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Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to Flock of Broads. Here you will find the musings of five smart gals affectionately called "The Flock", all currently based in Minneapolis, MN. From pie crusts to parties, beard oil to Beyoncé, fashion to fat pants, we cover life as we know it and even a few things in between. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

DIY:  Build-A-Bar

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DIY: Build-A-Bar

Alexandra Heide

Perhaps I am under the influence of too many episodes of Mad Men, but I've always liked the idea of a home bar. Home bars look classy, and I'm a big fan of the gesture of shaking your loved one a stiff drink at the end of a crap day. So, one year, I put "Build a bar!!!!!!" on my list of New Year's Resolutions (while the rest of the world was hitting the gym harder and Googling ways to cook the trendy green of the moment). However, I very quickly realized that aquiring X bottles of liquor and all of the necessary barware was going to take timeit really sucks that there are no money trees in my areaso I decided to start small.

Now, I have a bar that's not necessarily fully-stocked, but it is stocked with ingredients for cocktails I actually enjoy drinking (Elderfashioneds and Bloody Marys, to name a couple). To inspire those of you who've toyed with the idea, I came up with a checklist of supplies and a round-up of inspiring home bars that should get your wheels turning. It's okay to start slowly and it's okay to skip vermouth if you if you don't much care for martinis. Do this your way. 

This is my bar. We get along just fine, thank you for asking.

This is my bar. We get along just fine, thank you for asking.

GET STARTED

I chose a cabinet so I could store bottles, glasses and miscellaneous items right below and access them when I need them, but I've also seen carts with wheels and bar shelves that look awesome in smaller spaces. 

I chose a cabinet so I could store bottles, glasses and miscellaneous items right below and access them when I need them, but I've also seen carts with wheels and bar shelves that look awesome in smaller spaces. 

FOR TOASTING TO THE GOOD LIFE: 

  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Bourbon/Rye
  • Scotch
  • Dark Rum
  • Light Rum
  • Tequila Blanco 

FOR REALLY GETTING INTO IT:

  • Cocktail Shaker
  • Jigger
  • Corkscrew + Bottle Opener 
  • Bar Spoon
  • Strainer
  • Muddler (especially if you like Mojitos)
  • Bottle Stoppers
  • Club Soda
  • Tonic Water
  • Simple Syrup (make your own!)
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Ginger Beer or Ginger Ale
  • Angostura Bitters
  • Triple Sec/Cointreau
  • Sour Mix
  • Tomato Juice
  • Pellegrino
  • Fresh Herbs 
  • Lemons
  • Limes

I know what you're thinking:  "WTF! How much is this going to cost me, Alex?!" and you're right, it can get expensive. The trick is to acquire your bottles slowly. Pick two cocktail recipes that you love to drink and get those ingredients first. Look for moderately priced liquors and inexpensive mixers. If you want some more expensive bottles in your bar, ask for them as gifts. If you want to make more complicated drinks, try making your own simple syrup, bitters or sour mix to accompany the recipe(s) at home. Also, the girls at A Beautiful Mess have a great guide for every budget that will help you get started.

FOR Pieces of Flair

  • Bar Cart 
  • Ice Bucket
  • Cocktail Bible
  • Serving Tray
  • Whiskey Stones
  • Ice Sphere Tray
  • Cute Straws
  • Vase of Flowers
  • Coasters
  • Art 

So there you have it! Build a bar with ingredients for drinks you like, not drinks you feel like you need to have on hand. Go slowly, and over time you'll start skipping those $12 cocktails at the bar in favor of ones shaken in the comfort of your own home. What are you feeling inspired by?

FOR MORE BAR INSPIRATION:

P.S. Snaps of my bar were taken by my talented pal Ashlie Johnson.