Soon somebody will be telling you that they give you cancer.
There's a ton of electronics and gadgets that you can put in your house to basically turn it into a home of the future, but the first piece of equipment you should tackle are wireless speakers. Music is something that you should have on command anyway at your house anyway without having to rifle through CDs or popping open your laptop and playing a 192 kbps song with commercials. Wireless speakers will make your life easier without you ever having to get off your couch to change the song. Many can sync up to either your phone or Mp3 player effortlessly, so you can pick songs right from wherever you happen to be.
Wireless speakers are something that would come in handy in literally any situation. If you're outside day drinking and playing lawn games you don't have to keep wandering over to your horrible iPod dock to skip songs. If you're laying on your couch hungover and Justin Bieber somehow made his way onto your "Awesome Songs" playlist (you definitely did that when you were drunk, or that's what you'll tell everybody), you can skip it without falling off the couch and throwing up everywhere. Technology is advancing to help you be lazy, advance with it.
TL;DR Music brings people together, so get some wireless speakers so that you don't have to leave them to change the song.
Posted by Atkins under Gear, For Guys
The right barware will make you seem like you know what you're doing even if you don't.
There's a lot of things that you'll need for your apartment or house to make it feel like home, but if you're having some people over for drinks there is some essential barware you'll need. Not only will it make you look more sophisticated but you'll find that having all the right tools all the time will make creating cocktails a hell of a lot easier.
First off you're going to need a cocktail shaker to mix up some drinks. You can either go with the original aluminum cocktail shaker or the Boston cocktail shaker. Personally I like to have both on hand, just because. You'll also need a strainer if you're using the Boston cocktail shaker or regular glasses to mix up some drinks.
Something a lot of people will do when they're making drinks is not measuring out what's actually going into it and a pourer will help with this. A pourer creates a controlled stream that can be counted out to measure, three seconds for a shot. Obviously the amount is going to vary depending on how long your seconds are. If you can't get a hang of this don't be afraid to go with a jigger to measure out your proportions.
Finally you'll absolutely need a bottle opener and a corkscrew. The bottle opener is simple enough but corkscrews come in different variations. Personally I like to have a hand-held lever corkscrew to make things much easier.
Not having the right glasses for the right drinks will also make you look a little foolish. For alcohol-heavy drinks, scotch, and whiskey, you'll want an old fashioned glass. For most of your other drinks that will be ice-heavy you're going to need highball glasses. These will be for drinks like Cape Codders.
That's not the end of your glasses though, you're going to need wine glasses, and there is a difference between white and red wine glasses. White wine glasses traditionally have a smaller bowl with a longer stem while red wine glasses usually have larger bowls. You'll also need champagne glasses for champagne cocktails such as French 75s or bellinis.
In addition to all these you're going to need martini glasses. Martinis come in many different variations other than the original gin and vermouth setup, so knowing how to make a couple is always a good trait.
Obviously there's a little bit that goes into creating a proper bar setup but most of these can be purchased fairly inexpensively. You also don't need to get them all at once, go for what you would use the most first then expand on your collection. Barware hasn't really changed over time so don't be afraid to spend some money as you'll most likely have it for a while.
TL;DR There's a lot that goes into owning the proper barware so take some time to consider what you would need and move up from there.
Posted by Atkins under Gear, For Guys