New This Month

Style Tips for a Swanky Home Bar

Elevate cocktail hour with this chic setup: an armoire tricked out with everything you need to really shake things up.

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The "Barmoire"

We took a basic linen closet, painted it inside and out, and gave it a stylish backsplash with smoky mirrored tiles. Scroll down to see the step-by-step tips. 

The Details: Farrow & Ball exterior paint, inHagueBlue, us.farrow-ball.com.

Benjamin Moore interior paint, in Sandy Hook Gray, benjaminmoore.com.

Antique Mirror Glass Shoppe commercial antique mirror glass tiles, 12" by 12", $27.50 each, antiquemirrorglassshoppe.com.
 

Tips: Hang a rack inside a door to have a bar towel at the ready.

Arrange shelves so the items you reach for most often -- liquor and glasses -- are closest at hand.

 

Building a "Barmoire"

  • 1
    Find the right closet

    Start with an unfinished closet with adjustable shelves. Then outfit it with clever details, including a pull-out shelf for slicing limes or serving drinks. Gothic Cabinet Craft linen closet with 4 shelves, $909, gothiccabinetcraft.com.

    Find the right closet
  • 3
    Insert a Slide-Out Shelf

    Under-the-counter drawer slides, 16", $22 for 2, mcmaster.com.

    Insert a Slide-Out Shelf
  • 4
    Upgrade the Knobs

    Lido Crystal, in French Antique, $19 each, rejuvenation.com.

    Upgrade the Knobs

High Spirits

No need to clutter your cabinet with obscure liquors you’ll use once. Here are our editors’ essential bottles for drinking neat or on the rocks and mixing in cocktails.

  • 1. Gin: You’ll want one with botanicals that don’t overwhelm for martinis and G&Ts. Try Plymouth, which has hints of citrus, cucumber, and vanilla. Pottery Barn rounded decanter, $42.50, potterybarn.com.

    2. Vodka: It’s one of the most commonly used spirits in cocktails. Imperia, a Martha favorite, is pure and crisp. Top Shelf pure-lead-crystal decanter, $60, bedbathand beyond.com.

    3. Tequila: Choose the silver variety, which is light and versatile. Espolón Tequila Blanco has a clean flavor with a touch of spice. Rogaska Pierpont cut-crystal short decanter, $209, restorationhardware.com.

    4. Rum: Unless this is your spirit of choice, you only need to stock one. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, with hints of caramel and tropical fruit, is neutral enough for mixed drinks but has enough depth to be sipped on its own. Stud decanter, $40, cb2.com.

  • 5. Orange Liqueur: The secret to a delicious margarita, mimosa, or cosmopolitan, it’s also nice in baked goods or drizzled over fruit. Our picks are Grand Marnier and Cointreau. Estate barware decanter, $50, williams-sonoma.com.

    6. Amaro: This liqueur adds bitterness and balances out sweet cocktails. We love Campari for one simple reason: It makes a sublime Negroni. Rogaska Pierpont cut-crystal tall decanter, $209, restorationhardware.com.

    7. Whiskey: We prefer rye for its flexibility (bourbon can be too sweet in cocktails, Scotch too assertive). Bulleit is smooth enough for both sipping and mixing. Boulevard cut-crystal round decanter, $159, restorationhardware.com.

  • 1. Gin: You’ll want one with botanicals that don’t overwhelm for martinis and G&Ts. Try Plymouth, which has hints of citrus, cucumber, and vanilla. Pottery Barn rounded decanter, $42.50, potterybarn.com.

    2. Vodka: It’s one of the most commonly used spirits in cocktails. Imperia, a Martha favorite, is pure and crisp. Top Shelf pure-lead-crystal decanter, $60, bedbathand beyond.com.

    3. Tequila: Choose the silver variety, which is light and versatile. Espolón Tequila Blanco has a clean flavor with a touch of spice. Rogaska Pierpont cut-crystal short decanter, $209, restorationhardware.com.

    4. Rum: Unless this is your spirit of choice, you only need to stock one. Appleton Estate Reserve Blend, with hints of caramel and tropical fruit, is neutral enough for mixed drinks but has enough depth to be sipped on its own. Stud decanter, $40, cb2.com.

  • 5. Orange Liqueur: The secret to a delicious margarita, mimosa, or cosmopolitan, it’s also nice in baked goods or drizzled over fruit. Our picks are Grand Marnier and Cointreau. Estate barware decanter, $50, williams-sonoma.com.

    6. Amaro: This liqueur adds bitterness and balances out sweet cocktails. We love Campari for one simple reason: It makes a sublime Negroni. Rogaska Pierpont cut-crystal tall decanter, $209, restorationhardware.com.

    7. Whiskey: We prefer rye for its flexibility (bourbon can be too sweet in cocktails, Scotch too assertive). Bulleit is smooth enough for both sipping and mixing. Boulevard cut-crystal round decanter, $159, restorationhardware.com.

Tools of the Trade

These accessories, plus a shaker, complete a well-outfitted bar. Martha Stewart Collection 7-piece bar-tool set (with stand), $72, macys.com.

  • Jigger
    Jigger

    For measuring booze: 1 1/2 ounces on one side, 3/4 ounce on the other.

  • Strainer
    Strainer

    To keep ice and muddled ingredients in the shaker and out of the glass.

  • Spoon
    Spoon

    For mixing drinks that are stirred, not shaken.

  • Tongs
    Tongs

    For grabbing ice and garnishes without using your fingers.

  • Pairing Knife
    Pairing Knife

    The small size -- and extra-sharp blade -- are designed for slicing citruses.

  • Opener
    Opener

    A long handle provides extra leverage for popping off bottle caps.

  • Jigger
    Jigger

    For measuring booze: 1 1/2 ounces on one side, 3/4 ounce on the other.

  • Tongs
    Tongs

    For grabbing ice and garnishes without using your fingers.

  • Strainer
    Strainer

    To keep ice and muddled ingredients in the shaker and out of the glass.

  • Pairing Knife
    Pairing Knife

    The small size -- and extra-sharp blade -- are designed for slicing citruses.

  • Spoon
    Spoon

    For mixing drinks that are stirred, not shaken.

  • Opener
    Opener

    A long handle provides extra leverage for popping off bottle caps.

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