Bar Cart Essentials

Let's get one thing clear.  Bloggers like to drink.

Either that or we love the idea of a gorgeous bar that awaits guests at any given time.

I'm not going to lie-I have a fully stocked bar. It isn't styled like I would like, so we'll skip it's picture for today. And you better believe that the moment anyone comes over, that's the first thing they head for-the booze.

I think it really emphasizes to guests that you want them to feel welcome in your home when you have all the fixings for a cocktail readily available.

So today, we're going to walk through the basics of a bar so that your guests can treat themselves in your home.

image via
 We'll start with what your finished product should look like.  Let the dissection begin.

First and foremost, you have to start with a really pretty bar. It can be your classic bar cart (like the one seen below, which is from Target, by the way!), or you can really venture off course like I did and use an unexpected piece of furniture. I used a baby changing table. Weird-I know. But it actually is the PERFECT size for what I needed.
Keep in mind that when you're selecting your bar, you need to remember how much booze you plan to store.  Are you going for a simple look with a few options? That works just as well, but we all have those friends that have their minds made up about what they need to make their favorite cocktail. The idea is to have everything on hand ready to be served. The last thing you want is the classic, "hey do you have any....?" In my opinion, it should all be right there so that means less time for me to have to play bartender.

The next thing to consider are the essentials. These are items like the bar utensils, ice buckets, decanters and glasses.  You don't want to overwhelm the bar with these guys, but if you have the necessities, you should be good to go. Remember, the idea is to make your life easier!

 I really like this ice bucket. It is simple and sleek and there's just something to be said about that. At $30, you really can't beat a deal like that. I also LOVE the look of a crystal ice bucket, but those can be more expensive. If you're on a strict budget, save your funds for the booze-that's what people pay attention to, anyway.
 This copper shaker is to die for. I like the idea of mixing colors and textures when it comes to bar essentials. Go for that collected look. Nothing is worse than a house that looks like you went to a few stores in one day and maxed out your credit card. I've said it before and I'll say it again- the difference between a house and a home are the items inside. A house has the necessities, a home has all the unique items that each have a story. This is the look you're going for!

Ahh the classic wedding registry gift. We all can spot this from a mile away. As cliche as it is, you'll be glad you have it on hand when you're trying to make a fancy schmancy cocktail.  And for all you single ladies out there, who said you have to wait on a wedding to buy yourself a little something fun like this? Go for it!  P.S. You married ladies out there, take note. Your single girlfriends have spent countless dollars on wedding gifts through the years. I can attest to this. There were many times I dined on PB&J's for weeks so that I could buy that $150 dinner plate for my friends.  It wouldn't hurt to give them a little happy like this every now and then. They have to build their kitchens on their own without a registry. You think about that :).
 Let's get some texture up in here. With decanters, you can throw caution to the wind and mix and match. All shapes, sizes and designs look fabulous, if you ask me.


Now you know you can never have enough glasses. The key is to cover your bases. Nothing says you have to have the traditional glasses, but it is nice to have a mix of shapes and sizes. And while you're mixing things up, go ahead and start an eclectic collection. I'm ALWAYS on the lookout for vintage and modern finds. My favorite places to look are Anthropologie, West Elm, World Market & Antique Shops.

Now let's talk about the accessories. You don't walk out of the house without your jewelry, why would you serve cocktails without the fun stuff that goes with it?

For starters, you know you have to have cocktail napkins. If you ask me, a cocktail napkin should not be disposable when you are serving from a fancy bar like this.  Sure, if you're hosting a big party with cheapo wine glasses, go for it. Although, I must say that I truly despise the tacky cocktail napkins with the snarky comments. They are the worst.   I would much prefer to see a nicely pressed, embroidered linen cocktail napkin, like so.
 And if you think you can serve your guests a bunch of delicious drinks without something for them to snack on, you are clearly a novice at this. That's okay, we're going to help you avoid that disaster.  On your bar, you will be so glad to have 1 or 2 small bowls filled with snacks. You can't go wrong with mixed nuts or chocolates.

I actually have the bowl below and I get compliments on it all the time.
 I love this little bottle opener. It is only $6, so go to World Market and stock up on these. They would make for perfect hostess gifts tied around a bottle of wine, just saying.

And there you have it- the essentials of the bar cart. Now, keep in mind you will obviously need to stock your bar with the wine, liquor, mixers, etc. that you like.  I keep a nice selection of red and white wine because most of my girlfriends prefer wine to mixed drinks. 

Also, you'll want to have the following on hand:
-Bourbon or Whiskey
-Tonic Water
-lemons and limes
-any mixers you prefer

Drink up!!


  1. A bar cart is at the top of my "must buy next" list. I'll definitely keep this on hand for when I finally get the chance to style one!


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