Home Bar Etiquette

I have seen many articles and blogs on bar etiquette, however not many touching on home bar etiquette. This very topic came up recently with my cast of "Usual Suspects" at one of the infamous Martini Hours here at MySideOfTheBar.

From time to time (really more often than that) one of the regulars brought me a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel which I placed on the counter. A short time later someone ordered this to which I replied, it was a gift and not opened yet. I did serve this individual another top shelf Bourbon, and that conversation led to this multi-part blog on the topic of home bar etiquette.

1. Bringing Alcohol

From a Host Perspective: While it is always appreciated, NEVER request it or expect it, hey you are the one throwing the party.

From a Guest Perspective: I generally bring my own alcohol to home bar cocktail hours, however now that most of the Usual Suspects are stocking Four Roses not as often. However, as I drink more than the average bear (or bull moose) I still bring my own stock just to be polite. Also unless a regular gathering I do indeed bring an offering for the host/hostess.

Which brings me to

2. If you bring alcohol specify if it is for general consumption or for others to share.

From a Host Perspective: It should be clear by knowing your usual suspects what the bottle is to be used for. The example of Four Roses is one and as Central Patti enjoys a good Vodka Martini if we get a bottle of premium Vodka it is used for premium Martinis. I really hat it when I bring top shelf alcohol, wine or beer that I picked out for the host and they start sharing it with the crowd before even trying it.

From a Guest Perspective: If in doubt quietly let the host know the gift if for sharing or something selected especially for them.

3. Cocktail Napkins and Coasters

From a Host Perspective: Always, always serve your Cocktails with a napkin or coaster. I like napkins best as spilage occurs during most Martini Hours and your guests can then wipe up any minor spills.

From a Guest Perspective: Never, never set you glass down without a napkin or coaster. Not sure much more is needed on this point.

Look for more Home Bar Etiquette in future posts here at MySideOfTheBar

The Professor


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