If we’ve learned one thing from Lockdown Part 1, Lockdown The Sequel and Lockdown: This Time It’s Personal, it’s that the nation is refusing to let their love for pubs go. And rightfully so.
But since we can’t go to the pub, our research shows that the indefatigable British public have decided to bring the pub to them, making home bars 2021’s biggest interior trend.
In fact, since January 2020, lockdown has seen search interest for ‘home bar’ skyrocket 240%, with an average of 12,000 monthly searches - nearly double the 6,600 monthly searches at the start of 2020.
On top of that, search interest for ‘home bar ideas UK’ is up by 5,000%. Plus, brand new searches such as ‘how to build a home bar on a budget’ and ‘how to build a home bar’ have both emerged as the uncertainties of lockdown mean we can no longer rely on our local pub or cocktail bar to be open from one week to the next.
In classic 2021 style, we aren’t doing this privately. We’re boasting our designs all over social media. Instagram is now home to 72,000 posts for #gardenbar and 564,000 posts for #homebar.
Want to make that 564,001? Well, our in-house expert and NOVELTEA co-founder Vincent Efferoth, has teamed up with Housebuyers4u’s Paul Gibbens to offer our advice on how to get started:
Get creative with unused spaces
If you’re limited on space, consider converting part of your garden. “More [homebuyers] are looking for outdoor space,” explains Paul, “after all we are predominantly in lockdown and so the social aspect is somewhat limited”. He adds that a good idea may be “an outdoor structure for a bar in the garden.”
Or you could always bring the bar indoors, as Paul suggests: “If you have unused space such as a cellar or a spare room, perhaps you should consider [a home bar]. Creating a hybrid solution is also an option, which can be bespoke to your needs. How about incorporating a bar along with a cinema room, games room or gym?”
Has that sparked some inspiration? Well, while the DIY-savvy folk can enjoy throwing themselves into a new conversion project, for those less DIY-minded, the home bar trend has sparked an influx of online sellers promoting pre-made choices.
Etsy now offers 42,620 UK results for ‘home bar’ searches. And it’s no surprise given the 600% increase in Google search interest for ‘home bar unit’. These listings include everything from ready-made garden bars to simple drinks optics, so there’s something for every space.
Don’t convert a bedroom
If there’s one thing Paul definitely doesn’t recommend, it’s converting a bedroom: “bedrooms are much more valuable than a home bar”.
As experts in the field of mixology and everything that goes with it, NOVELTEA have added their advice on the essentials needed to craft the perfect home bar experience:
Establish a signature cocktail
“The sheer number of cocktails available and their unique complexities can be intimidating to anyone thinking of setting up a home bar,” explains Vincent at NOVELTEA. “Mastering a signature cocktail will help you simplify things, from the stocking of mixers and ingredients to eliminating the pressure of having to play bartender”
You can never go wrong with a classic crowd pleaser, so to help get you started here’s a few ideas… (each recipe serves one)
50ml White rum
Soda water, to top
Handful of fresh mint leaves, torn
1 Fresh lime
1 tsp white sugar
- To a tall, ice-filled glass add your mint, sugar, the juice of your lime and mix
- Stir in your rum
- Top with soda water and serve
60ml Silver tequila
30ml Orange liqueur
One fresh lime plus one lime wedge
- In a cocktail shaker, add your tequila, orange liqueur and the juice of your lime then shake
- Run your lime wedge around the rim of your margarita glass
- Dip the glass into your coarse salt and fill the glass with ice
- Transfer your mix to your glass and serve
25ml Orange liqueur
35ml Cranberry juice
One fresh lime
One orange peel
- Fill your cocktail shaker with ice and add in all the liquid ingredients, plus the juice of the lime
- Shake and strain into a martini glass
- Serve with your orange peel
Get the right equipment
“Do not underestimate the importance of using accurate proportions, as they can make or break a cocktail,” claims Vincent. “A dual measure cup jigger (25cl/50cl) is a versatile solution to help you eliminate any guesswork and ensure that you are consistently nailing the perfect serve.”
Brits are clearly in the market for home bar supplies too. Since last January, search interest has climbed 180% for ‘bar stools’ while ‘home bar furniture’ is up 90% and ‘home bar accessories’ is up 50%.
Stock up on fresh fruit
A versatile addition to any cocktail connoisseur’s collection, Vincent advises stocking up on fresh fruit such as oranges and lemons (preferably unwaxed).
He says: “Extracting juice from fresh fruit to use as an ingredient for your home-made cocktails can make a huge difference in taste. You can also use the fresh fruit for a range of garnishes”.
Set the mood
Vincent insists that, “Good lighting can take the design and feel of your home bar to the next level. LED strips that sync with music, rope lights tucked under the shelves, or under-cabinet lighting, can all enhance the overall aesthetic of the room and add a unique character and vibe to your home bar.”
Don’t forget the vegans
Alcohol can act as an unexpected enemy of the vegan community. Vincent’s pro tip is to “have a vegan option to avoid the risk of any of your guests feeling left out due to their dietary requirements”.
Need some vegan inspiration? How about a Moroccan Mint Fizz - a zingy tipple that’s made with our very own NOVELTEA Tale of Moroccan Mint?
50ml Tale of Moroccan Mint
12.5ml Elderflower liqueur
12.5ml Fresh lime juice
Prosecco, to top
- Shake with ice
- Double strain into a chilled glass
- Top with Prosecco
- Garnish with lime
Have we given you a taste for mixology? Explore some more of our vegan cocktail recipes.
Whether you’re inspired to do a full room transformation, or simply Googling what a ‘jigger’ is, we hope our tips help you make lockdown a little more exciting. Once your home bar is ready to go, take a look at our delicious range of beverages to help you serve up a storm.