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BarCart Basics

I don't know if I've just delved too far into the "mid-century modern" hype or if I just secretly want to be Emily Gilmore, but having a fully stocked, well organized bar cart in my home is definitely pretty far up the wish list. Being in your 20s is a time full of discovery, where trying new cocktails and accumulating a collection of various vintage glasses, specific to each type of drink, of course, is just part of the fun. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. So I've set out to fully understand, & hopefully help you along the way, the best way to put together a bar cart to become hostess-with-the-mostess.

Step 01: Supplies

There are 2 kinds of supplies you will need in order to put together your bar cart. The first is barware, & the second is spirits, mixers, & garnishes. We are going to go over both in detail.

Bar Cart:

Obviously, you will need to choose a bar cart. There are aspects of each, of the three I have chosen, that make them ideal. Unless you are going to limit the options available on your cart, I would recommend getting one that is large enough to hold all that needs to go on it without being too crowded and still gives room for someone to make a drink comfortably.


So I am certainly not an expert, but I do know that different drinks go in different glasses. Also, there are SO MANY pretty options. Look at thrift or antique stores to find really unique glasses. Also, think about the kind of drinks you want to offer. Do you regularly have wine with your girl friends or do you prefer making cocktails? This will determine the kind of glasses you will want to keep handy.

04. Coupe Glass (for cocktails or champagne)

05. Low Ball (used for drinks served on ice or cocktails that require muddling)


There a lots of tools you can keep handy so you or your guests can make their favorite cocktail. They aren't all necessary but having a few or most is handy!

08. Ice Bucket with tongs (handy for drinks that needs to be served over ice or shaken)

09. Bar Tools (this set is great because it allows for more space on the cart because of the stand, for an in depth look at the purpose of each tool, I recommend checking out this article

10. Shaker

11. Pitcher (it's a good idea to keep some water available)

12. Bar Spoon (for drinks that need to be stirred)

13. Cake Stand (having precut lemon & lime slices, oranges, or other garnishes commonly used in drinks display on a cake stand, cute bowl, or cutting board is a great idea)

14. Decanter (these are a sure fire way to step up your bar cart game, keep your wine or other spirits in them that don't require refrigeration)

Step 02: Spirits

You can take one of two routes when it comes to stocking the spirits you will provide on your bar cart. You can provide a few things that makes your favorite drinks or have a a solid supply of all the basics. The general spirits to include are: vodka, rum, gin, bourbon-scotch-or whiskey, tequila, dry or sweet vermouth, brandy, and triple sec or grand mariner, compari, a red wine, & a white wine.

Step 03: Bitters & Mixers

This is where I start to get a little intimidated & let my bartender friends take over. However, just for basics, it's good to have a citrus flavored bitters, an aromatic bitters, & a fun one like lavender. Also, handy mixers are triple sec, ginger beer, carbonated water, fruit juices, & Coke.

Step 04: Garnishes

This is the fun part. Having pre-washed and pre-cut citrus and herbs out for your guests is a great & easy way for them to make their drinks.

And there you have it! Throw in a small vase of fresh flowers and some cute drink napkins, & we are on our way!



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