How To Style The Perfect Bar For Wine Nights

Richie Cruz, proprietor at Pinoytender Management Consultancy and beverage trainer at Holland America line, tells us how to set up a home saloon

Original Article: Katherine Lopez and Tala Singson Photography: Michael Angelo Chua and (Main Photo)

A bar is more than just a place to store liquor—it’s a go-to serving station for entertaining and a focal point of decor on regular days. Whether you have one at home or you're still planning to add a nook, keep in mind that you also need to style it as you would any other part of your space. To help you get started, here are some helpful tips and must-haves: 

What’s the easiest way to organize bottles and bar ware?

Organize bottles by category or classification—rum, gin, vodka, tequila, whisky, brandy, liqueurs, red and white wine, champagne, beers. If you have shelving with more than two tiers, arrange your bottles according to call brand and premium brand. Group glasses according to use—for red wine, white wine, and champagne.” 

Can we set up a bar in a small home?

Yes, with proper storage. If the bar is just for hosting a small group of friends, a one-by-one-meter space would do. You will need an ergonomically designed bar that should have enough cabinets or shelves. The back bar should also have enough space for all your bottles. For a small bar, have a maximum of twenty bottles.” 

How can I clutter-proof my bar?

Keep it simple and make a cleaning schedule. Remember that this is a home bar—no stress. Your main objective when you go here is to relax. Check and wipe your bottles down once a day, clean your bar area once a week, and always clean as you go.” 


  • Jigger: For measuring liquid.
  • Bar Spoon: For stirring liquid ingredients.
  • Three-piece Cocktail Shaker: For mixing heavy syrups.
  • Pourer: Placed at the tip of bottles to control the flow of liquid.
  • Ice shovel: “I recommend a Rubbermaid brand that is eight ounce per scoop.”
  • Bar Caddy: “This is where you place your napkins and straws, as well as coasters.”
  • Muddler: Used to extract juices from fruits and veggies by pressing gently.
  • Citrus Squeezer: Used for juicing lemon, lime and orange.
  • Bar Strainer: “To fine strain liquid so that pulps and shards of ice will not be included in the cocktail.”
  • Spill-stop Rubber Mat: Placed at the counter.
  • Garnish Caddy: “For sliced fruits and vegetables for garnishing.”
  • Chopping Board and Paring Knife: Used to slice fruits and vegetables.
  • Blender: “To produce smoothies or to incorporate ice into other ingredients.”




  • U.P. Town Center, 216 Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City


Crate and Barrel

  • SM Megamall, EDSA corner Julia Vargas street, Mandaluyong City


The Landmark

  • Ayala Center, Makati Avenue, Makati City

Read the original article ("Cooking Essentials") from the RL Notebook in the November 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

More on

Create a Home Bar in 5 Easy Steps

5 Bar Styling Ideas For Those Who Love To Entertain

3 Ways to Organize Your Home Bar


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