, and then move to the next section. Next you should check all of the bottle caps to make sure they are secure and re-glue down any of the loose ones. Now we are ready to prepare for the Ultra-Glo.

IMPORTANT DIY HOME BAR BUILDERS: Before pouring the Ultra-Glo be sure to thoroughly read the directions and be sure to have a torch ready as the directions say. I tried to use a blow dryer the first time I poured the top (hence the picture) and it did not get out all of the bubbles! Now you will need to make two pours of this stuff at different times, about half the first time and the rest the second time (assuming you pour both sections at once). The reason for this is that when Ultra-Glo is poured too thick it heats up too much internally and it causes excessive bubbles that will continue to bubble even when the top sets leaving you with bubbles you can not get out. This happened to me the first time I poured my bar when I poured it too thick because no one seemed to know this except the people at Ultra-Glo; it is not even in the directions! Needless to say I spent countless hours re-sanding the top and cutting out bubbles! Take my advice and make two pours.

To setup for the pour I just separated the two bar pieces and taped both the their ends off with masking tape and then I staple gunned cardboard behind the tape into the lower plywood to give it strength so the Ultra-Glo did not overflow. I then made sure the pieces where level because Ultra-Glo is self-leveling so if the piece was not level you would have problems making the bar top even. I then poured the Ultra-Glo with the help of my roommates; one mixes while the other person or two smoothes and gets the bubbles out. This stuff is really messy so I recommend you put a tarps under everything and over the sides of the bar and you should also wear old clothes and disposable gloves. While it is drying to get the bubbles out you can quickly wave the torch over them to make them pop. On the second pour you will want to pour up to the top of the redwood and use a stirring stick to push the Ultra-Glo evenly over all of the redwood top and spread it over 1×6 redwood border, this is when the 2nd or 3rd person really comes in handy. (Picture 7a) All total the bar took about 5 gallons of Ultra-Glo but plan to have extra on hand just in case. You should be able to find Ultra-Glo and Ultra-Seal at your local hardware store or you can save some money by ordering Ultra-Glo online from Tap Plastics.

Buddies helping finish the bar top

Buddies helping finish the bar top

 

  • If you followed our home bar plans, you will have built your DIY bar in two pieces. Sand the sides of the top where they meet if necessary in order to make them fit together smoothly. Do not sand the top surface or you will have to re-pour
  • Bolt the bar together
  • Attach the doors to the liquor cabinet using hinges by attaching one side to the left bar section and one door to the right bar section (Picture 8a).
  • Place the Mini-Refrigerator and the fish tank in the bar.
  • Add any other personal touches that you please! Some additional extras I added are a rope light that goes around the front of the bar (Picture 8b), a surge protector to plug things into (like a blender), and a bottle opener, but feel free to add whatever extras you want.

HAPPY BUILDING!

Bar Liquor Cabinet

Bar Liquor Cabinet

View from under bar overhang

View from under bar overhang

Finished Bar Designs from Front

Finished Bar Design from Front

Finished Bar Designs on the Top

Finished Bar Designs on the Top

NOTE: These bar building instructions and drawings are the copyrighted by Keith Winter and HomeWetBar.com, they may not be republished without the written consent of Keith Winter. You are free however to use these wet bar plans for creating your own DIY home bar! Cheers!

The Ten ComMANdments for Man Caves

Creating and setting up a man cave, on the surface, should be a simple process: pick a room, throw a recliner and television in it, and allow only men to enter. A space set up in such a fashion may be functional, but it is certainly not how the ultimate man cave is created. In fact, it can turn out in horrific fashion. Consider the following parable.

In an effort to save time and money, I had been getting my hair cut at a large, well-known, one-size-fits-all haircutting franchise. The waits were agonizingly long with screaming children and the smell of women’s perms; the florescent lights, stained waiting room furniture, and top 40 radio station playing in the background strained my eyes, back, and nerves; and the turnover of hairstylists was high, so I never knew with whom I would be having a twenty-minute, awkward, chit-chatty conversation. It was a miserable experience

I had finally had enough of subjecting myself to this unnecessary torture, and through some research, found a local barbershop called The Clubhouse. As soon as I walked in the door of this barbershop, I felt at home. The waiting area had leather couches and sports magazines. The sound of screaming children and the smell of perms were absent, and in their place, the sight and sound of a college football game on the big screen television and the familiar smell of shaving cream. The dark, solid-wood walls were covered with golf memorabilia, and busy behind the chair, the barber worked away clipping hair.

As you you may have guessed, I now go exclusively to The Clubhouse for haircuts, and the one-size-fits-all hair franchise is a distant memory. As it turns out, the barber was the proprietor of the shop. Walking into his establishment was a much more comfortable experience, and it dawned on me that the barber had essentially turned his business into a mancave. Everything in the shop was carefully picked to ensure every man who entered felt welcome and knew exactly who the man of the cave was.

The one-size-fits-all hair franchise and The Clubhouse both cut hair, but my experience between the two was drastically different. The golf memorabilia and sports on television and the rest of well-thought-out details are how the barber welcomes his guests as they walk in the door. The same thing can be accomplished at home, but it does require careful planning or else it may just become another one-size-fits-all room. To avoid the heresy of the one-size-fits-all room, commit yourself to the follow the 10 Com-MAN-dments of the man cave.

1. Make It About You

man-cave-neon-signThis is your space, and you need to claim it. After all, you do not want just anyone walking into the cave without knowing who the man is! You can accomplish this in a number of ways.  You can decorate the walls with framed golf scorecards from courses you’ve played. You could have personalized man cave signs made. You could even pull in your favorite chair that no one else would ever dream of sitting in (think Martin Crane’s chair on “Frasier”). You might even paint the walls in your favorite team’s colors. The point is that whoever walks into the room should have a sense of who you are and what you like.

2.  Do Not Disturb Hours

The point of having a man cave is to give you a space where you can unwind. You work hard, and you deserve a quiet moment to watch sports, drink a beer, or play a video games. Make sure there are clear boundaries on when others may or may not disturb you in the cave.

3. Stock Your Home Bar

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

You will inevitably have friends over to share in (and to show off) your space. Part of being a good host is to have an appropriately stocked home bar, and ultimate man caves have a reasonable selection of alcohol available for friends and guests. And while most guests generally abide by the BYOB rule, a good host is prepared for the friend who shows up empty handed.

4. Provide Plenty of Snacks

stainless steel grill plate

Have you ever been a guest at someone’s house and thought, “I’m really glad they didn’t serve some delicious snacks. What great hosts!”? Probably not. If you have guests over, and they will be there longer than an hour, you need to serve some form of manly food – typically wings or nachos or pizza. For some man cave ideas for food, check out these great recipes from realsimple.com

5. Tune the Big Screen to Football on Sunday (and Saturday and Monday)

Football is the new American pastime (sorry, baseball!), and while tuning the big screen to any sport is generally a good idea, having your friends over for football on Sunday (or Saturday or Monday) is a sacred tradition of the man cave. There may be other televised sports, but they will drive friends away from your space to find a better place to watch football.

6. Don’t Skimp on HD

Remember comMANdment #4? Well, if you skimp on HD with your cable or dish provider, the sports on your big screen will be lacking. No one likes a fuzzy picture or motion blur. If you have a big screen in your mancave, you should have HD technology, so use it!

7. Silence is Golden (During the Game)

We’ve all been to a Superbowl party where someone talks throughout the entire game. That someone could be the know-it-all, the wannabe play-by-play analyst, or even the ex-athlete. In any case, someone talking throughout the entire game can ruin the ultimate mancave experience for everyone. As the man of the cave, it is your duty to make sure there are some talking guidelines set for watching the big game. Your other guests will thank you.

8. Play Great Music

ipod vintage jukeboxWhen you’re sitting around the man cave bar and there is not a game on, it is good idea to have some great music playing in the background. While musical tastes vary, there are some definite no-nos for your playlist. Compiled by Ranker.com, the bands on the worst bands of all time list  should never, ever make it into the song rotation.

9. Seating Now Available

As you invite your friends over for the big game or any celebration, it is critical that you have enough seating in your room. The ultimate man cave is all about comfort, so it is unacceptable for your guests to sit on the floor or on the arm of a couch. If you have a home bar in the cave, make sure you have plenty of bar stools. If you have the space for it, a couch or two are ideal. Folding chairs are acceptable for a large gathering, and bean bags are fine in a pinch.

10. Invite Your Neighbors

So your man cave is all set up. There is plenty to drink and eat, and there is a great game on that all of your friends are there to watch. Since you have the place to hang out, there will be times that there are a number of cars parked on the street or the noise from the cave is loud. Make sure to invite your neighbors to the celebration. Not only is it the neighborly thing to do, it may prevent problems in the future, such as complaints about the parking or the noise.

Conclusion.

Remember that this space is about comfort and celebrations, so put some time and effort into planning your man cave decor. Your guests will appreciate it, and by following the ten comMANdments of man caves, you will be well on your way to hosting great gatherings and avoiding the one-size-fits-all room.

Setting Up a Home Bar

So you’ve grown up a little bit. Not enough to quit having fun, but you’ve moved on from frequenting a bar to having friends over for drinks. What now? Set up a home bar!

Do Your Research

To have an enviable home bar, research is key. Planning ahead will eliminate headaches later on, except the ones caused by over indulging the night before.

Think back to the “research” you did at your favorite pub.  What did you like about it?  Why did it feel like home?  What kept you coming back?  What were your favorite drinks? Knowing what you like will help you plan your bar. The style of your bar area is an extension of your personality. Do you want replicate your favorite Irish Pub in your basement? Pick colors and decor that match your style. It’s much easier to paint at this stage of the game! Maybe you are going with a Man Cave theme in the garage? You might want to add wheels when building a bar for this space. Bars can be heavy so try to do as much decorating as you can before it is installed.

Now, a fun homework project.  This weekend, grab a bite to eat, then go visit a restaurant bar where they charge way too much for a steak.  These places usually have a decent cocktail menu. Take the seat right in front of where the bartender makes his drinks.  Stay focused, you are gathering intel for your in home bar! Order a drink off the menu and pay cash with a nice tip, not a beer or vodka tonic, but something special.  Watch closely how the bartender makes the drink, what bar tools are used?  While you are enjoying the drink, watch what items he uses over and over, where does he keep them?  If you see something new, like an intriguing drink or some strange tool, ask questions.  Don’t worry, the bartender likes you because you already tipped well.  Learn as much as you can without doing so much “research” you forget it in the morning!

Use this research to optimize your space so that it fits your personality and has easy access storage for the bar tools you will be gathering. A well planned bar is a much better alternative to frantically looking through drawers and cupboards for a bottle opener!

Gather the Essential Bar Tools

Now that you’ve got your space, it’s time to pick up the essential tools for your in home bar. 

The Recipe Book: Not only is a guide like this needed for the cocktail recipes, it is an invaluable conversation starter. Imagine your friends picking drinks off this “menu” as you become a bartender. The possibilities are endless.

The Cocktail Shaker: There are opportunities here to show your personality. Go classic with a stainless steel shaker that twists to reveal recipes or go wild with  zebra stripes. Or maybe start a collection so you can make more than one drink at a time! You might also try a Bartending Set that has the shaker plus other tools of the trade.

A Cutting Board and Knife: It may sound simple, but where are you going to slice up your citrus and the makings for the best Bloody Mary? Surely not your bar top!

Bottle Opener & Corkscrew: The opener is another item that is easily overlooked in home bars until you can’t open the bottle! You can go high tech with an electric wine opener or simple and elegant with an engravable combination corkscrew and bottle opener. A wall mounted beer bottle opener is a great choice, no matter how rowdy it gets, you can always find the opener!

Armed with these essentials, you can serve almost any drink! To get started, you can grab some glasses and utensils from the kitchen, a towel for spills and something to hold ice.  You are ready to invite some friends over, have them bring a bottle! You’ve put so much time and effort in making a great place for them to hang out, why should you foot the bill? If they balk at the idea, let them know that a good bottle of liquor is cheaper than a night out, and more than they can probably drink in a night. Get each friend to bring a different kind of liquor, and keep track of what they are bringing, so you can learn a few drinks you can make with each one.

Stock the Mixers and Garnishes

A well stocked home bar has the mixers needed for a variety of mixed drinks. Look up recipes for the cocktails you plan to serve and grab the mixers and garnishes needed.

Water: Grab some bottled water or filter your tap water to add to Scotch or Bourbon. Aficionados say it opens up the flavor.

Cola: This mixer is great for rum and whisky drinks. Don’t put this in a shaker! Instead, use a spoon or some swizzle sticks to mix your drink.

Tonic and/or Club Soda:  Used mostly for gin and vodka drinks, but can add a touch of greatness to a Margarita as well.  Don’t put this in a shaker either, stir it in later.

Sweet and Sour Mix:  From margaritas, whiskey sours, to the classic tom collins, many mixed drinks call for sweet and sour in their recipes. As you grow as a bartender, consider making your own!

To Make Enough Sweet & Sour Mix for a Pitcher of Margaritas (8 glasses) :

You Need:
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
5 Lemons
8 Limes

Directions:

Stir – Sugar and Water in Sauce Pan over medium heat until dissolved. Allow to cool. (Congratulations, you’ve just made Simple Syrup!)

Combine – Simple Syrup and the juice from the lemons and limes.

Bloody Mary Mix:  This is another mixer that you can buy or make on your own ahead of time. Be careful how spicy you make your mix, more heat can be added on a per drink basis. 

Juices:  Orange and Cranberry are versatile drink additives, so make sure these are constantly in stock!

Garnishes: Check your recipes, but always keep limes and olives on hand. Consider adding lemons, oranges and cocktail onions. Fresh citrus can be squeezed to substitute  sweet and sour mix if you add a little sugar or simple syrup to your drink!

You’ve done your research,  built out your space, got your essential bar tools, and stocked up on the mixers. Congratulations you’ve set up a home bar!

Make Sure Your Basketball Party Is A Slam Dunk

It’s that time of the year again when, all across America, college hoops enthusiasts begin analyzing the teams left in the hunt for a national title. Die hard fans and novices meticulously evaluate squads from all conferences in hopes of creating the ultimate tournament bracket for their office pool. College basketball gives fans the opportunity to dust off the old gear from their alma mater and tout their school pride. Showing off your colors is definitely a sign that a serious college hoops shindig is on the way. But before you feel the shot clock ticking down till your party begins, a few essentials are key to making sure it will be a slam dunk.

The Location:

Man-Cave-Personalized-Sign-p-1188After getting the OK from the misses have your friends post up inside your one of a kind Man Cave or Bar and it will certainly set the tone for the rest of your evening. Nothing screams out awesomeness like a decked out room in honor of dudes, so be sure and customize your area with all things manly. Pub signs are one of my favorite ways to fill up empty space on a bar room or man cave wall. Whether you want to go the traditional neon sign route, old school tin vintage, or even a custom made personalized wall hanging, adding small accents throughout the man cave or bar will also enhance the tournament mood; if you need more lighting in your space, add a set of decorative string lights. Looking for a place to set that cold one? Getting drink coasters that fit your style and taste will also add a nice touch to your party, besides the only rings you want to see are the one’s given to the athletes not those left on your table.

The Party Food:

non-stick-jalapeno-popper-roasting-rack-p-1786Bring some of your friends’ courtside favorites into the mix; after all epic basketball marathons like those held in March need to be celebrated with food that will leave your comrades full enough to take on any grueling night of tournament play. While the student athletes are giving their all in hopes of reaching championship glory, bust out the Chips, Salsa, Pretzels, and cheese spreads. Classic hot dogs and nachos are also sure fire ways to satisfy even the manliest of appetites, but if you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous, use a pepper corer and jalapeno rack to spice things up with some stuffed jalapenos . For more ideas on making stuffed jalapenos, going straight to an authority on the matter is always the best route : Steve Raichlen 

The Fun:

Now that you’ve got your location set, your food ready, and friends invited, all that’s left for you to do is enjoy night after night of college hoops glory. If you want to add some fun to the night, come up with some College Basketball themed drinking games. How about anytime the opposing team hits a 3-pointer you have to take a shot? How about anytime a Center rejects a player someone has to chug a beer? Is there a rare four point play opportunity? If so, how about a boilermaker for everyone? The possibilities for coming up with a drinking game on the fly are endless when your friends and college b-ball are on tap.

No Boys Allowed: Fabulous Girls’ Night In Ideas

Who said you had to go out to have fun? This weekend, get rid of the boys and plan a girls’ night in!

~Set a girls night in theme

When it comes to setting a theme for your fabulous gifts night in, the sky is the limit! Is this a pajama party? A pink-themed party? A tea party? No matter what you decide, you can find fun party decor for any style. The good thing about a theme is that it helps you plan out what the rest of the party will look like so you can match the decor, the food, and the entertainment.

Girls night in ideas: pretty in pink, the Oscars, chick flick night, pampering party (manicures & pedicures), pajama party

Find other fun ideas on our “Throw a Themed Party” pinterest board.

~Plan the menu

One of the things that makes a fantastic girls’ night is the food. So whatever your theme, make sure you serve up some goodies to your guests.

Tropical Vanilla Pudding Shots

No-Bake Nutella Cheesecakes

Yogurt-Covered Strawberries

Find more delicious ideas on our “Party Food” Pinterest board.

~Stock the bar

When you invite the girls over, make sure you have some wine and the makings for a few girly cocktails. And don’t forget that when it comes to accessories, what you don’t have will hurt you, so make sure you stock your home bar with a few must-have essentials and decorative accessories to get your guests talking and the party rockin’.

{ Wine Bottle Holder }

Wine Bottle Shoe Holder

A wine bottle holder like this High Heel Wine Bottle Holder turns your plain Jane bottle of wine into a sassy conversation piece. Find a wide selection of wine bottle holders here.

{ Wine Bottle Stopper }

Perfect for a Pretty In Pink party, you can find delightful bottle stoppers to fit any theme. And at a price of under $10, you can even give one away as a door prize or party drawing!

{ Giant Margarita Glass }

There’s nothing quite as fun as an oversized piece of barware. Check out this giant margarita glass, which holds a quarter of a gallon! That’s 33 ounces of fruity deliciousness.

{ Cocktail Shaker }

To mix up those girly drinks, you’re going to need a shaker! A cocktail shaker like this zebra-striped design will fit a black-and-white theme. Many more cocktail shaker ideas for all types of girls night in parties can be found here.

When it comes to stocking the bar, it’s probably also a good idea to have a few non-alcoholic drinks as well. You can still serve them in a cocktail glass for fun! Find recipes for delicious non-alcoholic girls’ night in drinks here.

For more fabulously fun ideas for girls’ night in:

The Ultimate Guide to Your Next Girls’ Night In

Women’s Day Magazine Girls’ Night In Menu

Food Network Girls’ Night Menu

5 Ideas for Hosting a Girls’ Night in

Girls’ Night Cocktail Recipes

3 Tips for Throwing a SUPER Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl XLVII is now officially less than two weeks away, and that means it’s time to put your game face on. Whether you’re in it for the game, the food, or the commercials, here are 3 tips for throwing a SUPER Super Bowl party.

1: Become a Statistician

You don’t need to major in calculus or glue yourself to ESPN for the next two weeks to impress your friends with some fun Super Bowl stats. They will come for the game and leave talking about your wealth of Super Bowl knowledge.

(Ad stats found here & Super Bowl guide for geeks here & find even more fun facts here)

Who’s playing: The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens

Who’s singing: The National Anthem: Alicia Keys

Who’s preforming in the halftime show: Beyonce (with a reunion of Destiny’s Child)

Fun Football Fact: This year’s Super Bowl will feature head-coach brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, who are the first pair of sibling head coaches rivaling each other in the Super Bowl in NFL history.

–This year a slot of ad space with a length of approximately 30 seconds is selling for over $4 million

–During Super Bowl Sunday 2012, enough beer was purchased to buy 10 stealth bombers.

–The most shared Super Bowl ad of all time was in 2011. VW’s ad, The Force. Watch it here: The Force VW Commercial

2: Plan a Menu

The best Super Bowl parties are all about appetizers, so bring on the wings, chips, dip, and dessert! Here are two favorite appetizer recipes that are easy to make and that your guests will love.

a) Pigs in a Blanket. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like these delicious dogs. Get the recipe here.

b) Twisted Pretzel Bites. Recipe found here.

Find even more food ideas on our Super Bowl Food Pinterest board.

And check out HomeWetBar.com for the best kitchen, grilling, and drinking accessories.

3: Get a Game Ready

We complain about commercials for 99.9% of the year, but when the Super Bowl comes around, we take our bathroom breaks during the game and save our viewing time for the commercials. So make sure and have some fun with it by planning some group games.

a) Commercial BINGO. Generate your own BINGO cards at this website with slots for different commericals you might see from the 2013 ad list. Make sure you have a prize for the winner!

b) Quiz your friends with a Super Bowl trivia game. Test yourself with this online version and get more question ideas here.

The Super Bowl is a great way to kick off the new year with good entertainment and good friends, so start prepping now for game day!