Build Your Best Bar Cart – A Three Part Series by Elixir & Company

Building an impressive, functional home bar that matches your individual style can be a bit overwhelming – especially if you’re taking tips from your favorite celebrities.

Brother Love aka Puff Daddy with his amazing flavors of Ciroc, or George Clooney who recently sold his top-shelf Casamigos Tequila for a reported $1 Billion, both have amazing bottles of liquor that will elevate any bar cart. However, this should not be the focus of your hardworking, impressive bar cart.

While droves of celebs are trending toward the “spirits” world, their superbly marketed alcohols with there deserving price tags can leave your bar cart looking a little bare.   

Let’s address the elephant in the room, that loveless bar cart sitting in your living room corner. 

With a little effort up front – let’s say:

  • a quick run through your local convenience store,
  • a visit to that gourmet grocery store – yeah, I’m talking Balducci’s,
  • a step through the aisle of your favorite home goods store, and finally,
  • a checklist to take to your neighborhood liquor store,

You’ll soon be crafting your favorite cocktail from one of the fanciest bar carts you know of – your own!

Every bar cart has a purpose. Let’s say your bar cart’s purpose is to be a vessel for you to tap to easily craft simple, but delicious cocktails. Even if you’ve unveiled a complex recipe with a ridiculous number of steps, an adequately stocked bar cart can make crafting that intimidating cocktail more achievable.

In this little bar cart series, we’ll guide you through the awesomeness that is the joy of cocktail. Remember, the key is to do things your way. Spend according to your budget, not a rock star’s budget. So with that mantra in mind, let’s get started.

This week’s focus is bar tools. Here’s our take on the essential bar tools every cocktail enthusiast should have on his/her bar shelf.

  1. Mixing Glass – If a recipe calls for a mixing glass, you can use just about any vessel, but the variety and beauty of today’s mixing glasses, you’ll surely want to add one of these beauties to your bar cart.
  2. Strainers – Take yours shaken, not stirred? This julep strainer, is a wide, slotted strainer perfect for drinks made in a mixing glass, allowing you to pour the finest, chilled drink into your chilled martini glass.
  3. Shaker – The three-piece shaker, complete with lid and built-in strainer, is a staple on most home bars. If you’re a bit more comfortable, you may prefer the two-piece Boston shaker where one smaller tin fits into a larger tin. Ingredients should go in the smaller tin, then capped by the larger tin. 
  4. Bar Spoon – Any old spoon will do, but the long-handled bar spoon will help you gently stir together the fine ingredients in your mixer or cocktail glass from the very bottom to the top.
  5. Jigger – We can’t say that using everyday kitchen tools, like a measuring cup, to craft your cocktails doesn’t work. However, using a jigger is much more accurate for getting the pour right with each and every drink. Even the most amazing mixologists use jiggers. Jiggers come in half an ounce, ¾ ounce, 1 and 2-ounce measures. Make sure you add one of these to your bar cart. 
  6. Citrus Peeler – This Y-shared peeler is perfect for cutting beautiful citrus peels or coins to add to your cocktails for garnish.
  7. Muddler – This wooden baton is used for mashing up fruit or pressing the oils of herbs into sugar. Have you made a homemade mojito lately?
  8. Citrus Juicer – Fresh citrus juice is essential for a perfect cocktail. Throw out the concentrate, grab yourself a bag of fresh citrus and let’s juice those babies! While hand pressed fresh fruit is great. This handheld juicer allows you to press your citrus directly into your drink.

There are plenty of tools to add to your bar cart. As your mixing skills improve, so will the variety of tools you use on your bar cart. We believe these are the essentials you’ll need to get started. Also, they don’t have to be overly expensive.

Elixir & Company carries most of these at reasonable prices. Check them out today. Or, check the aisles of your local Target, Home Goods, or even second-hand Antique dealers if you have a taste for nostalgia.

Part two of our series covers your traditional mixers and elixirs. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!

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