How to

Set Up Your Bar Cart

5 Ways to Keep Your Summer Going

Move from cocktail hour in the entryway to a nightcap in the living room with a bar cart that suits your style. Bar carts can live in any size home, but they are especially handy in small spaces or kitchens without ample storage. And if you don’t care to imbibe, they can function as a coffee or sundae bar instead. Here’s how to style one you’ll love year-round.


Your bar cart should complement the look of your home, whether it’s modern, traditional, rustic or uniquely your own. Then, think about how you plan to stock it. Some have multiple shelves for glassware, some have designated spots for tools. Keep the height of your favorite bottles in mind – surely, you’ll want them to fit! Choose one with wheels if you entertain in various rooms.


Is your drink best served chilled? (If you’re having champagne, it definitely is.) Before cocktail hour, situate your bubbles in an ice bucket. When you’re not entertaining, a chic bucket can pull double duty as a vase.


Next, you’ll need a few gadgets. Proper bar tools let you measure, muddle, shake and stir with ease. You’ll need a jigger to measure your pours, a muddler to mash fruits and herbs, a shaker and strainer to mix things up, and a bar spoon if you prefer stirred over shaken. Choose glasses with your initials, or get them monogrammed, to infuse a personal touch.


Make your bar cart sparkle by proudly displaying your favorite glassware. Keep things dainty with stemware or handsome with rough-hewn glass, and fill up a decanter with a special spirit. Since you’re not working with a lot of space, prioritize what you drink most. If you gravitate towards cocktails, have a set of two short glasses, a tall glasses and stemmed glasses on hand (think highballs, double old-fashioneds and martini glasses). If you prefer beer or wine, go for sets of craft beer glasses, white wine glasses and red wine glasses.


Here’s where your bar cart can really reflect your style. From trays and sculptures to vases and votives, small accents can go a long way. Looking for inspiration? Not only do they look good, but recipe books can help you perfect your next signature cocktail. Stack them horizontally a few high, and set a cup of straws or fruit wedges on top.