How to create your own happy hour at home

Ah, happy hour - our most treasured time of the day. While this after-work ritual is sorely missed from our lives right now, the good news is that you can enjoy a perfectly satisfying happy hour from the comfort of your own home. From booze to tools and creating your very own home bar, let us help you get set up for a happy hour experience that'll rival your favourite speakeasy. 

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The set-up

We're firm believers that every grown-up home should have a bar. But if you're new to the world of mixology, your first step should be to set aside a dedicated bar space. A bar cart is a firm favourite - not only does it hold all your liquor, glassware and mod cons in one place, but it's also the perfect way to dress up empty corners. Short on space?  Use a stylish copper tray instead to group all your cocktail-making gear together and display on shelves, kitchen counters or as a dining table centrepiece.

To create hotel bar-worthy drinks from the comfort of your own home, you'll need a few tools. A bar spoon, strainer, measure and shaker are the non-negotiables, while a citrus juicer can also be a welcome addition - using fresh juice in your concoctions will make all the difference, we promise. 

And while we know every cocktail should be poured into a specific style of glass, investing in some good quality highball, tumblers and coupe glasses will stand you in good stead. 

Last but not least, your mixers and garnishes. Go for quality, not quantity, and stock your bar with a small selection of bitters, a bottle of vermouth and a few lemons, oranges and grapefruits, which will always come into play. 




The drinks

Keep it simple and turn to old favourites, just follow the golden mixology rule: 2: 1: 1, which is two parts your base spirit, 1 part sour and 1 part sweet. Keep this in mind and you'll never mess up a cocktail again.

If a negroni is your happy hour go-to, all you need is some Campari, sweet vermouth and a dash of classic dry gin. Fill a tumbler with ice, add a shot of each spirit and give it a spin using your bar spoon. Garnish with an orange slice for a classic touch  easy as that.

A timeless classic that never stops being cool, the old fashioned is surprisingly easy to make at home. First, make simple syrup by boiling equal parts water and sugar until dissolved. Put a splash of syrup in a glass, add a dash of Angostura bitters plus an orange slice and muddle everything against the bottom of the glass. Remove the orange, pour in the whiskey and stir well. Voila!

We all love a good gin and tonic – it's one of our favourite tipples come warmer months (and all year round, actually). Change it up a little by throwing a splash of elderflower cordial into the mix. It's a super simple twist that'll take your usual G&T to new boozy heights. 





The rest

No happy hour is complete without nibbles. For a fool-proof option, go for olives, breadsticks or nuts (you probably have these hanging around in your cupboard anyway) or step up you your appetiser game by serving fresh bread with homemade black olive tapenade.

If you're after something a little fancier, you really can’t go wrong with a good cheese platter. It all depends on what drinks you’ll be mixing but as a general rule, mild cheeses such a brie go well with fresh G&Ts, while whiskey pairs great with aged cheeses.

Don’t forget about the music  it’s called happy hour for a reason. Put on your favourite tunes in the background to accompany your sipping session or look to music streaming platforms such as Spotify for help. With a bunch of pre-made playlists to choose from, you’ll nail those speakeasy vibes in no time.

Finally, put some thought into your lighting, too. Dimming the lights will set the tone for the evening and help transform your cosy living room into something a little more bar-like. See, it doesn’t take much to make your at-home happy hour experience, does it?




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