This Drink is on Me

I love having parties and I'm really looking forward to finally having enough room to entertain for more than 10 people at a time (and that was only possible during the summer when we would cram everyone into our outdoor space).  Perhaps it has to do with part of my inner 'hostess with the mostest', but there is something quite chic about having a beautiful spot to display all of your bar items so that you will always be prepared to make that martini for an unexpected guest (or the many drinks for those expected ones).

I started dreaming about bar carts about 5 years ago when we bought our apartment in Brooklyn.  Alas, there wasn't a great space for one.  I made due with a tray with a few of my favorite Nambe glasses and a pretty decanter, which usually held whiskey or scotch, but also housed an occasional rum or bourbon.

Tray in lieu of much wanted bar cart in our old apartment

Tray from a distance

Now that we'll have more space, here are a few of my favs:

Jan Showers Harrison bar cart via South Shore Decorating blog

Arteriors Emory Bar Cart at Horchow

Lucite bar cart in designer Cynthia Rowley's home. I love lucite!

Image via Matchbook Magazine

An oldie but goodie from Restoration Hardware. Wish they still had this one. :(

Bar cart from Restoration Hardware

Another classic from Restoration Hardware:

Hanover Bar Cart from Restoration Hardware
 (unfortunately no longer available- RH please bring it back!)

Here's the Hanover again. Love it!

Hanover bar cart from Restoration Hardware Image via Veranda

Classic and well stocked:

Bar cart of Deborah Needleman in Lonny magazine

Pretty in Pink!

The Double from Society Social

So pretty! Love the glassware, fresh flowers, pitcher and champagne!

Bar cart of Jennifer Boles- via Atlanta Homes magazine

Clean lines. Not cluttered. Love the black and white.

Image via Everything Fabulous

Your bar cart should always be well stocked.  Here are some of the essentials: 
Tonic and/or seltzer
Sparkling water
Lemon & lime wedges
 (wedges are better than slices as they are easier to squeeze into your drink.
you can use slices for decoration, but make sure you have wedges.)

Cocktail napkins
Bottle opener
Cork Screw
Pretty Ice Bucket with Tongs
Glasses-wine, champagne, double old-fashioned, high ball and martini
(of course you can get by without ALL of these)

Dry Vermouth

Bottle of red, white and dessert wine

Always have a bottle of champagne chilled for impromptu celebrations and beer for your friends that aren't into cocktails.

Some other bar tools you might need:

Jigger – Used for measuring liquor
Muddler – Used to crush seasonings and fruits in the glass (great for mojitos)
Strainer- Good for straining out ice, herbs and fruit that you don't want in your drink

Some accessories for your bar:

Pottery Barn Cocktail shaker

Pottery Barn bar tool set

Using a pretty tray on your bar cart for your favorite glasses gives your bar a cohesive and uncluttered feel:

Pottery Barn Speakeasy Tray

Pottery Barn Hotel Silver-Plated Tray

For you specialty drink makers out there (Mike), any other suggestions for additions to my bar?

Check out my cocktails board on Pinterest {here}.
I put a bunch of carts on there (one was even as low as $65) for your viewing and buying pleasure.
I also put a few cocktail recipes on there.

Let me know what you think.  Looking forward to hearing from you!
Thanks for stopping by.



  1. Mike says that he's all over this request. We'll come up with a signature cocktail for you too.

  2. I like your start. But I think you need a few additions for the bar. Sweet vermouth is my preference for Manhattans. I recommend getting a bottle of Luxardo. It's a great marischino liqueur and integral to my summer favorite, The Aviation. It's perfect drink on a hot summer night (or a foggy SF one).

    My Aviation Recipe:
    2 parts gin (a nice herbal one, I prefer Anchor's Junipero Gin)
    1 part Luxardo
    1 part Lemon Juice
    1 part Tonic Water

  3. I would also recommend keeping a nice tequila (like Don Julio) or mescal on hand. You never know when you may need a Bloody Maria. It is, in my opinion, infinitely superior to the Bloody Mary.

  4. As you may note my above recipe adds tonic to the usual aviation, which makes it easier to sip. It has been dubbed by my wife, the GTL (for gin, tonic, Luxardo) aka The Jersey Shore. To make a Jersey Shore, shake the gin, Luxardo and lemon juice, pour into a chilled glass and ad the tonic.


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