The Lenhof’s Bar Cart Essentials

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Is it happy hour yet? 

Owning a stylish bar cart has become one of the most popular home decor items, but stocking it is the real charm. Stocking a bar cart isn’t hard and it can actually be a lot of fun!

Lucky for us, my parents gifted us with a beautiful one initially owned by my Grandmother. My dad recalls, “It was something my mother purchased in kit form. It is equivalent to something like Ikea or a JC Penney catalog item.”

wooden 1980s tea bar cart

Isn’t she lovely??

It was originally sold as a tea cart and you can buy it on eBay: Bombay Company Tea Cart. It has a beautiful cherry finish and a detachable butler’s serving tray. The tray has sides that can be folded up or down which allows you to use the tray as an extra tabletop as desired. It is from the 1980s and I love it so much. I never met my Grandmother, but it’s safe to say she had great taste. 

Now, I’m no mixologist, but I do know a thing or two about how one can stock their bar cart to make it fully-functional, without being an eyesore.

You all know I like our home looking like a hotel room clean and curated, and setting up the bar cart is no different! Here are my suggestions based on what we have on our bar cart. 

bar cart essentials

The Lenhof’s Bar Cart Essentials

High-Quality Booze

First things first: get some booze… the good kind. 

Vodka, Gin, Whiskey, Bourbon, Tequila, and Rum (White and Dark.) 

Once you have the staples, you can fill the gaps with Vermouth, Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Campari, and other cordials.

As you can see, we have from left to right, we have something from Mexico, America, Russia, Jamaica, and Iceland. 

bar cart essentials

bar cart essentials

We acquired a taste for Blanton’s for this after a trip we took to Kentucky with our BFFs Keri + Brad. 

In April of 2018, we drove to Louisville, KY, together and made several stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail indulging in the best bourbons along the way. 

A couple of things from the trip I’ll always remember is Brad trying out the drive-assist function on Keri’s new car, Keri and I playing Skip-Bo in the back seat, stopping to get gummy bears and snacks, and taking Buzzfeed quizzes about brunch.

Our bottle of Blanton’s was a Christmas gift from my mom for Caleb last year. My parents live in Virginia and can find bottles easier than we can, here in Milwaukee. 

bar cart essentials

Cocktail Shaker

We have the Crate and Barrel Copper Shaker. Psst: It is on sale!  Here is the same one we have, but in Gold. 

The Spruce makes a great point; the shaker doesn’t only have to be for alcoholic drinks. It is also essential for anyone who loves a great mocktail and mixing a glass of fresh lemonade.

 

Bar Spoon

Caleb recently bought a bar spoon to uplevel our cocktail game. He uses it for cocktails that can’t be shaken and must be stirred. Sorry, Mr. Bond. 

We have one from CB2, similar to this. 

 

Jigger

A jigger is a small tool to measure the proper amount of alcohol that should be added to a cocktail. When writing this post, I referred to some of our cocktail books, and I learned that “a shot” is different than a “jigger.” 

A “shot” is often used informally to mean a small serving of alcohol, ranging from 1 to 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ounces. A “jigger” equals 1 1/2 fluid ounces, and a “large jigger” is 2 fluid ounces. 

We have a copper one, but Crate and Barrel has a graphite one that is pretty neat. 

 

Corkscrew

Do I even have to explain this?

If not a corkscrew, at least have a good knife. That way, you can wow your guests like the waitstaff at Olive Garden by opening your bottles of wine with a knife. 

 

Bitters

Bitters is an aromatic. As Wisconsinites, we use Angostura bitters liberally for Old Fashioneds. 

Angostura bitters

 

Handheld Juicer

Caleb doesn’t buy a premade lemon, lime, or orange juice, and he says it’s best to juice your own as often as you can. We add some citrus to our Imperfect Produce delivery each month for this exact reason.  

 

And now, for the cherry on top…

bar cart essentialsGourmet Cherries

Don’t balk at the price and go for sickly sweet cheap ones, because that cherry at the bottom of a cocktail glass can be oh-so-satisfying. We always have Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries in our home. 

Unlike the cheap, sickly sweet, bright red cherries, Luxardo Cherries are dark maroon. Fun Fact: they are made in Italy. 

What are the essentials you have on your bar cart? Leave a comment below or follow us on Instagram: @House_fur

bar cart essentials

bar cart essentials

What’s On Your Bar Cart?

Join the Conversation

  1. Sandy Ervin says:

    I have a full page on pinterest for bar carts!! I want one (a vintagey one) so bad, but it’s not a priority right now. Love this post!! I do have a little set up on a cabinet, but, oh how a bar cart would make my heart swell!! Love your content!!

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      Awe!!! Thank you Sandy!!! A little cabinet setup is great!!! It’s so fun to make Pinterest boards with “later” purchases 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I really appreciate it!

  2. Tanya Kloeffler says:

    I love that little bar cart. Its so adorable. I know since the quarantine our liquor cabinet has been stocked

    1. Ren Lenhof Author says:

      hahah yes, us too!!!

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