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Bar carts are functional and stylish “entertaining” carts. Introduced during the Victorian Era as “tea carts”, they were used for serving tea. You may still see antique tea carts circulating at estate or garage sales. I found a tea cart on Craigslist a few years ago and painted it. It was such a remarkable piece and since I sold it I’ve wanted another. Nowadays, “bar cart” is the more appropriate name for rolling carts. While at my local Target, I found a bar cart on clearance that I couldn’t leave behind. It’s been a great addition to add to my entertaining collection. Here’s my list of everything you need to keep your bar cart ready for action!
A bar cart helps to keep entertaining items organized, mobile, and stylish.
Drinks are an essential for bar cart entertaining. At the very bare minimum, having drinks on hand that you can serve to guests is imperative. Bottled drinks are easy to store on your bar cart and are aesthetically pleasing too. Ginger beer, sparkling water, and Sipp® Sparkling Organics are all appropriate things to have handy. If you’re feeling fancy, they can be mixed with your favorite cocktail or simply served over ice.
Speaking of cocktails, don’t forget to store your favorite bottle of wine or liquor on your cart. If there is a chance you’ll be serving alcohol, it’s nice to have these items on hand and ready to go. Wine is easy to serve. Just open, pour, and enjoy! If you think you might want to whip up an awesome cocktail, then keep rum or vodka stored on your bar cart. With all the other essentials you’ll have in place, you’ll only be a step or two away from being an amazing mixologist.
Don’t make guests ask for a napkin. Just put some out on your bar cart so that when you roll it out to entertain, everything is there. I store a variety of pretty cocktail napkins on my bar cart and some in a basket nearby. A napkin can serve as a coaster for a wet drink or can be helpful if you have some light food to share. Be sure to pickup cocktail napkins in advance so you’ll be prepared for last-minute entertaining. You can find stylish napkin options at stores you frequent like Marshalls, World Market, and Target. So be on the lookout! These small details add interest and can be a conversation-starter.
An ice bucket ensures that you’ll be ready to serve any drink chilled. I have a vintage one and it works fine for my needs. Instead of breaking out the freezer ice tray, transfer fresh ice into a stylish bucket. This can can then be used for chilling wine, making cocktails, or for serving up cold sparkling drinks like Sipp®. Remember, bar carts keep entertaining items organized, mobile, and STYLISH.
Glassware and appetizer plates
For the same reason you need drinks accessible on your cart, you need essential glassware ready to go as well. Small/appetizer plates are perfect for snacking on small bites. Cups/glasses and small plates are an essential for any bar cart. If you want to serve a few snacks and drinks, you’ll be prepared with the proper glassware. Wine glasses, tumblers, and appetizer plates are all fair game.
Mix in vintage items with new ones for stylish flair.
Cocktail shaker, jigger, wine-stopper, bottle opener
A cocktail shaker is small and allows you to be able to whip up your favorite cocktail, on the whim. You don’t want to be looking for this when you need it so be sure to have it clean and ready to go. A jigger provides the appropriate amounts of liquid you need to mix a cocktail. It’s perfect for lime and lemon juice measurements. I didn’t know what I was missing until I got a double jigger! A double jigger combines 1 ounce and 1 1/2 ounces measurements all in one cute kitchen tool. Of course, a bottle opener and wine stopper will provide the essentials for opening bottles and storing wine. You likely have these items in a drawer already.
Entertaining can be as simple as serving a refreshing drink or sharing a nice meal. Whatever the case, a bar cart can be the “mobile entertaining assistant” you never knew you had. Hopefully you’ll find these essentials helpful as you embrace the 21st century’s version of a “tea cart” – a bar cart.