As craft cocktails continue to grace the drink lists of more and more menus across the country, stylish bar carts filled with craft liquors and unique ingredients are rising in popularity as well. Today we're going to share what we consider to be the essential components of every good bar cart.
It’s not as difficult as you might think to create a functional bar cart that can also act as an attractive focal point in your space. So here goes.
First, let's chat briefly about the cart itself. There are endless options available online. Choose a piece that suits your needs; if you have a large booze collection, select a cart with different shelves or levels. If your home tends to err on the side of cluttered, consider choosing a piece with a drawer or two. And don’t hesitate to think outside of the box – I used a small shelving unit, pictured above.
Next, let's stock the bar. As a general rule, any good bar cart has one of each of the major types of hard liquor, as well as a few cordials and liqueurs. It’s also important to have a few mixers on hand.
Here is my list of must-haves:
- Vodka [I like Tito’s]
- Whiskey [B&E is a great choice]
- Scotch [Try Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Year]
- Gin [My favorite is called No. 3]
- Tequila [Go for Corzo]
- Light Rum [Cruzan is my personal preferance]
- Spiced Rum [Sailor Jerry’s is a popular choice]
Now let's pick a few liqueurs for your collection:
- Cointreau [Great for Cosmos]
- St. Germain [A versatile one made of elderflower]
- Canton [Ginger flavored, comes in a cool-looking bottle]
- Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur [Dark cherry liqueur]
Next, you will need to get some mixers. Below are a few that I like to keep on hand:
- Gosling’s Ginger Beer
- Soda Water
- Cranberry Juice
- Orange Juice
Lemons and limes are crucial too; no bar would be complete without citrus. Try displaying them front and center in a bowl or vase. Bitters are also a popular component these days; in my arsenal, I have:
- Angostura Bitters
- Orange Bitters
- Grapefruit Bitters
Now that we've covered all the major elements of our bar cart, let's get down to the nitty-gritty details. You'll need glassware and tools. I would suggest keeping a few wine glasses, some highball glasses and a couple of rocks glasses in your cart so you don't have to go digging for the correct vessel. Mason jars could also be a fun alternative if you'd like to indulge your hipster side. Now, onto tools. Here is what I would suggest:
- Cocktail shaker
- Bottle opener
- Cocktail strainer
- Ice bucket
For a finishing touch, place a vase of flowers on the top of your bar cart to add a decorative element. Because who doesn't love fresh flowers?
And that’s it! Now you're well on your way to becoming a mixologist. Do you have any favorite types of alcohol that you like to keep on hand? Be sure to share with us in the comments section below.