Celebrate your vintage home bar with fun collectibles and recipes to make the most of hosting at home.
As the end of the year is approaching, I think we could all use a tasty drink in a beautiful space. Here’s a collection of styling tips to enhance your home bar, along with some tasty recipes and a fun DIY craft.
A Home Bar with Style
When styling a bar, I recommend a balance of playfulness and functionality. While a cocktail station can be a place to go a little wild with design, it should also be a surface that allows for easy drink-making. Follow these guidelines to style your home bar, and create a charming space where the cocktails flow freely.
- Elegance: Transfer spirits, mixers, juices and syrups to decanters and pitchers. Display them in a prominent place, and use a tray to keep groupings organized.
- Natural beauty: Bring color and softness to your bar with a fresh floral arrangement or a few sprigs of greenery. This is an excellent opportunity to put a vintage vase or pottery to use.
- Accessibility: Keep bar essentials such as an ice bucket, a shaker, a jigger and coasters on display and within reach. Store vintage glassware in a caddy for guests to easily access.
- Display: The top of your bar is a great spot to feature a collection. Select just a few pieces to showcase, for a look that feels edited and intentional.
Tip: Keep your styling fresh by swapping out collections and colors as the seasons change.
My Curated Collection
As mid century enthusiasts, many of us have collections. One of mine is tiki mugs, which I’ve acquired from a variety of antiques shops, online auctions and artist galleries. I’ve been collecting these pieces for about six years, and it’s been a fun way to support some of my favorite small businesses and artists. My collection of mugs ranges from new and mass-produced to vintage, rare and one-of-a-kind.
For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of collecting tiki mugs is the sense of community between artists and collectors. As I grow my collection, I’m continually connecting with lively and interesting people who share the same passion for creativity and cocktail culture. I’m discovering more as I dive deeper into tiki culture and having a blast with every indulgence.
Sip & Dip Recipes
Now that you have your bar looking first-rate, it’s time to reward yourself with a tasty snack and artful cocktail. Arrange colorful vegetables on your favorite vintage tray, and serve them with this delicious, addictive dip. Wash it all down with this fruit-forward cocktail inspired by a classic Trader Vic’s recipe from the late 1960s.
Herb Veggie Dip
Yield: 2 cups
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1 Tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 Tablespoon fresh minced parsley
- 1 Tablespoon Beau Monde seasoning
Stir together all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir just before serving. Note: For a vegan-friendly version, use plant-based mayo and dairy-free sour cream.
Yield: One 5-ounce drink
- 2 ounces dark rum
- 1 ounce pineapple juice
- 1 ounce passion-orange-guava juice
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- Dash of tiki bitters
Shake all ingredients over ice. Pour into your desired mug filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh orange slice, pineapple spears and a lantern pick.
Add an Artful, Handcrafted Touch
Give your favorite drink a handcrafted touch by making your own lantern cocktail pick.
You will need:
- 8-inch bamboo skewer
- Pan of water
- Plastic cup
- 2 binder clips
- Origami paper
- Upholstery thread (24-inch and 10-inch lengths)
- Twist tie
- Small wooden bead
- Sewing needle
- Place the bamboo skewer in a pan of water with a lid. Bring the water to a low boil, and remove from the heat. Carefully remove the skewer.
- Wrap the skewer around the top edge of the plastic cup, and secure it with binder clips to create a curved pole. Allow it to dry completely.
- Make an origami paper lantern. Search online tutorials to create your own unique shape.
- Fold the 24″ thread into halves, repeating until the thread is 2″ long. Trim both top and bottom for a 1″ bundle. Align the 10″ thread to the bottom of the bundle. Secure the twist tie around the top 1/3of the bundle. Trim the excess tie.
- Thread the end of the 10″ strand onto the needle. Pierce the base of the lantern, and continue through the top of the lantern. Slide the bead onto the needle. Tie the string onto the curved end of the skewer. Trim the excess thread.
- Optional: Cut a small slit in the lantern, and place a mini LED ball inside for a glowing effect.
Get a closer look at this project and more at midcenturymaurer.com. Read more on setting up the perfect home bar with barware essentials and MCM bar inspiration.
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