For the past few years all I’ve wanted to add to my home was a bar cart. Outside of a pineapple, they’re the best way to signal a warm welcome to your guests. I love how you can decorate them for each season – adding fresh flowers in the spring or a Christmas tree come the holiday season.
Well after months of window shopping for a bar cart, my parent gave me one for Christmas and I didn’t so much as unpack my suitcase when I arrived back in Atlanta until my new bar cart was set up and ready to go. My only requirement for adding the piece into my home was that it had gold hardware and this Better Homes & Gardens cart is perfect and was under $100 – and is currently on sale for $77!
When it comes to decorating your cart, more is more, and the more the better! Have fun experimenting with not only different bottles of alcohol (obviously), but think about mixers, tonics, garnishes, tools, coffee table books, greenery and flowers, glassware and more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to styling your cart, so get those creative juices flowing.
Here are some things to think about:
Can you make a wide variety of cocktails with the alcohol you have on hand? Think about it. Every has their go-to ‘drink’. Make sure vodka, gin, rum and bourbon are on hand. The basic four can get you making some pretty delicious drinks. Have at least a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine on hand too, and always something bubbly for impromptu celebrations. We have tequila on hand too (along with salt and lime😉).
Do you have your drink making tools in your back pocket? When it comes to drink making tools and glasses there are a few things I like to have on hand. Of course you need the basics like a nice bottle opener and a sturdy corkscrew. My tennis racket both opener was another Christmas gift that my mom found antiquing.
I have a great little kit from Target that includes a bar spoon, a jigger, a strainer, and a bottle opener. You need these tools if you plan on entertaining like a pro! While we’re trying to reach ‘pro-status’, make sure to have a cocktail shaker on hand too! For glasses of course, have a few wine glasses, champagne flutes, and rocks glasses ready to go. We even have a few favorite shot glasses for when things get a little crazy. I like to keep a small pitcher on hand too in case we make a batch of a cocktail or decant a little bit of wine.
Are you able to mix things up? Have a few mixers on hand too! Even something as simple as a few seltzers, citrus fruits, and simple syrups can add an entirely new level of depth to the drinks you mix up for your guests. We keep a few different La Croix flavors on hand, lemons, and juices in the fridge for go-to recipes. We also like to keep a few garnishes hanging around the house – anything from a slice of fruit, a few berries, or an herbal garnish makes your bar cart absolutely ready to entertain. Our little basil plan, appropriately named ‘Ginny’ since she was grown in Virginia, adds a touch of green to the cart along with an entirely new flavor to cocktails!
Can you sober friends party too? Lastly, make sure to think about those who don’t drink alcohol. Make sure that you’re the host with the most and have plenty of dry beverages ready to go. In addition to those mixers mentioned earlier, a bit of tonic water mixed with simple syrup and a garnish makes for a delicious mock-tail. Just make sure that all friends feel welcome! La Croix, Topo Chico mineral water, Diet Coke, and lemonade are a few we have on hand. Here’s a great article for non-alcoholic drinks.
Now that we have alcohol and drinks out of the way, let’s shift gears to think about how we make our cart personal to our apartment. First, we have a few books on the cart. I love entertaining, cooking, making drinks – the whole shebang. I keep a few of of my favorite books here to add a little more color and dimension. I also love to keep some sort of greenery around. I have to admit, I use fake flowers because my bar cart actually hides our venting system. I don’t want my vent constantly blowing on my floral arrangements so I sacrificed and settled for pink and white fake flowers. I’ll save my fresh flowers for the kitchen counter and my living room!
Also, think about the space behind your cart! Our cart fits perfectly in front of our cooling vent and although it’s not right against it and we can’t entirely cover it up. I went ahead and found a mirror to hang over the majority of the metal sheeting. My 36×24 mirror from Target fits perfectly and was on sale. What a win! If we need maintenance done, the mirror easily comes down. For some reason, this spot has become the mirror selfie Mecca for before my girlfriends and I grab dinner.
You can always keep things like a lamp, a candle, coasters, beverage napkins, paper straws, and more on your cart. The goal is to make the eye dance and festivity contagious. The combination of different sized bottles, different textures, pops of color, and little knick knacks will guarantee you a spectacular bar cart which is sure to brighten up any entertaining space.