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How to Create a Top-Shelf Bar at Home

Suchit Majmudar shares 10 design-savvy items for the happiest of at-home cocktail hours.

Suchit Majmudar’s favorite way to tap into his creative side is by hosting loved ones for drinks and dinner at his Cory-Merrill home—which comes as no surprise given the Denverite’s résumé (he helms Sunday’s Spirits, an independent Japanese spirits company specializing in whisky and sake, and he serves on the board of trustees for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver). “As much as I love art, my ability as a visual artist is nonexistent,” he says. “Where I thrive from a creative perspective is [preparing] food and drinks.”

Suchit Majmudar. Photo by Jeff Nelson

We asked Majmudar to share 10 design-savvy items for the happiest of at-home cocktail hours, though he admits that the secret ingredient isn’t something you can buy. “In Arabic, it’s called nafas, which loosely translates to ‘spirit’ or ‘breath,’” he says. “It’s the je ne sais quoi that makes a drink or meal something you couldn’t get anywhere else.”

1. Sunday’s Whisky. “This is our company’s first product in the United States and our pride and joy. We partnered with 256-year-old Japanese distiller Sasanokawa Shuzo to make a whisky that’s fun and easy to drink.”

2. Bar cart. “A bar cart isn’t critical, but it sure makes at-home cocktail-making more convenient. I love the deep-green color of this option from Visibility, its clean design, and its versatility—it’s suitable as a bar cart or as a trolley for your office supplies or kids’ toys.”

3. Ice bucket. “Ice is a critical part of making the perfect drink, and a nice ice bucket is a practical investment. This black-and-gold one from Pottery Barn is sleek and modern, but will fit nicely into any aesthetic.”

4. Carafe. “Having a couple of carafes of water available for happy-hour guests is always a good idea, especially if the vessels look as good as this version by Research & Design Lab. Your guests will be grateful for the hydration the next morning.”

5. Cocktail napkins. “Atelier Saucier makes napkins from reclaimed fabric in classic materials and fun colors
like navy chambray and blush linen.”

6. Snack bowl. “This resin bowl by Dinosaur Designs is stunning and would be a beautiful way to serve my favorite crunchy bar snacks, including Murray’s Mitica Spanish Cocktail Mix and my homemade spiced and roasted cashews.”

7. Zester. “Little touches like citrus zest or dark-chocolate shavings can really elevate the flavor and presentation of a drink (or food). This citrus zester from Microplane will last a long time and is dishwasher-safe. You’ll wonder why you didn’t buy one a long time ago.”

8. Cocktail book. “It’s awesome that Death & Co’s second location after Manhattan is inside RiNo’s Ramble Hotel. Their book, Death & Co: Classic Modern Cocktails, is a great guide if you want to try your hand at making something complex or simply learn about the history of a classic drink.”

9. Coasters. “I often use vintage coasters that I’ve picked up on trips abroad because they bring back great memories. But if you want to go the luxe route, anything by L’Objet is amazing, including these leopard-print, 24-karat-gold-plated coasters.”

10. Bitters. “The quality of everything from your glassware to your whisky to your mixers makes a big difference in how a drink turns out. These bitters by the Japanese Bitters Co. won’t disappoint: unique flavors, thoughtfully made, and because you use very little at a time, they ought to last forever.”

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