For the modern host, the most essential entertaining must-have of the moment is, of course, a bar cart or cabinet. Not only are bar carts/cabinets functional items perfect for storing your favorite libations, but they are also a fun decorative accessory where you can show off your own unique personality and sense of style. Read on as we break down the top 6 bar essentials you’ll need to ensure you are ready to play host to your friends and family.
1. Basic Liquors
First things first! While a bar cart/cabinet can be fun to style, you need to make sure that you have the items you need for a functioning mini-cocktail station before you get to decorating. While it is smart to include your own liquor preferences, you also need to keep your potential guests in mind. Keeping at least one bottle each of the basics (Gin, Vodka, Whiskey, Tequila, Rum, Brandy) stocked will ensure you’ll always have the base you need for everyone’s favorite drink.
No bar is complete without a good range of mixers to select from when making your guest’s favorite cocktails. It is always a smart idea to have a carton or two of juice on hand, whether it be orange, cranberry, or a mixed tropical punch. And, if you want to get a little fancier, investing in a bottle of bitters, simple syrup, or sour mix (or all 3!) will guarantee a vast range of flavors and tastes for your guests to enjoy.
After you’ve collected your essential cocktail ingredients, you will need a reliable, go-to shaker. It doesn’t matter if you opt for a classic stainless-steel style or a more contemporary acrylic look with gold hardware, it just needs to get the job done!
4. Ice Bucket & Tongs
An ice bucket and tongs set go hand-in-hand with your cocktail shaker. Keeping ice cold and nearby is a must when mixing up your favorite boozy concoctions. Be sure your choice is just as functional as it is stylish, and you’ll be good to go!
5. Appropriate Glassware
To really make your homemade cocktails shine, be sure to serve them in the appropriate piece of glassware! From gin and tonics in a classic highball glass to a vodka martini in, well, a martini glass, your guests are sure to notice your extra effort and will be impressed!
6. Decorative Accessories
It’s finally time for the best part of prepping your bar cart/cabinet for guests — styling it! From a natural lemon/lime display to a selection of metal straws or your favorite cocktail napkin of the moment, the sky is the limit. Here is where you can really let your personality shine for your guests, whether you prefer a sleek minimalist approach or one with a snazzy, 1950’s edge.