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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Celebrate with drinks on the house

Do you fancy a drink James Bond style - shaken and not stirred? Or want to imagine your on the deck of a luxury cruise ship drinking champagne? Sip it and meditate over the future or get nostalgic about the past. Either way, having a bar at home might appeal to your finer instincts and get your imagination going as well!

Putting together a shot of whisky over rocks after a hard day at work is such bliss. It’s also easier to put together. Besides, if you don’t know how to mix your martini with a twist of lemon, then there are a lot of websites that come to your rescue.

But what’s a lot harder is how do you find the space in your home to put a bar in, in the first place. With homes being priced by the precious square feet parameter, every corner of a home is utilized to the utmost. So, putting together an elaborate bar is not an option for many people. But, if you are the type who frequently entertains, then you simply can’t do without one.

If space constraints and a tight budget are what’s keeping you from becoming popular with your boss and colleagues, then fear not, there are cheaper and innovative options for you.

First, use space inventively. All architects will tell you this, that a corner that can’t accommodate any huge piece of furniture, could be used to install a recessed bar. A niche in the wall with a simple pane of frosted glass can be just as effective as anything more showy.

A trolley, the kind that some people use to wheel in breakfast- in-bed or on which they have snacks, while watching a movie at home with friends, well, this is just perfect to be wheeled around your apartment, as and when needed, and after use, it can be tucked in neatly into a corner.

An architect, Shilpa Kushe says she had space constraints in her own home, so she got a counter made, on top of which she’s put a lamp and some knick knacks. But when guests come over, the counter-top is cleared off, the lamp is turned on and out comes the bar – from the open corner of the counter.

She’s fixed it so snugly into the corner that it looks like a solid chunk – a closed floor to waist level cabinet. But when you pull out the trolley, it comes out smoothly on castor wheels - out of the side of the unit. A clever use of space and she has a custom-made piece of furniture, that she can use for various purposes. She says, any carpenter can make this within Rs 3,000 - Rs 5,000.

Again, this is for those on a very lean budget. Using materials that are easy to wash or wipe clean and something that is scratch resistant, should be the first priority. Using wood is a good idea but just a polished granite slab or a marble top will give an ordinary counter, a classy feel.

Kushe has another option for people who don’t want to hunt for a carpenter and then shop for materials. She told moneycontrol, “Stores like Bombay Stores have readymade wine racks that are small enough to be put on a dining table or even a kitchen counter. This isn’t a bar but it serves the purpose of keeping your wine in an accessible place, rather than in the back of a cupboard.”

“Also with all the glassware being in the kitchen. The portable rack can be put right next to it. So, you have everything within easy reach. Though, this will keep the liquor out of sight of guests and may tie you down away from the fun, but then you can give guests access to your kitchen and let them help themselves.”

Actually, that won’t be such a bad idea at all. Ofcourse, plan on spending a little more on keeping a well stocked selection of drinks. It doesn't have to be vintage wines or aged cognac because these don't come cheap. But all the same, there are Indian brands like Sula Wines and Indage, that are producing good white, red and sparkling wines. Buy your labels sensibly.

With such abandoned access to free liquor, your guests won’t mind mixing their own cocktails. You might also win approval for being such a free and generous spirit!

Written for www.moneycontrol.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Manali

Written Path has taken a sky-blue tinge which makes me think it is a walk in the clouds.. Is it :)