The world of cocktails and especially craft cocktails has been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason! With bartenders flocking to social media to show off their cocktail skills, be it mixing unique flavour combinations or using high quality ingredients or just showing off their favourite drinks, social media has transformed the way we enjoy and look at the cocktails we drink. But what if we didn't need to go to cool bars and lounges to experience these drinks? What if we could recreate it in the comfort of our own home?
Well with the growing trend of home bars and mini kegs, it's now easier than ever to recreate your favourite drinks at home. In this article, we'll look at the things your need to consider when building your own bar for craft cocktails, making sure that you'll be the envy of your friends and family.
Which Keg is Best For You?:
First things first, you have to choose the right sized keg system! When it comes to home keg bars, iKegger offers a range of mini keg sizes to suit your space and needs. Let's look at the differentiKegger keg sizesavailable:
2L iKegger Kegs: Our 2L kegs are a great starting option and perfect for those who have limited space or need a more compact option. These kegs are small, portable and easy to move round. They're also ideal for experimenting with different cocktail recipes, trying weird and wild flavour combinations and even just serving individual craft cocktails. Even with their smaller size, they still provide all the convenience and fun of a draft system, allowing you to pour and serve your cocktails on tap.
4L iKegger Kegs: Our 4L kegs are the ideal balance between portability and capacity. These kegs while still being quite compact offer more space for your delicious craft cocktails, making them perfect for small gatherings or when you want to be able to show off your mixology skills and have a variety of different drinks on tap.
5L iKegger Kegs: Our 5L kegs are our most popular choice when it comes to home keg bars. They're the perfect size for larger gatherings and parties as these kegs strike a great balance between size and quanitiy. There's more than enough space in these 5L kegs to store large batches of cocktails to make sure you and your guests never run out.
10L iKegger Kegs: Our 10L kegs are the perfect option if you have the space and love to entertain. With the largest capacity, these kegs will make sure you and your guests never go thirsty with the ability to serve a substantial amount before needing to be refilled. These kegs are brilliant for large scale hosting events or parties.
When choosing the keg size, it's important to consider the available space in your home keg bar area. Make sure that the kegs fit comfortably within your space and allow for easy access and maintenance. It's also good to think about the amount of cocktails you and your guests drink, as well as the frequency of keg changes. Our smaller kegs, such as the 2L and 4L options, are great for personal use or smaller gatherings, while the 5L and 10L kegs are better for larger groups or more frequent hosting.
Designing Your Bar Space:
Okay now, let's dive into designing your bar space and create an inviting and functional area for your keg bar and craft cocktails. Consider the following aspects when designing your bar space:
Layout and Flow:
Before we get into aesthetics and style, we need to make sure our space is functional. Assess the space available and determine the layout that best suits your needs. It's important to think about the flow of movement, making sure that there is enough space for your keg system! This includes space for your kegs, gas sources and any connections you may need, but also the placement for extra ingredients, garnishes and glassware.
Aesthetics and Style:
Now you can make everything fit to your style and taste! Whether you prefer a modern sleek bar or a vintage pub vibe, remember to incorporate different elements such as lighting and decor that match with your theme. And don't forget the bar stools!
Storage and Organization:
Storage and organization are essential for a well-functioning bar space. Add cabinets, shelves, or dedicated storage areas to keep your cocktail ingredients, tools, and glassware neatly organized and easily accessible. Use clear containers or labels to identify ingredients and ensure everything is within reach when you're mixing and serving cocktails. Think about adding a fridge to store your kegs in (often called a kegerator) to keep them cold and your perishable ingredients to keep them fresh.
By thinking about and carefully designing your bar space, you can create an environment that not only showcases your home bar and craft cocktails but also provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience for yourself and your guests.
Selecting the Right Gas: CO2 vs. Nitrogen
When setting up your keg bar for craft cocktails, it's essential to choose the right gas for carbonation and dispensing. The two most common gases used in keg systems are Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Nitrogen (N2).
Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
CO2 is the most widely used gas for keg systems, and it's commonly used for carbonating and dispensing beverages. It provides the carbonation needed to give your cocktails that delightful effervescence. CO2 is ideal for carbonated drinks like soft drinks, sparkling water, and carbonated cocktails, creating the small bubbles you know while giving your cocktails a lively and refreshing quality. CO2 is also necessary for creating pressure in the keg to push the liquid out when serving.
Nitrogen can enhance the serving experience of certain cocktails. Unlike CO2, nitrogen doesn't contribute to carbonation. Instead, it is used to create a smooth, creamy texture and thick mouthfeel, perfect for Espresso Martinis or French Martinis.
It's important to note that some keg systems and tap setups are specifically designed for either CO2 or Nitrogen. So make sure your chosen keg system supports the gas you intend to use. The iKegger 2.0 Regulator works with both gas types. Makes sure that you always follow safety guidelines and proper gas handling procedures to ensure a safe and enjoyable keg bar experience.
Dispensing and Serving:
You've got your keg setup sorted, your bar is looking great, but how are you going to dispense and serve your delicious craft cocktails? Time to meet the tap font or tap tower. A tap fontis the visible part of the dispensing system that sits on top of your bar and allows you to pour your cocktails. Tap fonts can come with one tap or even multiple taps, allowing you to serve different cocktails simultaneously. This is especially useful as each tap can be connected to a different keg, allowing you to serve a variety of different cocktails, letting you show off your mixology skills.
Make sure that your tap font is properly cleaned and maintained by regularly checking for any leaks or issues with the dispensing system, and make adjustments as needed. Keeping your tap font in good condition will ensure an enjoyable cocktail pouring experience.
Building your own keg bar for cocktails brings all the excitement and creativity of your favourite bars, lounges or even social media bartenders into the comfort of your own home. By choosing the right keg size, thinking about what you want your home bar to look like and crafting the perfect space you'll be well on your way to impressing your friends and family and showcasing your own craft cocktail skills.
So cheers, and welcome to the world of cocktails on tap, right at home!
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