Love hosting (and a nice cocktail)? If you don’t have a full-size bar (or the space for one), another great option is an in-home bar cart. Why not jazz it up with some bar cart accessories, too? These little drink stations are ideal for every occasion – whether it be your nightly glass of wine or a get-together with specialty cocktails.
They have the added benefit of maximizing storage in small spaces, too – you can store drinks, snacks, and other items that would otherwise take up space on countertops or in cabinets. Instead of clutter, they become bar cart accessories. Plus, they can add a little pizazz to your home decor. You can display your bar cart proudly in your entryway, or near your favorite gathering place, like the kitchen, the patio, or the living room. We’ve got a list of all the bar cart accessories you need to get started.
Shopping for Your Bar Cart
Okay, so you don’t have the space for a full bar. You might already have a bar cart ready to go, but if not, we have some ideas on how to shop for one. Don’t be worried if you’re working with a smaller space – there are plenty of options to get started!
To wheel not to wheel – that is the question. Bar carts with wheels work well if you plan on moving the party from one room to another. If you think you’ll likely stay in one large hosting area, you can definitely get away without a portable bar cart.
Start your search at all the local levels at all your favorite retailers for home decor. You might be able to find a roller cart that works perfectly. Options for larger spaces are also plentiful. If you choose to have your bar cart on an enclosed patio, you might like something made out of wicker or rattan. Once you’ve chosen your cart, you can get started with bar cart accessories!
Add an Aesthetic Bottle of Booze
A statement bottle is a must when it comes to your bar cart accessories. But – choose wisely. Don’t pick a bottle just because it’s unique or cute. Consider the type of alcohol you actually like to drink. For example, if you prefer wine, you might opt for a fun-shaped wine bottle as a personality piece. Or, if you prefer a margarita, an intricately beaded tequila bottle might be the way to go.
Some popular aesthetic choices for bottles as bar cart accessories are:
Or, if you prefer to go with something more simple, choose your favorite wine or spirit. Once you’ve made your pick, you’ll want to display your bottle proudly on your bar cart. We recommend the top of the cart or on a shelf above it, where it’s out of reach of little hands.
Shake it Up with a Cocktail Shaker
An obvious essential for your bar cart accessories collection is a high-quality cocktail shaker. For a quality shaker, be sure to choose one with a strainer and opt for stainless steel. If you’re more eclectic or have a specific theme in mind, you can also search for shakers in fun shapes and colors. When using your shaker, just be sure the lid is on tight before shaking, and be careful not to overfill (you want to have some empty room for the shaking to happen)!
Bar Cart Accessories for the Pro: A Mixologist Set
Ready to get concocting? Once you’ve chosen the perfect shaker for your bar cart, you’ll need a mixologist set to match. When shopping for your mixologist set, keep in mind that it should contain bar cart accessories to match the type of drinks you like to make. The typical mixology set contains items such as a jigger, muddler, bar spoon, shot measuring cup, or zester. Consider keeping other helpful tools on your bar cart too, like a bottle-opener or a corkscrew for wine.
Curate a Set of Gorgeous Glassware
Sipping your cocktail out of a fun glass simply elevates the experience. When choosing glassware for your bar cart accessories, consider the types of drinks you like to make the most often. You might have multiple mismatched cocktail glasses if you like variety, or simply shot glasses or wine glasses if you’re more consistent with your go-to drink. If you’re not sure where to start, coup glasses are a great choice to make your space feel elevated.
Read more: The 26 Best Wine Clubs for Wine Lovers
Add Syrups to Your Bar Cart Accessories Toolkit
To add some variety to your favorite cocktail concoction, consider keeping syrups on deck in your bar cart accessories collection. Sweet syrups are a natural choice for dessert cocktails. Consider fruity or decadent flavor choices like:
Botanical flavors are also a popular choice to elevate your experience and add something a little extra to your drink. These also work well to add a touch of flavor to your favorite champagne. Here are some common flowery flavors:
The important thing to remember when using syrups is to add a little at a time. You don’t want to overpower all the other flavors in your cocktail.
Organize With a Wine Glass Rack
You’ve got the glasses – now where do you put them? Installing a wine glass rack on your bar cart is the ideal way to store your glassware and keep it organized. To save space on your bar cart, you can choose one with a pre-built glass rack, or you can add one yourself. The organization is a bonus – but the real benefit is keeping them spaced apart to prevent breaking, as they will be held securely in place.
Plus, having the glasses directly on your bar cart makes them easy for your guests (or you) to access when you’re ready to entertain. You can show off your collection of fun wine glasses you’ve curated! Not to mention, this option is a great space-saver. If you’re looking for a way to improve your bar cart accessories, this quick addition is functional and adds a touch of class.
Start with the Basics with Recipe Books
You don’t need to know how to make every drink by heart if you have the recipe on deck! For the posh cocktail drinker, a mini book like Vogue Cocktails is just as much a statement piece as it is a resource for recipes. There are so many fun cocktail recipe books to choose from. Here are a few of our recommendations:
For those who love to make their own cocktail concoctions, you might want to display recipe cards instead of a book. You can write out your favorite drink recipes on cute recipe cards for your guests to try.
Classy Glass Straws
Something about sipping out of a straw just makes your drink a little more fun. Glass straws can add a touch of class to your bar cart accessories collection. For the eclectic mixologist, go for fun, squiggly straws, colored straws, or straws with glass details. More minimalist glass straws can also be found if you prefer the polished look.
The key is to match your glass straws with the glassware you have in your bar cart. Make sure you consider the colors of the pieces you already have and the shapes and sizes. If you have larger, taller cups, you’ll need longer straws to match. But, if you have shallow coup glasses, you may want to opt out of the straws altogether.
Conversation Pieces as Bar Cart Accessories
Once the drinks start flowing, you’ll need a conversation piece to get the party going. These are a fun way to add a bit of personality to your space and integrate some of the decor pieces you might already have in your home. Some examples of items you might use to showcase your personality are:
- Mini statues
- A bouquet of dried flowers
- Photo frames
- Drinking card games
- Handmade pottery pieces
- Hand-painted jars
Choose your conversation pieces wisely – we recommend sticking to one or two. Too many bar cart accessories can make your space look cluttered.
Get Creative with Garnishes for Drinks
When you have a fun bar cart, you’ll need to match the energy with fun drinks. Elevate your bar cart accessories with simple drink garnishes to take your bartending skills to the next level. You can set them out in bowls or jars to add some detail to your overall bar cart vibe. But – be careful not to overcrowd your space. You still want to have room to make the drinks!
If you’re planning on a special event, you can set out edible flowers or sliced fruit that guests can add to their drink. For something that will last a little longer on the shelf, opt for spices or salts to use on your drink’s rim or dried fruits like lemon, grapefruit, or lime. Or, if you want to really get wild, invest in some edible glitter (it takes “sparkling beverage” to a whole new level). These small touches can make a big difference – especially if you’re serving them in your posh glasses!
Now that your bar cart is assembled, it’s time to get the party started! With a setup like this, you’ll want to host every weekend. Whether you’re looking to add a mini bar to your space or you just need to update your current drink station with some bar cart accessories, we’ve got the tips for everything you need to get the party going (and keep it going). Don’t forget to update your bar cart with the holidays or any themed parties you might host – a simple change of decorations or glasses can go a long way. Happy sipping!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out our Food and Recipes Section for ideas on what to make when hosting a cocktail hour.
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