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Essential Cocktail Ingredients to Keep in Your Small Garden Bar

Having a small garden bar means that you might not have much space to keep ingredients for fancy cocktails. Thankfully, there are a few ingredients the feature in several cocktails. This means you won’t waste valuable space on strange spirits you only use once a year. 

These multitasking cocktail ingredients are great space saving supplies for your small garden bar. You’ll be able to wow your friends with your mixology skills, while still being able to offer a variety of gorgeous drinks.

If you haven’t quite got round to investing in a garden bar yet, then what are you waiting for? Get the ball rolling by stocking up on on these cocktail essentials, then get your bar built ASAP. Staying home is the new going out, and so much cheaper than the pub!

Small Garden Bar Essentials

While wine and beer should always be an option to offer your guests, everyone knows a garden bar has one main attraction – homemade cocktails! 

Every small garden bar needs gin

Gin has been having a moment for a year or two now and while a G&T is technically a cocktail, it’s not a particularly exotic one. You might disappoint your guests if you promise exotic drinks and wheel out this. Instead, offer up a honey-sweetened gin cocktail with a hint of lemon. 

Vodka can be anything but bland

Vodka’s lack of flavour is often discussed. Add it to a flavoured mixer, and people who don’t like the taste of alcohol, don’t tend to mind a splash of vodka. This comes in handy for cocktail making, as you don’t have to worry about the alcohol flavour clashing with ingredients. An easy cocktail to rustle up is a White Russian, just get your hands on a coffee liqueur and single cream for a tasty, creamy cocktail. You could also make an espresso martini, if you’re feeling adventurous.

Coffee Liqueurs are a versatile ingredient

Coffee liqueurs feature in a range of cocktails so it’s handy to add a bottle to your shelf of ingredients. I’ve already mentioned a White Russian, but many other popular cocktails involve coffee liqueurs and are simple to make. Definitely an essential ingredient.

Non-Alcoholic Ingredients

You small garden bar needs to consider your tee-total guests too, so non-alcoholic drinks are a must. If you’re trying to save space, buy soft drinks that can be served alone or go into making exquisite cocktails. 

Fruit juices such as cranberry juice, orange and tomato juices can be made into mocktails or hold their own as a drink in their own right. Things like lemon juice or lime juice can jazz up alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks alike. Sparkling water and Indian tonic water are also standard ingredients for cocktails, work as mixers or can be drunk alone.


There’s no point in having exemplary cocktail game if you don’t make your cocktails look good. It’s important to be mindful of the environment, so anything that’s plastic and goes straight into a landfill is a big no-no. Instead invest in metal or glass straws, that can be washed and reused again and again. Throw a half a cup full of crushed ice into every drink you serve, alcoholic or othewise.

If you’re feeling flash, you could also get some special cocktail drinking vessels. Cocktail glasses are always good, but novelty cocktail tumblers are even better. Get an array of cups that look like tropical fruits. Serving a pina colada in a rose gold pineapple cup will impress your guests more than expensive glassware.

Cocktails small garden bar

Seven Essentials to Make Your Small Garden Bar The Place to be

A small garden bar is a real bonus and can be used all year round. Setting up your garden outbuilding as a fully functional bar creates a fantastic place to entertain friends. If space is limited, concentrate on getting the essentials for an authentic bar experience. 

Whether you like to get experimental with cocktails, or beers of the world is more your scene, the devil is in the detail. You small garden bar needs more than just somewhere to sit and something to drink. It needs personality. This list of home pub essentials will take your small garden bar to the next level

7 Essentials for Your Small Garden Bar

Staying in is the new going out so make the most of your garden room by creating the coolest bar in your postcode. Below are 7 essentials to give your at-home bar the perfect finishing touches!

1. A Big Screen is Non-Negotiable

Whether you’re planning on showing a big sporting event or the must-watch finale of your favourite reality show, a bar isn’t complete without a TV. Mount the screen on the wall to save some space, or if you’ve got room, use a projector for a cinema-style experience.

2. Invest in Stylish Furniture

Just because there isn’t a lot of room, doesn’t mean you should skimp on the furniture. Splash out on something to sit on that’s a bit special. Comfort should be priority but it needs to look the part too, so shop around. Bar stools are a given but you might want to consider some folding furniture that can be used outside or in as well. That way, on warm nights you can open your doors and drink in the garden.

3. You Small Garden Bar Needs Fancy Glassware

Cocktails small garden bar

Only amateurs have a one-glass-fits-all policy. Wine shouldn’t be consumed from a pint glass (unless you’ve had a very bad day) and cocktails need to be served in something suitably flamboyant. Invest in a selection of glassware that has something to serve any drink you can dream of.

4. A Wide Selection of Drinks

Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also what differentiates a garden bar from a wine rack. Buy in some of the nation’s favourites (and perhaps a few wild cards) to ensure you’re always serving what your friends are drinking.

5. Bar Snacks Will Go Down a Treat

There’s something about drinking that makes you hungry, and your guests will be grateful there are snacks on the menu. Peanuts, pork scratchings and ready salted crisps are bar staples so try and keep a few packets of each in stock.

6. Show off With a Neon Sign

cocktail sign in small garden bar

Your bar needs a name, and that name needs to be immortalised as a sign. Bona fide bars proudly display neon signs to liven their walls and let the punters know they’re open. Dress up your bar and impress your guests with your bar’s name in neon for that touch of authenticity!

7. Custom Beer Mats are a Great Finishing Touch

Why stop at the sign? Get custom beer mats to proudly display on your bar and prevent those pesky moisture rings from forming. Beer mats make for a great finishing touch for that real bar feel.

best garden rooms for entertaining

How A Small Garden Bar Could Transform Your Parties

Now that the summer is here our minds begin to wander to amazing ideas on how to improve our outdoor areas, how to make our gardens look and feel better and to those warm evening parties. Think barbecues, bunting, outdoor heaters, garden games, solar lighting but have you ever thought about a small garden bar?

Just imagine how your party would be transformed with this addition…

How Could It Be Implemented?

If your garden has the room for it why not build a small garden cabin to accommodate your small bar? This would be a great place to protect it from the elements, to give you the space to store plenty of beverages as well as creating your very own ‘pub’. 

A Pub You Say?

Yes, just imagine it. A room for your small garden bar as well as room for seating, such as a sofa and bar stools, how about a jukebox, fruit machine or even a pool table? Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Your friends could come to their local and bring their own drinks or chip in to help to keep the bar stocked and you could have a great pub evening in the comfort of your own back garden.

What If Space Is Limited?

If your garden is on the smaller side you could install your bar and use a pergola as a cover above. This could be covered in fabric or in creeping plants to provide protection from the rain and to make your bar feel apart of the garden. 

Bringing The Two Areas Together

As I said above, you will want your small garden bar to intertwine with the garden. You don’t want it sticking out like a sore thumb, the two areas have to work together. By this I mean being mindful of the materials you use, choosing the perfect spot, adding plants and decor that complement what you already have in your garden. Making your garden a part of your home takes time, thought and a bit of flair.

women drinking in small garden bar

Theme Ideas

You cannot have a small garden bar without a theme! The first that comes to mind is Hawaiian styling because let’s face it, a summer Luau fits in nicely, doesn’t it? Bright colours, barbecue food, limbo, fun music, lantern torches and plenty of cocktails to bring your friends and family a party to remember. 

Another idea is going for a typical British pub feel with pub benches, large TV, a variety of beers and ales and if your budget allows, maybe even traditional pumps added on?

Or how about a classy cocktail bar? With chalkboard for your extensive menu, tall cocktail glasses, gold, silver and black accessories with a comfortable seating area to relax on.

Lastly, you could opt for a jungle theme. Think jungle drums, jungle juice, vines falling down around the bar area and furniture made from wood and bamboo. 

If Budget Is Tight…

If your budget won’t quite stretch to a cabin or a full bar how about a few of these ideas as alternatives:

  • Homemade bar using pallets
  • A wooden cupboard bar
  • A bar inside a garden bench
  • A converted kitchen workstation
  • Large wooden water butt filled with ice
  • A disused fridge placed inside a wooden frame to provide a homemade ice box
  • Stone barbecue with extra worktop space for your small garden bar

You can come up with some amazingly unique ideas if you start to think outside of the box.

Not only will a small garden bar make your garden far more interesting it will also ‘make’ your parties.

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