Hi friends! I have been working on this cocktail cart for the past month, and it's been a super fun! I started out with a (very beat up) industrial style cart from a flea market. Here's what it looked like before. It was covered in paint from its previous owner. I scraped the paint off and then used Kilz Odorless Interior Oil Based Primer as a base coat. Next, I spray painted the entire card with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint in "Fern". I used several coats of spray paint and let it dry completely.I am so happy with how the cart turned out! Since then I have been collecting and stocking the cart. I started with a list of cocktail recipes I wanted to be able to make for dinner parties, then added a few just-for-fun ingredients for recipes I had never tried before. Here are a few of my personal tips (read: opinions) for stocking your cocktail cart. First of all, I only buy stuff I like. I know some people would say it's important to gather up a well-rounded collection, but I disagree. We keep stuff we like, and we try things we've never tried. This makes sure we're able to offer cocktails we're really good at! You put more effort into things you like, you know? We're fans of bourbon-based drinks, so we collect more bourbon and less of the stuff we don't love. I like drinks that are not too syrupy with a base of liquor and club soda, so we always keep that around. For an "easy" drink that pretty much everyone likes we keep different liquors that can be mixed with ginger ale. Simple! Stock up on bitters! They are inexpensive and really add a lot to cocktails. Don't be afraid to try the ones with weird names, either. I've never met a bitter that I didn't like. Try something new! When I am shopping at the wine center I always grab at least one bottle I've never heard of before. Some of these are suggestions that friends gave me via Instagram. (thank you!!) The root liquor was one of our favorite random buys. We make homemade "root beer" inspired drinks with it all the time. I think with any hobby it's important not to get stuck in a rut, so be sure to try something adventurous once in a while! Keep fun mixings in stock. I try to always keep fun season ingredients around. Lately, I've been trying lots of drink ideas with rosemary and honey. Jeremy is obsessed with anything maple flavored. It's also good to keep fresh fruits around for sangria-type drinks, or just garnishes. Collect assorted glassware. When we were registering for our wedding I realized it wasn't important to me to have huge sets of matching glassware. I mean, how often would we actually be hosting a dinner with 10 people drinking a martini? For this reason, I collect random glassware. I usually buy 4 pieces or so when I find a set I like. We have a huge variety without much issue of where to store things!
Thanks for taking a peek at my new cocktail cart! Please feel free to leave tips, suggestions and recipes in the comments. I'm really excited to try new things. xoxo. Helen