Shake, Stir, Rattle and Roll

by | Apr 2021

Bar Cart

Photo: Chris Emeott

Bar carts give a nod to Old Hollywood glamour.

Who else is eager to host the first garden party or backyard barbecue of the year? April might still be hosting a snow pile or two, but, May should give the green light.

Roll out a bar cart to add a little old school charm. While they up the snazzy factor, bar carts also help guests feel at ease, pouring their own mixes, and give hosts a reprieve from tending bar.

There are plenty styles available at local and online retailers. Vintage shops seem to have one or two tucked in the midst of other retro goodies. Get creative, and make your own. A splash of metallic paint on a utility cart transforms it into a unique bar cart, ready for its first pour.

Appoint the cart with vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey and scotch. Bonus points: include orange liqueur, vermouth and Campari. For guests who skirt unescorted whiskey, include juices, sodas, tonic water, simple syrups and bitters. Have sparkling and still nonalcoholic beverages on hand, too.

Accoutrements should include a Boston shaker to shake the ice amongst the cocktail ingredients. A jigger is an essential tool, and this little number measures perfectly to create a tastier drink. Use a muddler to muddle or mash fruits, herbs and spices to release flavor for a mojito, mint julep, old fashioned and the like. Used to chill whiskey and other spirits, a whiskey stone—a natural, clean cut soapstone—chills a drink without diluting the concoction.

Get more mileage out of your bar cart. For brunch, serve the warm menu items from the kitchen or outdoor buffet table, and use the bar cart to hold fruit dishes, sweet breads, viennoiserie pastry, syrups, jam varieties, juices, tea and coffee, along with cream and sugar. For dinner, transform the bar cart into a dessert cart, featuring individual-serving sweets, tea and coffee, mints and a selection of digestifs. Roll up to your next bonfire (if it’s surrounded by pavers, of course) with a sweet array ingredients to show off your s’moreology game.


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