You probably keep all your liquor in a corner cabinet in your kitchen, don’t you?

I mean, you have to dig past the Vermouth to get to the bitters. And you probably come up with the wrong bitters the first try. Am I right?

Your liquor is too good to sit collecting dust in some dingy cabinet. It needs to be where you can quickly select what you need and where you have the room to mix like a master.

Your apartment might be small, but that doesn’t mean you have to live small. You can have your very own Mad Men-esque apartment bar right in your living room if you want.

How do I achieve the Don Draper dream? You might ask. It’s simple.

Follow these directions. You’ll be drinking with the best of them by the end.

First, Get The Apartment Bar

Did you really think I was going to tell you how to build a bar?

Come on. Furniture is cheap. There a plenty of places you can buy a simple bar to store your liquor.

If you’re feeling classy, there are always apartment bars fancy enough to buy.

And if you feel really hipster, you can just find an old antique and refinish it yourself. Or do anything else Bob Vila might do.

But get or build something that fits in your entertaining space. Whether that be your living room or your dining room. Pick a space that is uniquely qualified to entertain your guests.

Second, Get The Equipment

A barman would be nothing without their tools.

And if you want to be a master mixer, you’re going to need tools of your own.

Here are a few things you’ll need to stock your apartment bar:

A Shaker

A medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred.

So went the famous line from the James Bond film Dr. No. And if you suddenly have to entertain James Bond or you’re hosting a cosplay party, you’re definitely going to need a shaker.

A shaker is something you use for drinks that contain fruit juice or cream and eggs. The shaking process instills air bubbles into the drink. This gives it a light and airy touch.

Oh, and don’t shake carbonated drinks…for obvious reasons.

There are three kinds of shakers in the world.

  • Boston
  • Cobbler
  • Parisian

A Boston comes in two pieces. A large metal tumbler and a small vessel you wedge into the top.

A Cobbler is a tumbler. Its cap has a built in strainer.

And a Parisian is a mix of the two.

If you want something basic, go with the Boston. If you want to look savvy go with either the Cobbler or the Parisian. Also, add a little dance to your shaking routine. You might impress someone.

A Jigger

The measure of a man (or woman) is how he measures his drink.

But to make good drinks, you need a way to measure the liquor that goes in the drinks. And if you want a way to measure, put down that measuring spoon!

You’re not baking things. You’re mixing drinks.

Go out right now, and get a jigger.

This is the only proper way to measure your alcohol. Unless you’re Scottish, then you’ll be using a dram.

You apartment bar isn’t complete without a barrel to measure your jigger. A jigger is 1.5 ounces of liquor. And the measuring tool will measure that and anything smaller with 3/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1/4 oz lines.

A Strainer

You might make drinks that need to be strained while not shaken.

This is when the strainer comes in. And no, you can’t use your pasta colander.

You should get two strainers because you might have to strain two different drinks. I mean, you are going to entertain more than one person at a time, right?

A Muddler

This thing is the cheapest thing.

You won’t buy something cheaper for your apartment bar. And I give you full permission to pound the flesh out of any fruit that comes in its path.

Pounding out fruit breaks open the cells in the fruit. And what’s in a fruit cell? Juice!

If you want the flavor, you have to pound it with a muddler.

A Bar Spoon

Your regular tablespoon just won’t do.

You’ll have very wet and sticky fingers very quickly if you don’t have a long bar spoon.

A Juicer

Just juice it. You’ll get a much better consistency than blending it.

You’ll get a much better consistency than blending it.

A Mixing Glass

Rule #1 of bartending: Never mix and serve directly.

That creates a messy presentation. Always mix in a separate glass designated for mixing. You can always just mix in your shaker.

A Hipster Ice Tray

Millenials have ruined everything, including ice-cubes.

Might as well take advantage! There are loads of ice molds out there for special ice cubes to entertain your guests. Pick something fun.


If you can be trusted with them.

A Peeler

To appease the James Bond with the perfect martini.

Third, Get The Liquor

It wouldn’t be an apartment bar without a stock of liquor.

And if you’re worried about price, check the prices of the drinks you’re buying at your local speakeasy. One bottle of decent whiskey is three or four drinks!

So, here are a few basics you should always have in stock:


You might be serving a whiskey girl or you might actually want to make about half of all drinks.

Whiskey is a staple. Get a decent whiskey and you’ll be able to mix so many things.


A gin and tonic anyone?

This will help you make an additional 25% of all the drinks.


Vodka is a matter of taste to everyone.

But you will inevitably be asked to make a Moscow Mule or a vodka soda. Have this on hand plus some mixers in the fridge.


The biggest thing to remember with this one: 100% agave.

Don’t judge a bottle by its pretty facade.


No, this isn’t your emergency stash just in case Capt’n Jack comes walking through the door.

This makes a lot of sweeter drinks for your guests with a sweet tooth. And your friends who just happen to be pirates.


If someone asks for a Sidecar, this is what you’ll need.

Also, look up Presidente Margaritas. You’ll thank me.


If you want to make martinis, you have to get a dry and a sweet vermouth.


If you really want to make some awesome drinks, get a small range of bitters, you’ll really only need a few bottles.

These are a particularly strong class of alcohol. You only add a few drops of bitters to any one drink.

It’s a way to augment the flavor of your drink just slightly. It balances out the sweeter flavors in a drink.


Now that you have pretty much everything to stock your apartment bar, you need to protect your investment.

You probably already have a RFID lock on your apartment. But if you need people to “look after” you newly acquired bar while you’re away, you probably need an extra RFID keycard to give them.

Ask us about the various shapes and styles of our duplicate RFID keys. And, as always, keep your castle safe!