The moment we felt like we made it in our entertaining life?
When we finally sprung for a bar cart. Yes, it sounds dramatic, but for a crew who loves a good cocktail hour, not having a signature bar cart made it feel like there was a missing piece.
And nothing pulls a party together like a beautiful bar cart except one that’s perfectly organized, so we’re sharing a few pointers for how to make your bar car stand out.
Here are ten tips for styling a gorgeous bar cart.
Choose Your Best Bar Cart
First things first, you need said bar cart to style it. Make sure you get one that fits your taste and litierally fits well in your space. If you plan to put it in a room with many square tables, go for a round or oval-shaped bar cart. If you want it to be a statement piece, go for a modern lucite number or something like this looker.
The only thing we insist upon? That your cart has wheels because a) it’s not really a bar cart without wheels and b) our ultimate entertaining dream has a cocktail party where the bar comes to you!
Even before the team at Pantone declared Greenery the color of the year, we were totally on board. From our office chairs to our vintage ice bucket and vases, we were drawn to this color long ago, which is why our summer bar cart is centered around that very color.
But you don’t need to shop your whole home to make your bar cart stand out. Just pick a central color palette (ours are greenery, copper, and grey) and run with it.
Embrace The Edit
Unless you drink only one cocktail ever, most bar carts likely won’t hold everything you need. Don’t try to fit every bottle you ever bought. Instead, go in with a game plan that works both in terms of visuals and for making a cocktail or three. Just make sure it’s stocked with these bar essentials at a minimum.
Have A Signature Cocktail
Speaking of less is more, we believe the best bar cart is one that revolves around a signature drink (or two) like, say, this Basil Citrus Berry Smash Cocktail.
For more inspiration, check out our picks for Cocktail Party-worthy drinks.
Pair Snacks To Your Cocktail
If you have a party and drinks are involved, you’ll also want to keep your guests well-fed. That’s why you’ll want to have at least one snack on the bar cart so people can mix and munch all night long.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite cocktail party appetizers though you could 100% get a great storebought snack (like the delicious Truffle Pipcorn pictured here), and we’ll never pass any judgment — promise.
Even when the bar cart is not in use, it should be in view. Meaning, it acts as one of the standout pieces in your dining room or living room. Pull out your most unique and/or vintage glassware (we love almost everything from Juliska) and place it on the cart, so it’s on full display.
Soften Up The Surfaces
There are tons of hard surfaces on most bar carts between shakers, muddlers, bottles, and glassware. Counteract all that with some softness, be it in the form of linen cocktail napkins or a vase of delicate flowers.
Boost With Bar Books
Add some height to your shelves by using books to prop up bowls such as ashtrays or catchalls. And, if you’re looking for books that actually serve a purpose (which you should!), we suggest stocking up on a couple of classics: The Bar Book or The PDT Cocktail Book.
Homemade Bar Elements
The number one way to personalize your bar cart is to bring in some homemade bar elements. A few we’re partial to are these Hibiscus Ginger Syrup, this Saffron Cardamom Tincture, or these Orange bitters.
Speaking of personalization, we fully believe any relevant personal tchotchkes (like our vintage Limoges food and wine collection) are another great addition to the cart.
Summery Cocktail Garnishes
Now that you’ve got your bar cart down, check out these summery garnish ideas to make your Happy Hour extra Insta-worthy!
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