Bar Carting 101

We love entertaining during the Holidays, nearly as much as we love being entertained! But any excuse to put on something sparkly and spend time with the people we love sounds good pretty much any time of year. This holiday season, we can’t wait to host our next seasonal soiree and get out our favorite party accessory, our stylish bar cart!
 
 
Bar carts are one of the perfect pieces to keep on hand when hosting; they’re mobile and can be used to serve pretty much anything, from apps and drinks to desserts and coffee. But during the holidays, you might want to kick things up a notch, and deck out your cart from the drinks to the decor.
 
A bar cart with cute glassware and girls holding cute rocks glasses.
 
That’s why we created the Ultimate Guide to Your Bar cart. With tips on how to style a bar cart to advice on how to stock your cart. Plus we share our amazing holiday cocktail with you, Toot’s Cran-Apple Sparkle!
 
Let's get started with the essentials!

6 BAR CART ESSENTIALS TO GET YOU GOING

Cute glassware with hearts and stripes sitting on pink paper and a cake stand with confetti around and pink champagne bottles around.

1. Start with pretty bottles!

Keep an eye out for pretty packaging when shopping spirits for your cart. On the Havenly blog, they really put it best when they said "select only the prettiest booze" and we couldn't agree more! While you certainly want to have your favorite flavors and labels on hand, there’s nothing wrong with judging a bottle by her label and adding a few to your cart just for the flair. That’s often how I’ve come across a random new favorite!

 

How pretty are these bottles that Style Me Pretty has on their Bar Cart Tips?! Bottles can really make a difference!

 

Sometimes the best option is to use all one type of pretty bottle like Home Stories A-Z suggests to do! Especially if it's pink bubbly!


2. Add some cute glassware

We're a bit partial in this area since we really do have some of the cuuuutest glassware around! That's why we say, don’t skimp on the cute glassware for your cart. Not only will you be serving your tasty beverages in them, they’ll also be out on display for you to see every other day of the year. Shouldn’t they bring you joy, make you smile, and remind you of good times? Are we taking this further than necessary? Maybe! Keep things chic with a gold rocks set or celebrate in technicolor with the Everyday Fun Pint Set. They’ll still be shining well into 2020, honey.

 

We weren't lying about our cute rocks glasses! These particular babes are our Gold Rocks Glasses and we just love them!

 

If we are going to share the stage, then it's gotta be this oh-soo-pretty collection by the great Anthropologie. A pink hue and we're sold!


3. Swizzle and stir!

  You’ve selected your base alcohol, now it’s time to craft your cocktail. We love to keep the basics on hand, such as tonic water, club soda or Topo Chico (our favorite), Ginger Ale, Coke, or whatever your go-to mixers may be. From there you can add your mixings and garnishes: some lemons, limes, fresh fruit, and rosemary are all great to keep on hand. Then grab a cute swizzle stick and get to stirring! Here are some we love!

 

We can't get enough of A Kailo Chic Life's cute Swizzle sticks! Believe us, there are more where these came from! We want them alllllll.

 

If you're feeling up to it, why not make your own swizzle stick like StudioDIY did?! You can customize a stick for each of your friends! Win-win.


4. Add some flair with florals (or art!)

A cart only gets prettier when you add a bouquet of fresh flowers or show off some personality in a piece of art! While you won't see it on every cart, it definitely ups the ante, and we're allll about that. Pick flowers in the same color scheme as your beverages, or add a picture frame of art directly on the cart or wall behind. We love the splash of color these items bring!

 

One bouquet is nice, two takes this cart by Style Me Pretty to the next level! We love the double bouquet action that adds instant femininity!

 

OH be still our hearts! This art on a cart element is so unique and adds so much personality! Set up your cart near your favorite show stopping piece of art!


5. Nibbles and such

If you realllly want to go the extra mile (and why wouldn't you), then you'll def want to add a few little nibbles and snacks to your cart. Of course you can always do the very sophisticated olives and cheese (mmm, yes) but if you've got a sweet tooth like we do, then you're gonna wanna add something that can be eye candy too!

 

Oh, sweetheart what a sweet-cart! We drooled over Carly the Prepster's Valentine's Day Cart. Sweets bring in such fun color!

 

Excuse us while we devour this amazing cart from Martha Stewart, no surprise there! who knew you could fit so many goodies on one cart!


6. Let's accessorize

Can a cart have accessories? Oh, we believe they can and should! Anything can be an accessory- from a really pretty ice bucket to swanky mixology tools, think of them like the jewelry of a cart. Keep it in the same scheme and it's like you've just added diamond earrings. You look lovely, dahling.

 

Such class! This pretty Bar Cart Tool Set from West Elm just oozes the idea that you can make a hella good drink. Own it (regardless if you really can or can't)!

 

Let's talk about this overachiever here- I mean what a beaut! Carries its own ice and everythinggg. Thanks Anthropologie!


THESE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS!

By now it should be no surprise...we kinda have a thing for bar carts and all the elements that come with them! Really. But we've managed to pull together some of our top favorite bar carts AND accessories to go with them. Take a look, the variety is real!

Our Top 10 Fav Bar Carts!

 

1. We're starting with the one we originally fell in love with (and own)! This golden goddess has held its own through parties, photoshoots, spills and dings. We still love its classiness and highly recommend! Get it at West Elm!

 

2. Acrylic and gold? What's not to love? This cute art deco piece is the perfect size for a small apartment! Plus you can get it online and have it to your door before Friday's party!

 

3. Live with a boy? Then this might make the best compromise! It's got sleek legs and even a towel holder- swoon. Heck even if you live alone, this just might be the one! Thanks World Market, you've done it again!

 

4. On a budget? Fear not! I have found what I think is literally the best "cheap" bar cart that rivals another >ahem< slightly higher priced look alike! This one from Target will surely do the job, and no one will know the difference. Niiiiice!

 

5. So I have a thing for rattan... I mean I just love itttt! And this cart makes me have heart eyes for sure! Call it what you may, this West Elm cart can come and live at my house for sure.

A simple white metal bar cart with stacked bottles.

 

6. I haven't forgotten about you, minimalists! This sleek and pretty straight-forward cart from Urban Outfitters does the job and keeps your minimalist heart beating.

 

7. Wellll looks like we weren't done with World Market because look how cute! If you're looking for something different why not go round? It can make it's own statement anywhere you park it!

 

8. Juuust when we thought bar carts couldn't get any sleeker, this guy shows up. I mean it almost looks like it'll have an accent, amiright?! Grab it over at Frontgate if you're reaaallly feeling boujee...  

 

9. Live in a loft with that exposed brick we all wish we had? This baby might just fit right in. Grab it at Joss & Main and grab some accessories to go with it too!

 

10. Make a clean getaway with all the booze! jk But the wheels on this beaut do make it easy to get from room to room. Bar Cart service anyone?

Our Top 10 Fav Accessories!
A gold ice bucket on a a gold barcart with candy around.

 

1. Gold. Ice. Bucket. Applause emoji. You'll no doubt need ice for your party and drinks, and this is the way to do it! We love ours- it has a permanent home on our cart! Looking for one? Try this one from Bed Bath & Beyond or this cheaper version from Target.

A cocktail shaker with confetti in the lining and a gold topper.

 

2. Chances are if you're pulling out your bar cart you're having a festivity of some sort. This Confetti Cocktail Shaker is the cutest addition to keep things fun and festive! We love it so much we've sold it before! KailoChic has got you covered!

Ombre orange and blue shot glasses with a duck on top.

 

3. Maybe you've grown out of just eyeballing the amount of liquor you throw in your drinks (mmm,maybe not). Well, if you haven't these Ombre Shot Glasses might do the trick! (Duckie not included, sigh)

A set of cocktail tools that are gold tipped and turquoise handles.

 

4. This Pretty Useful Cocktail Tool Set (that's its name!) hit all the right vibes! It even comes in a pretty box to stow away for later. Nice!

A three tiered serving platter with white and gold plates and oranges on top.

 

5. When you don't have much room to spread out several platters, opt to go up with just one beautiful platter! This one from Anthro will fit perfectly on your cart and hold so much goodness.

A glass pitcher with pink drink inside and lemons.

 

6. Don't forget those batch drink mixes (ahem, Margarita night)- they get a place on the cart too with a beautiful pitcher like this one from Pottery Barn!  

A blue book with the title of Speakeasy and a glass martini on cover.

 

7. What good does having a bar cart do if you don't know exactly how to make the stuff?! Pick a pretty and useful book like this SpeakEasy Cocktails guide and you'll be prepared for anything.

A set of cocktail tools with copper hammered bottoms and silver tops.

 

8. Here's another Tool Set similar to the above one- but with a good mix of hammered copper. With a small footprint it'll look so perfect on your cart!

A set of pink napkins with the words Oh, Girl in gold printed on front.

 

9. Sometimes that last little details comes down to something a simple as cute napkins! Finish out your cart with napkins like these from Read Between The Lines because the devil really is in the details.

A gold corkscrew.

 

10. Finally we've got the prettiest and classiest tool around- this gold corkscrew. If you need any tools, it's definitely this one. Add it to your cart or even gift it- it's worth its weight in gold!


3 EASY STYLE TIPS

When it comes to decking out your bar cart for any occasion, the possibilities are truly endless. But sometimes that can make getting started even more of a challenge! We wanted to help simplify the process to get you started with some tips we’ve come across while on our very own cart styling mission.

1. Choose quality

 

When stocking your bar cart for a cocktail party, less can truly be more. Our go-to basics are to choose 3 basic spirits or liquors, then add more from there. Choose from a vodka, bourbon, whiskey, tequila, rum, or gin. Make sure to choose your favorites in addition to thinking of guests! And if you want to dive deeper into stocking a bar cart (even on a budget!) check out this post from A Beautiful Mess.

2. Play with levels

 

You wouldn’t want to listen to just one note in a song, so why would you care to look at one line of bottles? Instead, stagger your bottles around your cart to play with the different height levels. Mix different widths and heights to shape the space and add a little visual interest. And don’t be afraid to bust out some props! A cute cake plate with a bowl on top is always a hit, while a stack of cute books keeps little bottles standing tall. And around the holidays, even a brightly wrapped gift can make a great stage.

3. Get Festive

 

Decorating your cart can be as simple as adding a small bouquet of fresh flowers or as wild as garlands and glam. Don’t be afraid to just have fun and enjoy the process. Authenticity is what always shines the brightest. That being said, use your fresh fruit mixers as a piece of flair, by displaying them in a cute bowl or drape some tinsel and swag off your cart. We love how Kailo Chic Life took it to the max with their colorful party cart styling! It goes to show, just have fun with it and the rest will come naturally!


DID SOMEONE SAY COCKTAIL HOUR?!

 

While our failsafe favorite recipe is our Classic Pink Drink we’re always up to try new things! This season, we set out to create our own signature holiday cocktail. After sipping on A Beautiful Mess’s White Wine Apple Spritzer all Fall, we wanted to find a way to turn that spritzer flavor into a warmer and almost spicier cocktail for the holiday season; or turn that afternoon of sipping into an evening of celebrating. We were aiming for a taste of the season mixed with a little sparkle. We hope you love this drink and have fun sampling spirits until you find your holiday favorite!

Toot's Cran-Apple Sparkle

  • 1 part white wine
  • 1 part champagne
  • 1 part apple juice
  • heavy splash of cran
  • heavy splash of topo chico
  • garnish with sprig of rosemary
  • want some extra sweet, add a splash of agave syrup or a simple sugar cube.

Toss all your ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake until mixed, then strain into a cute cocktail glass and garnish with rosemary. Simple, tasty, and filled with seasonal cheer!

 

But wait, there's more!

Try these other amazing recipes that are almost too pretty to drink! (almost...)

Elderflower Spanish Gin & Tonic by Craft & Cocktails

A dark pink cocktail with berries and rosemary on top of drink.
An orange cocktail drink with roses and orange peel.
LET'S GO SHOPPING!

Feeling ready to get your cart together? Awesome, we've got you covered! Check out all the awesome goodies below and go crazy!


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Cute wine tote in gold metallic vegan leather.

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Dripsy Coasters

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Clear vinyl wine tote bag with glitter confetti and a long vinyl strap across the top.

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Posted By: Jessica M.
Retail Manager & Sparkle Enthusiast
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