Nothing beats coming home after a long day to a great drink and a welcoming home. In the process of building the perfect home, constructing a beautiful interior, and picking furniture to match your style and identity, building the perfect bar cart should be no exception. Stock shoving bottle after bottle into the same cupboard, and put your stash to good use as a décor piece in the home. By selecting the right bottles, cart, and flair, a liquor closet put to good use can be come the soiree inducing fixture that living room needed. Here’s how to make it the best it can be.
Find the right cart.
A good bar cart should be a focal point, that draws people together. It doesn’t need to be a big piece, but rather a small, portable table, preferably tiered, that can hold everything the home bartender may need at his or her disposal, glasses, booze, cordials, tumblers, even garnishes. A bar cart should be an elegant piece to compliment any home. Here, two different bar carts offer the same refined, though practical approach, for two very different aesthetics.
Not all bottles are created equal.
Bar carts are not infinite spaces. The curating of bottles should be those that have a great finish to the glass and a well-designed label on the front. Even ones with an interesting glass bottle like Crystal Head vodka can make great additions to classic shapes like Bombay Sapphire gin's look. That said, there’s no need to have bottles on their that will never be touched. If you don’t care for a certain spirit, don’t keep it on there. Though for staple spirits, it’s always a generous gesture to guests to keep some in the cupboard as a back up. As you plan which bottles make it onto your personal top-shelf selections, consider the following elements when designing the look of your cart: bottle shape and size, interesting labels, and the color of the spirit inside. It’s nice to always have a mix of whiskies, gins, rums, vodkas, and cordials. Above all else though, include spirits you will enjoy drinking, because no bottle looks worse than with a layer of dust on it.
Decant tell you enough.
While top shelf booze at the ready is great, there are always the labels and spirits that may not be so high-class, but hold a special, sentimental place in our hearts. If there’s a bottom shelf whisky or flavored vodka your significant other may enjoy (but be a little embarrassed by) there’s no need to get rid of it all together. Having a glass decanter can be a great way to hide that bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum while still having it on hand.
Those in glass houses…
Finding the right glassware is important to completing any cocktail. Having a good mix of highball glasses, old fashioned glasses, and champagne glasses and flutes are important to matching the right cocktail to the right drink. Glasses should also go on the middle or lower tier of any bar cart, away from the bottles and covered from any spills or drippings from the flight above.
A little extra.
Cordials, or liqueurs, are an important fixture in any bar cart. With hundreds of different options, one more specific than the next, stocking a bar with cordials means knowing one’s own tastes enough to not oversaturate the bar. Like White Russians? Be sure to have Kahlua. Cosmopolitans? Have some triple sec ready to go. These bottles are also filled with sugar though, and a little goes a long way. Be sure to be careful when pouring unless you’re ready to unload everything to wipe the cart down.
…and Jack came tumbling after.
The final, and most important piece to a bar cart, is having a solid tumbler or two at the station. For any cocktails that require a good shaking, having a few metal tumbler is important to not need to be running back and forth to rinse out.