Essentials for a stocked bar cart

Cocktail hour is back – and so is the bar cart. And there’s nothing quite as versatile. These chic little accent pieces bring mega glamour and a portable party to any room in your home, indoors or out. Keep it stocked with the essentials, so you can offer up a cocktail at a moment’s notice.

Glassware

Outfit your cart with the most commonly used glassware. Rely on basic shapes that can pull double duty, such as all-purpose wine glasses and coupes that work for martinis and champagne.

□   Wine glasses
□   Lowball glasses
□   Highball glasses
□   Coupes

Barware

Of course, you’ll need the right bar tools to make a proper drink. Stick to these basics, and you’ll be prepared for your next cocktail party.

□   Corkscrew
□   Shaker/strainer
□   Jigger
□   Muddler
□   Drink stirrers or bar spoon
□   Ice bucket

Alcohol

A compact bar cart is not meant to be a full bar, so keep it simple. Your alcoholic selection is going to depend entirely on your preference and the occasion. For liquor, try starting with vodka and/or gin and a dark liquor, such as whiskey, bourbon or scotch. Choose two or three cocktails and provide the necessary ingredients, which may include a liqueur, vermouth or bitters.

□   Gin/Vodka
□   Whiskey
□   Liqueur
□   Vermouth
□   Bitters
□   Wine/champagne

Mixers

Club soda and tonic water should be employed in your everyday stock. For parties, include any soda (such as ginger beer or cola) or fruit juice that’s needed for your cocktail selections. Remember to include non-alcoholic options for guests who aren’t drinking, such as sparkling water or soda.

□   Club soda
□   Tonic water
□   Sparkling water
□   Soda
□   Fruit juice

Garnishes (for the party)

Don’t forget the finishing touch that adds visual appeal and a splash of flavor to any cocktail. Again, your garnishes will depend on what you plan to make (if it’s brunch, you’re going to need celery and salt for those Bloody Marys), but the basics below work for most cocktails.

□   Ice
□   Lemon wedges
□   Lime wedges
□   Olives
□   Maraschino cherries

Extras

Styling your bar cart is almost as fun as the party. Make a pretty presentation – and an entertaining statement in your décor.

□   Trays
□   Baskets
□   Cocktail napkins
□   Coasters
□   Serving bottle
□   Pitchers

Download a printable version of this Bar Cart Checklist, and get your party started! Browse our drinkware and serving products, or find cocktail inspiration by following our Pinterest board!