In these troubled times, Zoom happy hours are increasingly becoming a source of solace. With the push of a button, you may reunite (virtually) with your pals and toast with DIY’d cocktails. Sure, it isn’t the same as hanging out in person. But when it comes to feeling connected, it’s a close second. A bar cart is a vital household item to have on hand if you find refuge in these at-home special celebrations. Since a well-stocked one may satisfy any appetite.
There’s never a better moment to stock a proper bar cart. Whether you just finished the moving-in process into your first house or are ready to graduate from Fireball shots. There are a few essentials you’ll need for all of your future cocktail parties, and we’ve compiled a list to help you make the best Negroni, margarita, and Tom Collins possible. Continue reading to learn about all of the necessary equipment for your home bar.
Here are a few stepping stones in building your own bar cart!
Start with the cart
A decent at-home bar begins with the foundation. You’ll need the cart first and foremost. Fortunately, there are many different bar cart models to pick from, making it easier than ever to find one that matches your decor. So, here is a list of the carts that you should try to consider buying. I promise you they’re worth the hype!
Get the basics
A decent bar cart should include a wide range of liquor to suit different moods. However, the varieties of liquors to keep on hand are determined by the location of the bar cart. If you and your gals love to sip on Margaritas, you can put them just around the kitchen to make fresh serves easier. If you like to just chill and sip on wine while watching TV, you can put it on that empty living room corner that you have.
Gather your gears
If you want to make cocktails at home, your bar cart will need the necessary gear. Are you unsure where to begin? A mixing glass, bar spoon, jigger, peeler, bottle opener, cocktail shaker, and a julep should serve you best.
An unexpected bar cart accent piece? Extraordinary glassware. They can change your aesthetic style BIG TIME. Invest in some nice, tiny Martinis if you enjoy them. A compete can provide a drink with the perfect feel, and nosing glasses are preferable for neat spirits than rocks glasses.
Don’t miss the final touches
Do you want to wow your friends or coworkers on Zoom? Any cocktail will be elevated to new heights if you have finishing-touch ingredients on hand. You can add simple garnishes to your drinks to make them look even better.
Now, moving on, here are our best suggestions to have the best bar cart for the best impression.
Paris on the Rocks 9.5 oz. Glasses (Set of 6)
When serving drinks over ice balls or cubes, use rocks glasses to muddle ingredients in the serving glass. 6 to 10 ounces is a good target. You’re sipping two cocktails at the same time if you think you need a double. Because ice melts too rapidly and dilutes the drink beyond what the recipe calls for, buy a single and create the second drink once the first is gone. After all, cocktails are supposed to be consumed swiftly.
Charles Joly Bar Spoon
Syrupy ingredients—e.g., honey—are sometimes measured with this unit. The main use of a mixing glass is to swirl drinks; the normal length for a standard-sized mixing glass is roughly 12.5 inches. If it’s too short, your sleeve cuffs will soak in alcohol. If you take too long, you’ll end up looking like Pee-wee Herman making a cocktail.
10-Piece Bar Tool Set
You can also buy all of the tools you’ll need—and a few you won’t—all at once. Although the individual instruments aren’t quite as well-made as those fragmentary options above, this cocktail set comes with a stand, which is a nice touch.
Unvarnished Wooden Muddler
Mint leaves or sugar cubes are crushed by a muddler to release their benefits. Anything varnished or otherwise treated should be avoided. Poisoning individuals has been frowned upon in the cocktail industry since at least the 1930s.
Elevated Craft Cocktail Shaker
The editor-favorite Elevated Craft Cocktail Shaker is sleek, beautiful, and oh-so-useful. Designed exclusively for amateur bartenders who want to mix professional-quality drinks at home. The twist top avoids leaks and sticking; volume measurements are marked immediately into the cap, and the ergonomic design lends itself to a one-hand shake.
Buswell 12 oz. Collins Glasses (Set of 6)
The Collins glass and the Highball glass are so similar that you only need one of them. Having both is clearly expert-level. Because Collins and Highball glasses are used to serve drinks with a lot of ice, they should accommodate 10 to 12 ounces.
Leopold 6 oz. Coupe Glasses (Set of 6)
Coupes hold 6 to 8 ounces of liquid and are traditionally used for cocktails served without ice. The liquid should settle just below the rim of the glass after straining the drink into it. These can be used in place of martini glasses, which are far too prone to spilling to be worth investing in for your home bar.
Angostura Aromatic Bitters
Depending on the drinks you want to make, spread out from tonic and soda with bitters, simple syrup, and so on. Although Angostura bitters are the most commonly used bitters in classic cocktails (such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned), craft bitters firms are creating all kinds of intriguing herbal combinations to dash into a drink.
Seedlip Trio Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit
When you’re not drinking, this is the drink to have. Seedlip‘s purpose is to transform the way the world drinks by providing high-quality non-alcoholic alternatives. Seedlip Garden 108, a bright herbal blend, Seedlip Grove 42, a bright citrus blend, and Seedlip Spice 94, a warm aromatic combination, are their three unique blends. To make a sophisticated mocktail, simply combine all ingredients in a mixer.
1642 Tonic Water
Traditional and alcohol-free bar carts both require tonic water. Tonic water has the same attributes that make it a fantastic mixer as well as a great alternative to drinking on its own. 1642 Tonic Water is a perfect complement to any bar cart as a brand recognized by excellence.
Gruvi’s Dry Secco
Dry Secco is a fragrant and sparkling carbonated beverage that can be enjoyed all day. Gruvi’s purpose is to believe in a world where we aren’t forced to drink in social situations and can be ourselves regardless of what’s in our cups. The Dry Secco is flowery and tangy, made from hand-picked and blended wine grapes. Each serving has only 50 calories and contains no alcohol.
Never underestimate the power of a decent vodka; while it may not be the most exciting spirit category, it has its place. A vodka martini, for example, is a fantastic choice if you prefer your martini wet (vermouth-heavy) but don’t want its delicate scents and flavor notes to clash with your gin’s botanicals. Plus, you never know when you or one of your visitors will crave a vodka soda or a cosmopolitan. Haku’s gentle, rounded floral aromas and profound depth, made from 100 percent Japanese white rice and filtered via bamboo charcoal, will change the way you think about the category.
High West Rendezvous Rye
High West Distillery in Park City’s award-winning rye whiskey is rich in candied fruit, honey, baking spice, molasses, and delicate herbaceous notes, and it’s great on its own or in classic rye cocktails like the old pal and sazerac. If you’re only going to have one rye in your basket, start with High West. Which is adored by bartenders and whiskey connoisseurs all around the world.
Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
Sweet vermouth gets a bad image, but it’s a vital ingredient for stirring classics like the Manhattan and Negroni if you’re serious about your cocktails — and decent sweet vermouth isn’t hard to come by. Carpano Antica Formula, a delightful and complex Italian sweet vermouth that delivers all of the anticipated qualities of good sweet vermouth but is somewhat punched up in intensity and richness, is favored by many bartenders across the world.
This can be a little much for the average palate at times, which is where Cocchi Vermouth di Torino comes in. This Italian vermouth is less vanilla-forward than Carpano and adds a bit more depth to the blend with its herbaceousness and a touch of balanced bitterness. Before adding it to your next boulevardier, try it on its own.
El Silencio Ensamble Mezcal
While there are many fantastic and environmentally friendly mezcal producers to support, El Silencio‘s narrative and identity are particularly appealing. Its recently opened distillery in Xaaga, Mexico, also doubles as a gorgeous boutique hotel and lifestyle concept, where you can watch the spirit grow to life in its own universe using ecological and conscientious practices that respect the historic surroundings.
Ensamble by El Silencio is a young mezcal created from Mexicano, Tobasiche, and Espadin magueys, with flavors of jasmine, cracked white pepper, and sweet smoke, as well as a long, lingering aftertaste. This mezcal is delicious neat or on the rocks, and it also works well in cocktails (both shaken and stirred).
Pierre Ferrand Double Cask Réserve Cognac
Any bar cart would be remiss if it didn’t carry at least one solid bottle of Cognac, particularly for aficionados of classics like the sidecar or sazerac, as well as those who prefer experimenting in the kitchen with sauces and flambés. Try Pierre Ferrand’s superb Double Cask Réserve for all of the above.
Equiano Rum is the world’s first and only Afro-Caribbean rum, co-founded by industry legend Ian Burrell and inspired by the story of abolitionist and writer Olaudah Equiano. The award-winning original expression is a blend of Mauritius’ 10-year rum and Barbados’ eight-year rum; it’s rich and complex, with flavors of banana, toffee, toasted vanilla, and dried fruits. This is a fantastic drinking rum with some age, but if you want to make rum cocktails (like a classic daiquiri), go for Equiano’s latest release, which is a lighter blend of barrel-aged Bajan rum and fresh cane juice rum from Africa.
Barr Hill Tom Cat Reserve Gin
This London dry-style gin was created by a beekeeper. The gin rests three to four months in new American oak casks, where it gathers up the aromas of ginger, caramel, and vanilla that make it so exceptional for leisurely sipping on ice with an orange twist or in a stirred drink, using only raw, organic Vermont honey and juniper as botanicals.
Grey Goose Vodka
One of the most popular liquors you should never be without, vodka is a vital element in martinis, vodka sodas, shots, and a variety of mixed beverages. Grey Goose is always a fan favorite, whether you choose unusual flavors or a basic and classic plain. “The World’s Best Tasting Vodka,” says Grey Goose, and many people appear to agree. It has a smooth and silky taste, regardless of how you prepare it because it is manufactured from only two components and is 100% traceable from field to bottle.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to wine. The list goes on and on: red, white, pink, French, Italian, California. You’ll need to select a few different varietals to keep everyone satisfied, and the easiest way to accomplish that is through a wine club. With Winc, you’ll get monthly deliveries of four bottles, which you may choose yourself or let them choose for you. Because of the variety and convenience of the subscription, you’ll always have someone’s favorite, as well as your own, on hand.
Rollins Tennessee 7-year-old Small Batch Whiskey
A fine whiskey should be the first item on your cocktail cart. The Rollins Tennessee 7-year-old is up there with the best of them when it comes to accessible whiskies. There are numerous ways to drink a glass of it, including neat, on the rocks, with a mixer, or as a cocktail, so there are many options. Because of the seven years spent in oak barrels, you can expect a wonderfully smooth whiskey, which makes it a great base for a Manhattan or Old Fashioned if you’re going the cocktail way.
If you want to savor a nip neat and appreciate the spirit’s intricacies, couple it with some excellent old-fashioned barbecue meals like pork belly or ribs with a smokey BBQ sauce.
Another Italian favorite, this red liqueur is generally served as an aperitivo before dinner, frequently with soda water. It’s stronger than Aperol, with more bitterness, and it’s more adaptable in cocktails. It’s a key component of the original Negroni, and if you’re going to master any cocktail, the Negroni might be the easiest to master because it only calls for three ingredients: gin, vermouth, and Campari.
Campari pairs beautifully with salty, full-flavored dishes like pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and either prosciutto or anchovies, so plan an Italian-themed dinner after you’ve got it on the cocktail cart!
Santisima Trinidad 7-year-old Cuban Rum
Because of the amazing examples coming our way from the Caribbean, rum is becoming increasingly popular in Australian cocktail culture. Santisima Trinidad, from the rum-loving island of Cuba, is one of them. It has a slight sweetness to it. As well as aromas of oak, almond, vanilla, and plum, and maybe enjoyed neat or in a cocktail. This is the 7-year-old rum, not the 3 or 15, so it’s had time to soften without becoming too complex, and it’s still a great addition to your cart.
It’s delicious with a simple mixer like pineapple juice or as the foundation for a Dark and Stormy drink. So be inventive, and don’t forget to include a couple of squares of dark chocolate to whet your guests’ appetites.
Archie Rose Distilling Co Dry Gin
Archie Rose, based in Sydney, has been making waves in the spirits world with its line of independently made spirits, including this dry gin, which was named World’s Best International Contemporary Gin. Simply put, if you only have room on your cocktail cart for one gin, it should be this one. It’s prepared with native Australian botanicals including lemon myrtle, Dorrigo pepperleaf, and blood lime, which can be tasted when mixed with a good tonic — add a wedge of lime and ice, and you’ve got the best gin ‘n’ tonic in the world. Serve one with a cheese platter of smoked cheddar, manchego, and crackers for a lovely night in.
A bottle of vivid orange Aperol is a must-have for any cocktail cart. It’s an Italian classic: a herbal infusion given as a ‘aperitivo’ before a meal to awaken the taste buds. If you’re lucky enough to spend time in Italy, you’ll no doubt see the streets and piazzas come alive with friends and family every evening, many of whom will catch up over an Aperol.
Aperol Spritzes, which blend the aperitivo with soda water, prosecco, and ice, is one of the most popular Aperol drinks. It’s a light and refreshing cocktail that pairs well with a traditional Italian food; like arancini or crostini topped with tapenade, cured meats, or cheese.