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Build the ultimate bar cart

Stock your bar for at-home get-togethers and happy hours.

For many people, the bar is any cabinet or bookshelf that can accommodate a few bottles. And the glasses are in another cabinet. And the ice bucket is in the garage… Maybe.

We’ll help you put together the ideal bar cart that gives all your cocktail essentials one true home. It feels more upscale, too. And you’ll smirk a little when you ask friends, “Can I get you something from my bar?”

Bases
Obviously, the anchors for any bar cart are the spirits and wine collections on display. Here are some that will accommodate the tastes of every “patron.”

  • Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee Whiskey
  • Old Forester® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
  • Woodford Reserve® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • el Jimador® Tequila
  • Finlandia® Vodka
  • Korbel® California Champagne
  • Chambord® Liqueur
  • Sonoma-Cutrer® Wines

Mixers
While many enjoy their spirits neat—and who can blame them—be sure to keep a variety of mixers on hand.

  • Simple syrup
  • Fresh juices (cranberry, orange)
  • Club soda
  • Sodas
  • Sweet and/or dry vermouth

Garnishes
The right garnish adds essential flavor and a splash of color to your cocktails. Some can live on your bar cart full time, but keep others (like fresh fruit and opened jars) in the fridge until you need them.

  • Fresh fruits (lemons, limes, oranges)
  • Bitters
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Olives
  • Sugar

Glassware
Mix and match styles of glasses to accommodate the different cocktail possibilities. (You wouldn’t pour Jack Daniel’s in a champagne flute, would you?) These five should cover most cocktails. Sorry, red plastic cups, you can stay in the kitchen cabinet.

  • Manhattan/martini glasses
  • Champagne flutes
  • Rocks glasses
  • Wine glasses
  • Colorful, festive glasses

Tools of the trade
To properly play recreational mixologist, your bar needs the right tools. There are a lot of fancy ones out there, but these basics are all you really need for most cocktails.

  • Shaker
  • Muddler
  • Bar spoon
  • Cocktail napkins
  • Shot glass
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Knife

Décor & more
This is totally up to you. Add some décor that fits your personality. But don’t overfill the cart. It’ll look cluttered and be more difficult to pour drinks.

  • Drink signs
  • Festive straws
  • Stirrers
  • Fun bowls for garnishes
  • Pitcher for batch drinks
  • Books
  • Pictures
  • Flowers

Visit our Whiskey Whisperer for whiskey and cocktail recommendations.

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Cheers to being responsible.

A great host takes care of every little detail, especially when it comes to helping guests celebrate responsibly. For every occasion you plan, be sure to serve food, provide nonalcoholic options, and offer a safe ride home.

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