Postgrad Essentials: The Bar Cart

bar cart

A bar cart is like the family you get to choose. It always has to be there for you in times of need, and it can class up even the darkest of hours. What is a bar cart, you ask? It’s a convenient and elevated way to store your liquors and cocktail-making accessories in a tastefully confined area. Essentially, it’s putting your alcohol on display rather than secluding it in your cabinets or dedicating what counter space you can spare (and that space is designated for the holy crockpot).

Bar cart usage goes back to the Victorian era, when they were actually tea carts that were rolled in when company arrived. Think “Downton Abbey”-esque situations, except you’re using yours to get hammered. After prohibition ended, tea was replaced with liquor and bar carts became widely popular in the 1950s, when hostessing was an art and cocktail hour was a daily occurrence. Granted it still could be, but we want to live to see global warming utterly destroy us all.

There are endless varieties and styles of bar carts, and yours should depend on both the existing aesthetics of your apartment and your price range. You can do straight up metal for a more contemporary look, brass for a more refined, polished one, or wood and metal for a tastefully retro Don Draper feel. If you don’t feel like blowing dough on one (and they can get pricey) you can convert an existing piece of furniture into one. I bastardized the top shelf of my bookcase into an immobile bar cart so I could keep all my favorite things in one space. You can also use something as simple as a side table or a nightstand (the latter being if you’re going through a really rough patch).

In a perfect world, this is what your bar cart would hold:
• Tools: jigger, shaker, strainer, bottle opener, corkscrew, whiskey stones, ice bucket, tongs
• Basic boozes: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey
• Mixers: tonic water, bitters, juice, soda
• Serveware: highball and old-fashioned glasses, wine glasses, decanter, wine bucket

However, because it’s your bar cart, you can really put whatever the hell you want on it. To truly make it your own, add personalized accents that give it character and make people want to gather around it. For example, I have playing cards, glass swizzle sticks, and a bunch of Moet paper flowers I drunkenly stole from an event.

Whether or not you’re willing to make an investment on a legitimate bar cart or you haphazardly create your own, it’s a fun addition to your apartment or house that you, your guests, and random Tinder hookups will enjoy.

Image via West Elm

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Writer in NYC. To quote Dr. Seuss, "Being crazy isn't enough."

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