David A. Land
Suggestions for liquor starters:
- London dry gin
- Bourbon, rye and Irish whiskey
- Blended Scotch
- Silver tequila
- White rum
“If you need to choose one whiskey, bourbon is the most versatile.”
Mix ’em up. Once you’ve rounded up the liquor, it’s time to fill in with a few additional items.
- Club soda
- Ginger ale
- Angostura bitters
- Orange bitters
- Simple syrup
- Dry and sweet vermouth
- Lemons, limes and oranges
“People appreciate drinks made with fresh-squeezed juices as opposed to something like sour mix. It’s a little bit of effort that goes a long way.”
The right glasses
These three options will cover your bases nicely:
- Rocks glasses
- Coupe glasses
- Highball glasses
“The art of the bar cart is simplicity—it’s like going on a road trip in a compact car. Focus on economy and convenience.”
Step your game up
To achieve master mixologist status, bear in mind:
- For killer Moscow Mules, you’ll need ginger beer, copper mugs and stirring rods.
- Refreshing spritzers require Campari, Aperol and Prosecco.
- When only a Cosmo or Margarita will do, reach for Cointreau or Triple Sec.
The tools you need
Equip your cart with this set of basic tools:
- Cocktail shaker
- Wine key
- Bar spoon
- Ice bucket
- Hawthorne strainer
- Citrus peeler
“A bar cart is not complete without a beautiful cocktail shaker.” It’s a standout piece, so go ahead and splurge.
More bar cart options
Libations Carbon Bar Cart, crateandbarrel.com, $599
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel
Barrister’s Butler Tray Table, wayfair.com, $440
Bennett Bar Cart in Teal, wayfair.com, $129
Courtesy of Wayfair
Roar + Rabbit Bar Cart, westelm.com, $499
Courtesy of West Elm
Acrylic Bar Cart, worldmarket.com, $200
Courtesy of World Market
Moscow Mule recipe
A Moscow Mule in a gorgeous copper mug? Yes, please! Trendy initially, now very much here to stay.
In a copper mug, stir 1 1/2 ounces vodka, 1/2 cup ginger beer and 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and a mint sprig. Leave in the stirring rod for a decorative touch.
Cocktail cherries recipe
Homemade are night-and-day different from the jarred variety. Making them from scratch connotes connoisseur-type class yet requires minimal effort. (Besides being cocktail-worthy, these are AMAZING on ice cream.)
In a small pot, stir 1 cup each sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in 1/4 cup brandy. Add 12 oz pitted sour cherries and simmer 6 minutes. Pour cherries and liquid into a lidded jar. Cool completely and seal. Store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
Three recent books
The Art of the Bar Cart by Vanessa Dina
Packed with stunning style inspo for differing decor and drink preferences.
The Bar Cart Bible from Adams Media
A comprehensive guide, true to its “biblical” title. You’ll find recipes, facts and figures that will elevate your highbrow alcohol knowledge.
3-Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson
Simonson makes mixology totally foolproof, thanks to the three-ingredient max. Plus, learn a little history about each drink along the way.
Glamorous stirring rods are the ticket to expertly whirl stirred drinks like the Moscow Mule (see recipe below).
Dazzle Swizzle Sticks, crateandbarrel.com, $20/set of 4
There’s a method to shaken cocktail madness. For best results:
1 Measure alcohol and mixers into shaker cup.
2 Fill with ice.
3 Secure lid, grip with one hand on the bottom and the other on the top, then shake vigorously over your shoulder for a count of 10 or until shaker frosts up.
4 Strain and serve.
Yes, they’re merely a buffer between sweaty glass and tabletop—but these coasters also add a luxe Art Deco touch to any party.
Linear Gold Coasters, westelm.com, $39/set of 4