Man caves can come in all forms and built in various places. It could be a huge room on top of the garage, a spacious area in the attic, a small space under the stairs, or in the basement.
A man cave is where guys like you can relax and experience some form of freedom.
I love my family as much as any man but there are times when I just want to stay in one place and relax without having to think about anybody else.
That is why my man cave is such an important place for me.
The man cave is where you watch football or basketball games, play poker with your buddies, or simply hang about to drink ice cold beer.
It can also be a quiet place where you can continue your work or indulge in special hobbies. This is a private space that you get to design on your own.
Whether you are thinking of turning a room into your personal man cave or you already have one but want to go for an upgrade, one thing that you should consider putting into your space is a bar.
Any space would not be complete without furniture and accessories that will allow you to serve drinks for yourself and for your guests.
You can invest in good leather seats, a flat-screen tv, or a pool table, but nothing says man cave more than a personal bar. Here are the things that you can buy or put in so that you can make a great man cave bar.
A Fridge Is A Must for Keeping Things Ice Cold
A small refrigerator is an essential part of any man cave, whether you plan on adding a personal bar or not.
It can store your beers and other cold drinks. Nobody wants to drink lukewarm beer!
You can also place a few snacks inside, so you don’t have to go to the kitchen every time you feel hungry.
My man cave is built in the room above our garage, so it can be tedious to have to go to the kitchen every time I want to have a snack.
That is why I store a few chocolate bars and some frozen microwavable pastries inside my personal fridge.
A mini fridge is also very useful in storing your ice cubes and chilling your cocktail glasses. This is great if you plan on mixing a lot of cocktails for you and your guests while you relax.
The size of your fridge would depend on the space that you have. It would also depend on the number of items that you want to keep cool.
If the space is small, you will have to settle for a mini fridge that you can place under a shelf or counter space.
- You can stock your fridge with your favorite beer. This means you will always have an ice-cold beer waiting for you.
- You have some place to store your snacks and drink garnishes.
- You do not have to keep going back to the kitchen if you need more ice.
- It can take up a lot of precious space. If your man cave is situated underneath the stairs, having a separate fridge could seriously cramp up the space.
- You might have to buy this for your space because very few people have a spare fridge lying around. This could eat up your budget for fixing up your man cave.
Serve the Right Drink in The Right Glass
If you have a lot of space for your man cave bar, having different kinds of glassware is ideal. This way, you can serve different drinks in the right glass style.
However, if your space is limited, you will need to be smart about the type of glasses that you will buy for your bar. One smart choice is a short glass. This type is versatile and can be used to serve anything from cocktails to wine.
If you enjoy drinking anything with ice, the rocks glass is the type for you.
This is also the glassware of choice if you or your guests enjoy drinks where you need to muddle ingredients inside the serving glass itself.
Another popular bar glassware choice is the Collins glass. This is the glass of choice if you enjoy cocktails that use crushed ice, such as gin and tonic or the classic Tom Collins.
For those with a lot of space, you can also choose to keep these in your bar area:
- Shot glasses
- Pint glasses
- Brandy snifters
- Wine glasses
- Highball glasses
- Having a good collection of glassware will let you serve any drink in the right glass.
- You will be able to experience drinking like you are at an actual bar.
- It looks nice with a lot of fancy glass.
- Glassware requires more space and probably a separate storage area. If you only have a small space for your bar, this could prove difficult.
- Having too many glasses that you don’t use will clutter up your bar.
Consider Buying Tools for Making and Storing Ice
The most convenient source of ice is the nearest gas station. You can just buy a bag of ice and store it in your freezer for future use. You can also put the ice in a cooler.
If you don’t have a fridge, this could be the most cost-effective way to keep your beer cans or bottles very cold.
However, if you have access to a fridge (with a freezer, of course), it might be more economical to just make your own ice. To be able to do this, you’d have to buy some ice cube trays.
The usual size of ice cubes for cocktail drinks is 1.25 inches. Make sure to get the tray that makes ice cubes this size.
If you plan on serving cocktail drinks on ice, go for the ice-ball mold that forms 2-inch ice balls.
This type of ice melts slower than its cube counterparts and is perfect for any drink on the rocks. You don’t want to serve drinks that seem watered down.
If you plan on making daiquiris and other frozen drinks, then you would have to be able to crush your ice cubes. Getting a good-quality blender would be a great idea.
Consider the strength of the motor and blade. Remember, your blender should be strong enough to crush ice cubes. What size should you get? Consider how many drinks you plan on making.
If it’s just for you and a few friends, a blender with a small container is enough. Get a bigger one if you often host get-togethers with a lot of your buddies.
If you still have space, having an ice bucket and a pair of tongs are ideal. This way, you can just dump your ice in the bucket and refill your trays with water, so you never run out of ice.
Ice tongs are helpful so you or your guests wouldn’t have to use your hands to fish out ice cubes from the bottom of the bucket using your hand.
- You don’t have to go out to buy ice cubes should you suddenly want to make a cocktail drink.
- You are sure that your ice cubes are made from clean water.
- You can make ice balls that melt slower which makes your drink colder but doesn’t dilute it too much.
- You will have to make sure that the ice tray is filled all the time.
- If you are planning on having a party, you probably will need more ice than you can possibly make.
Stock Up on Essential Bartending Accessories and Tools
Most cocktail drinks get made inside a cocktail shaker. If you plan on making cocktail drinks, this is one tool that you must have in your man cave bar.
It is best to get the metal shaker with a tight-fitting lid. If you can find one, get the shaker that comes with a built-in strainer. This will allow you to pour out the drink from the top of the shaker.
Steer clear of the shakers that are just a lid that you use with a pint glass. Most of the time, the metal top gets wedged onto the glass.
Tapping it to dislodge the cover often results in the shattering of the glass. If you cannot find a shaker-strainer combo, you might need to buy a separate strainer.
Another important tool for your bar is the jigger. This will allow you to measure the ingredients that you will use for your cocktail drinks.
This will help you make drinks consistently. Look for the two-sided jigger that is made from metal. One side makes up a full shot. The other contains half of that amount.
Here are more tools that are very helpful in making and mixing drinks:
- Cutting board and knife – This is useful for cutting fruits that you will use for your drinks.
- Juice squeezer – Fresh juice is ideal for making great-tasting cocktails. Getting a handheld juicer is ideal for a personal bar.
- Cocktail spoon – A long-handled spoon is not just great for scraping the bottom of your shaker. It is also helpful in scooping out the last cherry or olive out of its jar.
- Muddler – if you enjoy making mojitos, you will need a good muddler in order to crush ingredients.
- Can opener, bottle opener, corkscrew – These tools are important for opening bottles and cans.
- Towels – mixing drinks often results in spills, particularly if the bartender is already tipsy. Don’t let your bar area get sticky by wiping down the surfaces.
- Having all the tools and accessories at the ready will allow you to make any drink that you fancy at any time.
- You can make your favorite drink consistently if you have the right tools.
- You don’t waste your expensive liquor if you have the right tools.
- Buying all the tools and accessories can be expensive.
- If you don’t have a lot of space, storing all your tools can prove challenging. It might not all fit into your bar cabinet.
Beers Are A Must Have
Before thinking of buying expensive bottles of liquor, make sure that you already have a good collection of beer going.
Most guys would go for a bottle of ice-cold beer rather than a shot of hard liquor anyway. Plus, domestic beer is inexpensive.
It might be a good idea to keep a combination of beers that you like and some that your buddies prefer.
That way, you don’t run the risk of going through all the bottles by yourself and discovering that you have nothing to offer your guests should your friends drop in unexpectedly.
If you are planning on starting a beer collection, it might be a good idea to stock different varieties of specialty beers and local craft bottles.
Note that it might be cheaper to buy your beer in bulk. If you are stocking them on a shelf, make sure that you at least have a few bottles or cans chilling in the fridge so you can crack one open and enjoy it any time you want.
- Beers are easy to procure and are very affordable. Plus, it doesn’t need any special treatment to serve. All you have to do is open the bottle or pop a can and it’s good to go.
- Most guys prefer beer over other types of alcoholic drinks.
- There are so many types of beers to explore if you are feeling adventurous.
- Starting a beer collection is very easy.
- Since it is easy to drink, you might end up having to buy beer frequently. It might be more economical to just buy beer in bulk.
- Chill a few in your bar fridge and just store the rest of the bottles or cans somewhere else.
- Beer is not a great mixer.
Complete Your Bar by Buying the Staple Liquor for Making Different Drinks
In order to be able to make different drinks, you need to have at least these five basic spirits stocked. The first one is gin.
A lot of guys find gin to be too bitter, but it is the basic alcohol to have should you feel like having a gin and tonic. You can also show off your mixing skills by making a Tom Collins.
Another handy spirit to have in your bar is rum. It would be up to your drink preference whether you get dark or light rum.
If you and your lady friends enjoy the occasional daiquiri or mojito, choose the light variety.
The next liquor that you need to buy for your bar is tequila. This is the base spirit if you want to throw a party and make margaritas for yourself and your guests.
Next on the list is vodka. It is a very versatile kind of mixer and would allow you to mix all kinds of drinks.
Screwdriver, anyone? You can also make a vodka martini or a Moscow Mule with this spirit.
Finally, there’s also bourbon. This is considered the most approachable of all whiskeys. A good bourbon can be drunk neat or on the rocks.
You can also use it to make Mint Julep or Manhattan.
A good tip when buying booze is to pick the bottles that cost a little higher than average. Quality spirits will stop you from just guzzling them down.
Plus, you can be sure that your drinks will taste great. Go for quality instead of quantity.
Do you need to stock all these bottles? Or do you stick to just your favorites?
- Having different types of alcohol in your arsenal will enable you to make up different drinks and cocktails.
- You can serve whatever drink your guests prefer.
- You can learn to make different cocktails.
- If you have a lot of bottles, you will need more space in order to store them properly.
- It can get expensive, to buy all those different bottles.
- You might not enjoy drinking some of the liquors. If you don’t often entertain, the bottle will just take up space.
Wine Is Now A Must in Every Personal Bar
If you have a more sophisticated palate and enjoy drinking wine instead of beer and other cocktails, you can also stock your bar with a few bottles.
Keep track of the wines that you have tried out and thoroughly enjoyed. If you have not established any favorites yet, try to pick a variety of wines whenever you get the groceries.
Try them out and see which ones you enjoy. Even if the wine is not something that you particularly like, you can keep them for offering to guests at your next get-together.
Some experts recommend that you keep a bottle of sherry or port.
Having a couple of bottles of prosecco and champagne is also a good idea just in case you have an unexpected celebration that you want to toast to.
- Stocking your bar with reds and whites will give you more choices.
- You don’t have to go to the store should your guest want to have wine with dinner. Just raid your man cave bar.
- Finding your favorite wine can get very expensive.
- More bottles mean more space taken up in your bar. If your space is limited, you have to be a little creative in order to efficiently arrange the bottles on your liquor cabinet, shelf, or whatever storage system you plan on using.
Don’t Forget to Stock Up on Staple Mixers
You won’t be able to make most of the cocktail drinks if you do not have any mixers. That’s why it is also important to have them stocked up in your bar. One very popular mixer is soda.
Nope, this is not cola. When you see soda on your cocktail recipe book, it is most likely referring to seltzer or club soda. A bartender once told me about a man cave bar idea on a budget.
He told me to get club soda in individual cans, especially if you are not a regular drinker. This way, you don’t risk it going flat.
Speaking of cola, this is also a good mixer to have in your stash. Add a few cans of ginger ale and some fizzy citrus drinks and you will already be able to make so many cocktail drinks.
It might also be a good idea to have a bottle of tonic water on hand.
Note that most mixers have expiration dates. This is why having a fridge is such a good idea when trying to establish a personal bar in your man cave. This prevents spoilage.
Below is a list of non-alcoholic mixers that you will need if you want to have the full bar experience:
- Lime and lemon juice
- Orange juice
- Pineapple juice
- Tomato juice
- Simple Syrup
- Sour Mix
- Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce
- Having a fully stocked bar will allow you to make any concoction in your cocktail recipe book.
- You will be able to experiment with variations of your favorite cocktails. This way, you won’t get bored with your drink. Plus, you might be able to come up with your signature drink!
- You are party-ready should your buddies decide to drop by unannounced.
- Buying all these mixers can be very expensive even if you only buy small bottles of each.
- If you are not an adventurous drinker, you will have a lot of unused bottles that will only take up space in your cabinet.
Invest in Cocktail Books
If you are willing to invest in bottles of spirits and mixers, you might as well buy a mixology book. This contains all the popular cocktail recipes that are served at actual bars.
Experts say that getting a book is so much better than just downloading recipes on your smartphone.
Why? Because when you are already tipsy from your experimentation, you’d probably prefer spilling alcohol on a book rather than on your phone.
Plus, a big book is so much easier to read than the letters on the small screen of a phone.
- You get to try out different cocktail recipes using the spirits and mixers that you bought.
- You won’t get bored drinking the same cocktail drinks over and over again.
- Again, if your space is limited, having a big recipe book is going to take up space in your man cave mini bar.
Select the Right Bar Furniture.
While some may be content with having a small table or cart to serve as a mini bar, many might want proper storage space for all the liquor and mixer bottles and bartending tools.
A wall-mounted cabinet or shelf may be the best option. If this is not possible for the space that you want to turn into your man cave, you can also opt for a small cabinet or bookshelf.
If the space is really small, getting a bar cart may be your only option.
Not only does this provide you with the surface you need for mixing your drinks, but it also doubles as a storage space for your bottles, glassware, and accessories.
Seating should also be considered. If you want the full bar effect, purchasing a few bar stools with a freestanding bar is a great option.
If you have limited space though, sticking with your existing seating options is also a good idea.
Simply rearrange your bean bags or couches to face the bar so that you can make it the focal point of your man cave.
- You can be flexible with your choice of furniture for your bar. Go big with built-in cabinets or downsize with a small bar cart.
- There are so many bar furniture options to choose from. You can even repurpose your existing seating options to make the space feel more bar-like.
- If you have limited space, you might have to content yourself with using a bar cart.
- You might need to spend more if you want your man cave bar to look and feel like an actual bar.
You can choose to be very extravagant or very simple when it comes to turning a space in your man cave into a personal bar.
If you have a limited budget, stick to the liquors, mixers, and tools that you really need. This means, only buy the ones that you will use most often. Consider your favorite drinks and go from there.
However, if you have the money to blow and plan on entertaining a lot, you have to option to buy as many bottles as you want and stock your bar with all the tools that you will need to make any cocktail imaginable.
That is the beauty of the man cave. You get to decide how you want it to look and what you want to have in it.
If you only drink whiskey, you can choose to stock your bar with just that liquor.
If you don’t have the space or the money just yet, you can start small and simply add to your collection one bottle at a time.