Colin and Justin: Home bar none

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Colin and Justin appraise ways to set up a home bar

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Ah, ye olde worlde home bar: secreted, typically speaking, in a dark basement, or set up, man cave stylee in the garage.

Mais plus ca change.  If, as summer approaches, you’re having company, it’s time to up the ante with a spot of home bar atmosphere.

But wait, before reaching for some clapped out ‘Coors’ neon (picked up for a few bucks at the first of this season’s yard sales) to titillate your home hostelry, set your sights on something a lil’ more high brow.

Yes indeed, it’s time to enjoy memorable nights ‘out’ – by organizing fun nights in.

If you don’t have a dedicated bar area, a cart is a must have.  Portable and stylish, a wheeled drinks station allows the party to travel from room to room.

Even whilst stationary, a loaded bar cart (boozers – us?) is a thing of beauty.  The Feliz natural rattan unit from CB2 resembles a vintage treasure, thanks to its subtle, low sheen paint finish and antique style brass casters.  Perfect for all manner of social get together, regardless of location.

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Just like a tempting food recipe, your choice of ingredients will bolster the overall bar experience.  Rather than hitting the supermarket, search for quality, exotic items to enhance the drinks offering, and, in doing so, rock out the look and appeal of your mobile marvel.

Our guests enjoy Amarena Fabbri Luxury Italian Cocktail Cherries from Cocktail Emporium Juicy and sweet – and packed in a lovely ceramic jar – they’re a mixologists dream accessory.

If you, like we, enjoy shopping Ontario, bolster your bar top with bitters from Dillons  The perfect addition to spice up your cocktail offering, a few dashes of their ginger, chocolate or orange bitters are guaranteed to add extra bite to your gourmet menu.

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Create a lux home gantry with the Doe Valley Rustic bar from Stoneycreek Furniture  The unit’s ‘distressed’ mahogany design is casual and rustic, making it ideal for use in traditional or modern environments.  Position in front of a taller unit – or in front of bottle loaded wall shelves – for a custom vibe without the expense.   Yup, we’ll drink to that!

If you’re a grape buff and like to collect, an unfinished basement could serve as the perfect place in which to install a wine cellar. But there are details to consider – the space will require a constant temperature of 45-65 degrees, with the humidity level arranged between 50 and 70 percent.

In an ideal world, it should be dark and vibration free, so stacking your bottles next to a laundry room isn’t ideal  If you enjoy escapism, add a table and chairs (with attendant soft lighting) so that you – and the gang – can enjoy great tasting evenings (any excuse for a snifter, huh?) whilst sharing in the love and knowledge of wine.  Check out for specialist advice.

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In the modern hostelry, presentation is everything, so pair the right vessel with the right drink to add detail.  The Craft Brewed Can glass from Muskoka Brewery ( is a great conversation piece: the quirky love child of a can and pint pot, and the perfect way to serve the brewery’s tasty issue.

For a more sophisticated vessel (ideal for cocktails) sip on a ‘Nick & Nora’ glass: the Gold Dream Décor Coupe from Cocktail Emporium is perfect.  Named after Nick and Nora Charles, a fictional couple created by Dashiell Hammett in his novel The Thin Man, the glass is prohibition proof and utterly glamorous.

After two years in confinement, it’s fair to suggest most of us are desperate to regroup with friends and family. In whichever way you plan gathering this summer, plan your events safely and responsibly.

So that, as time endures – and the world corrects – we can all enjoy a healthy future, and happier times ahead.  And cheers to that say we!

Watch for Colin and Justin on Cabin Pressure and Great Canadian Cottages (Cottage Life TV) and on Cityline(CityTV). Find the Colin and Justin Collection in stores across Canada. Visit

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