The ultimate guide to the perfect bar cart

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‘Tis the season to be jolly…and after the year we’ve had, we could all do with a little extra joy this festive season!

What is synonymous with end-of-year celebrations? Drinks, of course! And for that, we take a look at the humble ( or not so humble) bar cart.

Don’t have the space for a home bar? No problem. Entertain it up with a fully kitted-out (and well-stocked) bar cart! These mini bars have made a major comeback from the 50s and are currently all the rage – and we totally love them.

Besides being the perfect solution for a compact space, they are also super convenient and can be glammed up or toned down to suit your style. Take a look at some of our fave and oh-so fab ideas.

Let it shine!

Whether you love retro or modern - there is a bar cart for every taste and occasion.
Whether you love retro or modern – there is a bar cart for every taste and occasion.

The first step is to choose the perfect spot for your new bar on wheels. Ideally, you want to place your drinks trolley in the space where you socialize most – be it the open-plan kitchen and dining room, the spacious veranda or the cosy lounge.

Next, make sure the space is not too cluttered. You don’t want to squash your drinks trolley into a corner where it will look like an after-thought. If done correctly, it can be a real talking point, so place it in front of a feature wall or by a window where it will receive the attention it deserves.

Let it be an eye-catching statement piece that says “this is where the party is at!”.

Must-haves and trendy tips

Whether you love retro or modern - there is a bar cart for every taste and occasion.
Whether you love retro or modern – there is a bar cart for every taste and occasion.

From a delicate copper drinks trolley to an old-world wooden look or an industrial stainless steel style, whatever you choose, make sure it is practical and spacious.

You want a cart with at least two levels so that you have enough space for those beautiful bottles of gin, brandy and whiskey and sufficient surface area for glasses and accessories.

Remember to add the following basic accessories: a good bottle opener; an ice bucket with tongs; swizzle sticks or other cute cocktail decor and a sharp knife to cut the garnish options.

Everyone loves snacks, so add a bowl of nuts or sweets for a little nibble while you prep and pour the drinks for happy hour.

If you are all about the bachelor pad vibes, take inspiration from The Great Gatsby and give your drinks trolley a sense of sophistication by adding a couple of iconic gentleman accessories.

A low ball or short tumbler is a must for a drinks trolley
A low ball or short tumbler is a must for a drinks trolley

Decant whiskey, cognac and brandy into statement glass containers, add a wooden cigar box, an elegant glass carafe filled with soda water for the friends who like to add soda to their whiskey and a fancy bottle opener.

For a softer touch, add a bowl of luscious lemons, limes or oranges and a mint or rosemary plant in a pot for fresh on-the-go garnish choices.

A vase of stunning flowers is always a hit! Pair them with a couple of fun, brightly coloured glasses or accessories for a perfectly put-together look and feel.

Opt for cute coasters in different shapes, colours and textures and add a book or two with cocktail recipes or bar anecdotes that will entertain your guests.

Sip in style

Invest in a couple of must-have cocktail glasses and add a little garnish to give your drinks that touch of glam.
Invest in a couple of must-have cocktail glasses and add a little garnish to give your drinks that touch of glam.

Go all out on gorgeous glassware and up your bartender skills by learning to serve your drinks in the right glasses. Not only will your friends be impressed, but your drinks will taste that much better too. Different glass shapes and sizes are designed to help release the aromas of various types of alcohol better.

Wine, for example, requires a wider opening to allow the wine to breathe properly. Besides the standard wine and beer glasses, you should also invest in a couple of cocktail and spirit glasses.

We’ve put together some guidelines to help you choose the right glass every time:

  1. The cone: Also known as the Martini glass, this classic cone-shaped glass has a wide mouth and is ideal for cocktails that need a lot of surface area giving you the opportunity to fully enjoy the aroma and taste. Think Martinis or Cosmopolitans.
  2. The high ball: This tall tumbler is perfect for fun cocktails that require various ingredients and a swizzle stick such as a mojito.
  3. The low ball: The short tumbler is perfect for spirits that are served neat or with little to know mixers such as whiskey on the rocks.

Add a retro round tray or a modern rectangular one to your bar cart to neatly display your variety of glasses.

Mix it up – The Eclectic Bar Cart!

Keep things simple with a couple of spirits, glasses and loads of greenery for a minimalist, yet inviting look.
Keep things simple with a couple of spirits, glasses and loads of greenery for a minimalist, yet inviting look.

The beauty of a bar cart is that it is a functional piece that you can change up to suit any occasion.

If you are planning a sexy summer party, roll the cart outside and bring out some pineapples (and a handy pineapple slicer) or watermelon, colourful eco-friendly straws and a large glass dispenser filled with gin-infused ginger lemonade.

Hosting the family for Christmas? Place a gorgeous, glass bowl filled with cinnamon, orange, cranberry and wine punch and add a little Christmas tree next to the glasses, sprinkle some confetti matching your Christmas colours on the trolley and voilà!

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