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Setting Up A Bar

The Martha Stewart Show, December 2008

If you're entertaining over the holidays, it is important to set up a proper bar. Martha shares the essential glassware, tools, liquors, and mixers you need to set up a bar for any gathering.

Glassware
"Waterman" martini glasses
If you're serving cocktails and other cold drinks without ice, these glasses are great. The stem keeps your warm hand away from the cold drink, and all Waterman glasses are dishwasher safe.

"Waterman" highball glass
These glasses are great for drinks that have bubbles and a lot of juice. Plus, the glasses are very strong, but have a delicate feel to them when held in hand.

"Waterman" double old fashion glasses
These low glasses are perfect for liquor that is served neat or on the rocks. Made from European glass, they are wonderful for both formal and casual settings.

Garnishes
Keep garnishes on hand to top off your cocktails. Olives (for martinis), cranberry swizzle sticks, and lemon and lime wedges should cover your bases.

Base Liquors
Bourbon
Bourbon is used in cocktails such as Manhattans, old-fashioneds, and mint juleps.

Vodka
Vodka is used in cocktails such as cosmopolitans and bloody Marys.

White Rum
White rum is used in cocktails such as daiquiris and mojitos.

Gin
Gin is used in cocktails such as martinis and Tom Collins.

Tequila
Tequila is used in cocktails such as margaritas, sunrises, and palomas.

Base Mixers
These base mixers will keep your guests happy, no matter their cocktail preferences.
- Dry (white) vermouth: an essential for martinis
- Cointreau: the ideal liquor for margaritas
- Tonic: a basic for gin and vodka tonics
- Seltzer (club soda): a low-calorie mixer
- Juices: Orange, pomegranate, and grapefruit juices are used in a wide variety of drinks.

Bar Tools
Large ice bucket with tongs
A large ice bucket (approximately 2.5 quarts or more) is perfect for large gatherings.

Cocktail shaker
Keep a recipe cocktail shaker (approximately 32 ounces in size) on hand for easy mixing. Great cocktail recipes and measurements engraved along the side of the shaker will help you always make delicious drinks.

Seven-piece bar set
A basic seven-piece bar set has all of the tools you'll need to mix and serve drinks: a cocktail shaker, two-sided jigger, bottle opener, bar knife, strainer, tool stand, and serving tray.

Wine Essentials
Wedgwood "Grace" break-resistant stemware
Fine and lightweight, this stemware feels like crystal but is break-resistant. Made with an oxygenating property that aerates red or young white wines directly in the glass, this stemware is dishwasher safe and comes in traditional wine glass shapes as well as lower-profile designs.

Stainless-steel wine cooler
Keep a stainless-steel wine cooler (for a 4-inch diameter bottle) on hand to keep wine deliciously cold.

Red and white wine
You want to have at least one bottle of each on hand for parties. Don't worry about mixing reds and whites throughout the courses of the meal. When selecting wines, be sure to know your menu, and bring recipes to the store so the vendor can suggest wines that complement each dish. And don't overspend -- there are many delicious options for $15 or less. Keep a few extra bottles on hand, and stock up before the holidays when prices usually go up.

Bar Snacks
Simple snacks such as marcona almonds, olives, pepitas, and salted nuts are perfect for the bar.

Resources
All products featured in this segment, including the barware and Wedgwood stemware, can be found at Macy's. Special thanks to Macy's for giving a set of the Martha Stewart Collection with Wedgwood "Grace" red wine glasses to everyone in our studio audience. For more information on the Martha Stewart Collection, visit macys.com.

Comments (2)

  • 13 Jan, 2009

    whoops!

  • 13 Jan, 2009

    The best thing about martinis is the olives!