Beverages 3 min read

How to Create the Perfect Home Bar on a Budget

a home bar with wooden pannelling
Published on Apr 11, 2022
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Throughout the pandemic, in great British fashion, many of us decided to bring the pub home and create our own, private home bar…

We’ve seen lawnmowers thrown out of garden sheds to be converted into bars, log cabins built for the sole purpose of building a bar, heck, we’ve even seen some people turf their kids out to turn their bedroom into a bar! (just kidding, I think).

A good home bar can provide the perfect way to de-stress after a day at work, and provide the perfect space to host and entertain your friends on a weekend. 

And if you’re sick of going out and spending a small fortune in bars and pubs every weekend, then why not try to create your own perfect home bar? If you’re on a budget, we’ve pulled together the essential items you’ll need to get you started.

What Equipment Will I Need?

Ok, so, the first thing to think about is equipment.

If you’re making your own bar somewhere in your home or garden, then you’re obviously going to need all of the basics of bar stools, a table, a bar area – you get the idea. 

But what we really want to focus on is the other equipment that you’ll need to make your bar the best one in town (or on your road, at least). Check out below the top essentials to consider. 

Glassware Can Make the Difference

a range of different types of glasses

Have you ever been out and had a gin and tonic served in a half a pint glass? Maybe it’s just me, but there is absolutely nothing worse!

Nice glasses that are made for the drinks that should be in them really can make all the difference and stores like Nisbets have an array of glasses to choose from. So make sure you have a range of the below available:

Wine glasses: traditionally, a red wine glass is rounder with a wider bowl, and white wine glasses are taller and slimmer. 

  • Champagne flutes: champagne, prosecco, or Bellini’s, anyone?! 
  • Gin glasses: large ‘bowl’ or ‘balloon’ type glasses are perfect for serving gin, with lots of room for plenty of fruit and ice!
  • Pint glasses: the only way to drink lager, ale, or cider is in a pint glass! Or half a pint glass if you’re taking it steady. 
  • Highball glasses: a tall tumbler that is perfect for ‘long drinks’ such as vodka and cokes, or cocktails such as a mojito, bloody Mary etc.
  • Lowball glasses: these are for the strong stuff! Short tumblers are best for ‘short drinks’ such as neat whiskey over the rocks, or cocktails such as an old fashioned or negroni. 
  • Martini glass: last but not least, martini glasses are perfect for serving a wide range of cocktails. As well, of course, as flavoured martinis or espresso martinis. 

Invest in a Drinks Trolley

A drinks trolley from a store like Wayfair can make the perfect space to store some of your drinking accessories and creates a great place for people to be able to make their own drinks.

Depending on what style you’re going for, you can buy modern or vintage-style trolleys. Or you could even make your own out of timber for an affordable and super cool rustic look! 

Optics Look Great on a Wall

If you want to display your bottles of spirits somewhere that will look really fancy, then optics on the wall behind the bar can look great!

You could also add LED lighting strips or an LED sign from LED Bulbs behind them to really achieve that bar look.

A Mini Fridge

a mini fridge full of alcohol

Of course, you can’t forget a fridge!

A mini-fridge is essential for creating any home bar and needs to be big enough to store all of your mixers and lager.

If space is an issue, then have a look for a bargain on a slimline mini-fridge from Currys or one that can fit in the space behind your bar. 

Drink Accessories

Last but not least, if you want to be the best bartender on the street then you’re going to need drink accessories! 

Think about cocktail shakers, straws, shot measures, ice buckets, and bowls for sliced lemon and lime etc. 

What Drinks Will I Need?

Again, we could go on forever about the drinks you could buy for your home bar. But here are some of the main ones that can be utilised within a whole range of different drinks and cocktails. 


Sprits are an essential component to all cocktails and a lot of drinks! 

The main ones, to begin with, could be vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, and tequila which you can pick up at Kocktail for a bargain. You could also stock up on a few basic liquors such as amaretto, coffee liquor, Irish cream, and vermouth. 


Filling your fridge with mixers is essential for any home bar!

We’d suggest stocking up on as much pop as you can fit as this won’t go out of date and you’re generally more likely to get better deals if you buy multiple. Just pop to your local supermarket like Morrisons for your juices and fizzy mixes.

There are also quite a few juices that we’d recommend buying, but maybe just one bottle or carton at a time as these don’t carry quite as good of a shelf life. We’d start with orange juice, lemon and lime juice, cranberry juice, tomato juice, and pineapple juice which will help you create a wide range of cocktails. 

Lager & Cider

If you’re a lager, ale, or cider drinker – then this one’s for you!

If you’re ordering lager or cider frequently, then you should check out our drinks page where you can save money on monthly subscriptions. Or you may even find that buying kegs could be a more cost-effective (and tasty) option.


No bar is complete without a selection of good wine!

A staple bottle of white, red, or rose is always important to keep stocked up. You can regularly get discounts available on wine online at stores like Majestic, or check your local supermarket where you can often get deals on multiple buys. 


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!


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