Summer is about to give a boost to our outdoor time. And you know what it means: drinking outdoors. And yes, of course, you probably have a few bars and restaurants nearby that will gladly serve you drinks on their terrace – for a price. But why not reduce the expenses related to the consumption of your drink outdoors (and worry about parking or a stroll) by creating your own outdoor bar? Want to seize the summer? Use this guide to create an outdoor bar that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Find Your Place
First, you need to choose a place for your bar. Ideally, it should be somewhere where sun and shade are available. It could mean adding one or two umbrellas, or it could mean placing your bar under a tree, awning or pergola. You want to give yourself options for keeping drinks in the shade but being able to enjoy the warmth of the sun if you wish.
Then look for flat ground. The drinks spill. It is important to have a flat place to configure your bar in order to keep things as stable as possible.
Store Your Outdoor Bar
Now let’s get to the fun stuff! Setting up your outdoor bar can transform your outdoor space, give you more space for entertainment and help you get some vitamin D and fresh air during the temperate months. But you will only use it if you have what you need to make a drink quickly and easily. Here’s what you should gather for a well-stocked bar.
First of all, you are going to need a place to store everything. You can buy a weatherproof bar (like these Wayfair options) if you really want to prepare for success, but a simple serving cart can do the trick. In the end, you just want a place where you can put a few bottles and pitchers without spilling anything.
Storage Space Sheltered From Bad Weather
That said, you have to consider where you will put everything when you are not using your outdoor bar. And, of course, you can pull it all from the inside, but you’re much more likely to use your bar regularly if it’s easy. A small, weatherproof cabinet might be all you need to protect breakable or spillable items when your bar is not in use.
Nobody wants a lukewarm drink. Make sure you have a place where you can keep things cold and where you can grab ice. This could be a mini-fridge, a cooler or even just a bucket that you store with ice when you use your bar. If you opt for the cooler or bucket, consider adding an ice bucket to the mix so you can easily grab clean ice when making a cocktail.
Barware Resistant to Breakage
Even if your outdoor bar is a few meters from your house, it is still exposed to the elements. The wind can destroy even the best prepared plans, especially when the glass is involved. Consider plastic or metal cups to give your bar service some durability (and avoid the hassle of trying to wipe broken glass off uneven exterior surfaces). Moscow mule cups – like those from Crate & Barrel, which come in metallic finishes far beyond standard copper – can be an elegant and durable addition to your bar.
To really get the most out of your bar, you’re going to want to be able to make yourself comfortable. Whether you add bar stools around a high table, Adirondack chairs or a few benches, adding thoughtful seating touches can make all the difference. Outdoor pillows and some disposable blankets (Mexican blankets are ideal for their warmth and durability) can extend the hours of use of your outdoor bar until late in the evening. If your outdoor bar is exposed enough, choose a weatherproof storage space that can hold a basket of these comfort touches to protect and keep them clean.
Lighting and More
Speaking of evening fun in your bar, don’t forget the lighting. There are tons of solar options that keep you from needing electricity in your bar. Citronella candles can add a nice ambient glow and keep parasites away. You have options, but don’t forget to think about how your bar will go from day to night. Because, of course, we all like to socialize during the day on a summer weekend, but most of your bar use will probably fall later in the day.