The drink darlings of the 20s, 50s and 80s – the cocktail is enjoying another timely resurgence. Whilst home bars may be considered past their prime, the cocktail cabinet and trolley are definitely once more “on the up”. Richard Bond of Jamie Hempsall Interior Design considers your options.
The resurgence of the cocktail is manifesting itself in the appearance of drinks oriented furniture in the home. Sprinkle in the introduction of the seasonal gift ranges available on the High Street and you have the ideal recipe for amateur mixologists to enjoy the perfect home cocktail environment.
Sociability is one of the basic requirements of the perfect cocktail space. Half the fun of a cocktail is picking your tantalising tipple and watching a bartender mixing the magic. So, if you are creating a cocktail area within your home ensure your guests can experience the creations first hand.
At its most fundamental, a cocktail space can be created in the kitchen by dedicating a cupboard to the storing of glasses, measures, shakers and bottles. The addition of a countertop ice-maker helps with the all important ice crushing (reasonably priced options are widely available so there is no need for a special freezer).
This works best in a large kitchen where you are happy for people to gather to chat and you have the ability to lose an element of cupboard space and work surface.
However, the natural home of the cocktail is the Sitting Room, where you can welcome and entertain guests in a relaxed environment. A simple, but stylish trolley is the perfect solution for the home. They take up little space and can be moved around as desired – ideal for transferring your cocktail base from room to room. Atkin and Thyme offer the chic nickel plated Riley Drinks Trolley (£299, www.atkinandthyme.co.uk) or if antiqued gold is more your style then have a look at the Luxe Drinks Trolley from www.oliverbonas.com (£350).
Drinks cabinets largely went out of fashion in the last couple of decades, but with the resurgent interest in all things mid 20th Century (not to mention our unending love affair with Deco) this is once again an honoured part of your entertainment space furniture.
There are terrific period finds to be upcycled from the likes of Ebay, but if you want something more contemporary then the High Street has interesting options such as the Zabel Bar Cabinet in Rosewood from Swoon Editions (£379 – www.swooneditions.com) or the Logan White Drinks Cabinet from Next (£185 – www.next.co.uk).
Classic cocktails shouts luxury and with that in mind, you might want to go the whole hog and splash out on a statement piece of furniture that creates theatre the moment you open it up. If that is the case, then the Pollock Drinks Cabinet from Julian Chichester is definitely the way to go (£6,394; www.julianchichester.com).
The finishing touch has got to be your cocktail shaker and glasses – here the world really is your oyster. However, my personal favourite is Tom Dixon’s Plum range, which combines Jazz Age Class with Modern Chic in contemporary dark blue and copper tones (available from John Lewis).
Our MD, Richard Bond, shares his tips for the Perfect Bond Martini
Put your cocktail making skills to good use during the party season by perfecting the classic Bond Martin, the Vesper. This piece of cocktail history was first introduced to the UK in Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel, Casino Royale.
3 oz Gordon’s Gin (Bond’s preference)
1 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Kina Lillet Blanc
Add the ingredients into a shaker, such as the Bar Craft Boston Cocktail Shaker (£17.99; www.kitchencraft.co.uk), fill with ice and shake.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass such as the Dartington Crystal Bar Excellence Martini Glass (£43 – www.dartington.co.uk) or the quirky Glasstini from Red5.
Twist a slice of lemon peel over the drink, rub along the rim of the glass and drop in.
“Shaken, not stirred obviously!!”