How smooth a bar functions depends upon what it is equipped with and the way it is organised. A well-planned and arranged bar will be a blessing for the bartender, just like it'll be for the guests.
So here are some pointers to help you set your bar... 3 main areas of focus:
1. Size of the bar
1. Bar size
- Your bar should have enough space that the bartender can move around comfortably, while still keeping everything within his/her reach.
- Height-waist level or a little higher is ideal.
- A single well-set counter is good for 1 bartender to cover 25-50 people approx.(depending, of course, upon the guests' drinking capacity and mood). Thus, accordingly decide the length of the bar.
- Each bar counter should have a front bar, back bar and at least one counter - either to the left or the right.
- Its preferable to lay out floor mats for the bar to help prevent breakage and avoid a messy wet floor.
A few essential must-haves:
- A sink or tap is a must for several reasons - right from rinsing your shakers to washing your hands.
- Ice box: place it on a height reaching, at least, your waist. You don't want to keep bending to get the ice everytime.
- Ice scooper over ice tongs... Any day! Much faster and an easier option.
- Bar counter mat: Basically like an extra large coaster to help prevent glasses slipping and staining the counter.
- Bottle opener
- Wiping cloth
- Tissues, Stirrers and Straws
If you wanna go wild preparing cocktails, pick up a set of these
- Shaker (a big help to James Bond, with his shaken martinis)
- Muddler: to smash the juices out of ingredients
- Bar spoon: just has a longer handle than a regular spoon
- Horton Strainer and tea strainer: for 2 separate levels of straining
- Chopping board and knife: for the obvious
- Garnish trays: take up less space to place a variety of ingredients (kinda like a rectangle-shaped masala box)
- Lemon squeezer and zest/rind peeler
- Bar equipment can be found on the internet and stores selling culinary equipment
- The choice of ingredients and its quantity will depend upon the number of guests and selection of alcohol and cocktails.
- Make sure you have lemon juice and a sweetener, after which you can be as elaborate as you like with the list of ingredients.
Play. Experiment. Improvise.
Happy Bartending :)
Article written by Ami Shroff