Finn recommends choosing a bar cart that is reflective of your personality and entertaining style. Are you someone who prefers a classic piece, or are you leaning toward modern or retro vibes? Think of the cart as you would a bookcase, dining room table or credenza—it’s a focal point that evolves through the seasons.
PLAY DRESS UP
Now that you have your cart picked out, it’s time to have a little fun. “I encourage seeking out one or two vintage pieces that you love and can be changed with the seasons or occasion,” Finn says. Add fun touches to display like flowers in a special vase, cocktail books, small framed photos and even holiday decorations.
Incorporate color and texture with cocktail napkins, coasters, a bar towel and small plates for garnishes such as olives, cherries and nuts.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
Be sure to have Champagne flutes, coupes, martini glasses, highball tumbers, double old fashioned glasses and shot glasses on-hand. Not all glassware needs to look alike; have fun mixing and matching. An ice bucket that can double as a Champagne chiller is also ideal, Finn says, as well as a cocktail shaker.
As for tools, stock up on the following: a corkscrew, muddler, stirrer, strainer, jigger, swizzle sticks and tongs. They can be displayed in a glass cocktail shaker. Additional items for occasion-based entertaining include copper Moscow Mule mugs and margarita glasses.
You can’t have a bar cart without the important stuff: the alcohol. It’s smart to stock up on the basics, including gin, vodka, whiskey and tequila. Fun additions such as bitters and liqueurs, like vermouth and triple sec, are needed for mixed cocktails.
Finn advises being honest about drinking habits, as to stock your cart accordingly. “If you love mixology and the cocktail creation ritual, you will stock your cart to reflect your tastes and interests,” she says. “If you host a Prosecco party every weekend, but never touch the hard stuff, your cart will be stocked to reflect your bubbly personality.”
Finn’s pro tip: If you’re traveling, bring home a special liqueur to display (many of which are available duty-free), or purchase a local brand that will remind you of your trip days after returning.
For those who are looking to purchase a bar cart completely styled, Pernod Ricard USA, the world’s co-leader in the creation and distribution of distilled spirits, wines and Champagnes, has launched its Prestige bar cart. The fully stocked cart arrives with Prestige collection crystal glassware, spirits, Champagne and bartender-approved tools—no conceptualization needed; $2,400; available at reservebar.com