6 essentials for stocking your bar cart

There is nothing more stylish and sophisticated than a fully-stocked bar cart. Get the low-down on everything you'll need here.
Bar cart heroPhotography: Alana Landsberry

What is the point of a bar cart? Providing a drink station serves a dual purpose: it’s another styling opportunity, plus it takes the pressure off the host as guests can easily serve themselves. Arrange everything on a drinks trolley, a small table or even the end of the kitchen island with all the necessary fixings.

“It’s the one time of year I bring out the spirits!” says Imogene Abady of Abady Creative. But don’t forget alcohol-free options too, as some guests will be driving. A pre-mixed mocktail in a carafe can be a visual delight. And orange juice is a must for Christmas-morning mimosas.

Now that we’ve established that you will absolutely benefit from having a bar cart, here are some essentials to get for it.

Bar cart
The Rattan Bar Trolley in Brown from Alfresco Emporium is stocked with a mix of alcoholic options, plus orange and mandarin juice from Grove Juice. (Photography: Alana Landsberry)

How do you make a good bar cart?

1. Bases and mixers

First, stock your bar cart with a selection of base spirits so you can make just about any cocktail. Think gin, white rum, vodka, bourbon, tequila and brandy. Next, add in mixers that complement your base spirits, like dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, Cointreau and bitters. 

2. Glasses

To cover all cocktails, you will need short glasses, tall glasses, coupes (for cocktails and sparkly wines) and wine glasses. Head to Myer for a comprehensive collection of all styles.

bar cart
Include a mix of glasses to suit the different drinks you want to serve. (Photography: Alana Landsberry)

3. Tray

A stylish tray not only serves a decorative purpose for anchoring your disparate barware elements, it also functions as a protective layer for your bar cart surface. You can load it up with drinks then perch it on a sideboard or console. 

4. Ice bucket

An essential component is an ice bucket, which is perfect for keeping chilled wine at the right temperature. A sleek stainless steel look complements a wide array of bar cart styles. 

bar cart
The cane bar cart was designed by Maine House Interiors, who also created the scalloped shade, which sits on a lamp base from Provincial Home Living. The artwork is by Emma Sheehan. (Credit: Photography: Lisa Cohen)

5. Tools

Bar cart tools are fun to use and can easily make you feel like a pro cocktail maker. You’ll need a cocktail shaker, strainer, jigger, corkscrew and bar spoon. Curate your tools individually (styles range from simple to luxe) or invest in a complete set that will also come in handy if you have a home bar.

6. Fancy accessories

What’s a cocktail without a fancy straw or pick? Get a selection of cocktail picks or garnish picks which are great for spearing fruits like cherries or lime pieces to garnish your cocktail.

Shop the best bar carts


Seville Rattan & Bamboo Tea Cart, Temple & Webster


This dark rattan beauty is a statement piece.


Shoko Bar Cart, Freedom


This is a chic, contemporary option if you like to keep it modern.


Sienna Bamboo Trolley, Temple & Webster


This light bamboo bar cart is compact and easy to move around.


Bellwood Bar Serving Cart in White/Natural, Myer


Lightweight and smooth to move, this will suit any style home.


Kian Bar Cart, Freedom


With strong lines in striking black, it’s simple and timeless.

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