HOW TO STOCK YOUR FIRST BAR CART FOR UNDER $200
Hosting happy hour at your place? Make it super easy to shake up your signature cocktails like a pro with a properly stocked bar cart. And no need to break the bank -- you can get everything you need to set up your very first bar cart for under $200.
Home Bar Essentials: The Must-Haves
When you’re choosing your bar cart stock, be super selective, since space is at a premium. Get the glassware and tools you need to make your fave beverages all for under $200. Don’t worry about having every gadget or shape of glass out there -- if you start with this list, you’ll be off to a great start.
A perfectly shaken spicy margarita is well within reach when you have the right tools of the trade. And a stainless steel cocktail shaker with a handy strainer will have you shaking up all kinds of creative -- and super-chilled -- concoctions.
Keep a good set of bar tools handy, and you’ll be set for most drink requests that come your way. A proper jigger allows you to measure your pours with precision. And a bar spoon makes mixing a breeze -- you can also use it to make colorful layered cocktails that are sure to impress your friends. Add a muddler to your bar toolset if you love a mojito, old fashioned, or other drinks made from the essence of fresh fruits and herbs.
Low Ball Glasses
If your go-to cocktail is an old fashioned or a whisky on the rocks, you’re going to need a sturdy set of low ball glasses. Also known as old fashioned glasses or rocks glasses, these short tumblers are what you’ll be reaching for when your bestie asks for anything neat, straight, or on the rocks. Low ball glasses are a must-have on your bar cart because of their versatility. You can use them to serve mixed drinks like martinis and margaritas, as well.
The other glass your home bar cart absolutely shouldn’t go without is a highball, aka Collins glass. Highball glasses are designed to be filled to the brim with ice cubes to keep a Bloody Mary or Tom Collins cool. The idea is the more ice, the slower it will melt, the longer your drink will stay cool. Makes sense. This multifunctional glass is also perfect for any cocktail mixed with juice or soda -- or for non-alcoholic beverages.
Is it even a party if there’s no ice? We think not. Whether you use it for chilling your bubbly or to stock your bar cart with plenty of cubes for mixing, shaking, and stirring up something special, an ice bucket is a bar cart essential you’ll use time and again. And when the party is over, your ice bucket will make a gorgeous vase.
How to Style Your Bar Cart
Now that you’ve got your bases covered for under $200, we’re sharing a few tips to style your bar cart so it looks amazing in your living room or kitchen.
Elevate the look of your spirits by storing them in elegant decanters. A bar cart stocked with a collection of decanted liquors gives your home a stylish sophistication. Plus, you’ll feel oh-so-fancy when you serve your friends with the perfect pour of a single malt from a monogrammed decanter.
Trays are your friends for a couple of reasons. They allow you to create zones within your cart for glassware, bottles, or tools, and they keep your bar cart neat and tidy. Trays also add color, texture, and style so you can put your unique stamp on your look.
A touch of greenery or a vibrant bloom will bring your bar cart to life. Sprucing up your bar with an organic element like a faux plant adds a touch of nature and enhances the ambiance of your space.
All eyes will be on your bar cart when you style it with a conversation-starting sculpture, vase, or other decor that speaks to you and your unique sense of style. And the quirkier, the better!
Ready to Stock Your Bar Cart?
Whether you’re hosting your friends or having a quiet night in, having a bar cart stocked with all the essentials makes mixing up your favorite cocktails a cinch. Shop for all the glassware, bar tools, and decor you need to create an at-home bar you love -- and looks great in your space. Start shopping now!