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Anatomy of a Bar Cart

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’Tis the season for some serious holiday entertaining, and nothing says “best host ever” like a well-stocked bar cart that’s beautiful, to boot!

Begin With Basics

The cornerstone of any bar cart is the spirits, so start with those. All the usual suspects should be present: vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, and tequila. Add Campari, Aperol, amaro, and vermouth, depending on your preference. Don’t forget zero-proof spirits (we love Seedlip and Ritual)—you should always have options for those who prefer a mocktail. Next, add small cans or bottles of mixers (big liter bottles of club soda or tonic don’t look quite as nice!) as well as an ice bucket, bar-tool set, and shaker.


Greenery, like a small potted plant or tall structural branches, adds life and texture to your bar area among all the bottles. You should also have a few accessories that are both functional and pleasant to look at, like a handmade bowl for citrus, or a colorful eggcup for holding cocktail picks.

Best In Glass

Show off all your prettiest glassware, making it easy for guests to grab a glass when they make a drink. Don’t worry about them all being uniform—a mix of colors and shapes is fun! If you don’t have enough room on the cart to put out enough glasses for all of your guests, keep an eye on the bar area and add more as needed.

Finish It Up

Round out your bar with some finishing touches like handy cocktail books, a mini cutting board, a tray for serving (or just corralling glassware on your cart), a pretty decanter, a bar towel, and cocktail napkins. Now take a deep breath and pour yourself a drink—you’ve created a beautiful bar that all your guests will love!

Bar Cart Basics

By Hannah Baker | Photographs by Kelsey Hansen | All product images courtesy of the brands

This article originally appeared in the Holiday 2022 issue of Drew + Jonathan Reveal, Drew & Jonathan’s home and lifestyle magazine.

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