We appreciate a great cocktail bar, but we're enamored with the home bar. It's a place of celebration, a source of solace after a long day, and each one unique to its tender. We're starting a feature to take a look at home bars - with an eye for the personal touches and rituals. We're kicking it off with Liber & Co. co-founder, Chris Harrison.
This is a bar that's well curated and well used.
Chris and his partner, Juliet, built their bar when they were unable to find a piece at the proper height that had enough shelving to house their combined collections of glassware, tools, and liquor.
Chris often tests recipes for new syrups at home and they both like to entertain, so Chris created a bar that's open and easy to use. And that Budweiser sign? It used to hang in Juliet's great-grandfather's pharmacy in Portland, ME.
A good bar needs the right tools, in which they've invested. 14 bottles of bitters and counting! Beyond the basics like shakers and jiggers, we spied a hand-crank ice crusher, two coconut shells for tiki drinks, a soda siphon and a box of small, antique muddlers. One piece that we'd recommend for anyone growing their home bar, is a rubber bar mat. It catches any liquid spills and is easy to clean.
A lot of their glassware was inherited - like the antique punch set and crystal goblets. Chris has also found a bit of glassware in thrift stores and antique shops. Not pictured, are the many ice trays, cocktail recipe books, and refrigerator shelves of Liber & Co. syrups and fortified wines.
Chris boasts an extensive liquor collection, with an entire shelf dedicated just to rum/rhum. Many spirits are from craft distilleries in the Austin area and places they've traveled. There's even a bottle of a homemade anisette.
It's easy to see Chris's love of the craft in his bar, not just in the extent and detail of his collection, but in that every piece of his collection is actually used. This is a bar of a nightly happy hour, where the release from the day isn't in the drink but in the actions of making one.