Essential Items for a Well-Stocked Bar Cart

Essential Items for a Well-Stocked Bar Cart

In 2020, staying in is staying safe, but you needn’t sacrifice style.

Prepare to entertain your quaranteam with these essential items for a well-stocked bar cart.


Every bar cart should have a cocktail shaker, jigger, strainer, and muddler. A mixing glass and bar spoon add style for those who prefer stirred drinks. An elegant ice bucket, corkscrew, and bottle opener, plus a peeler for your twists, should complete the set.

High-Quality Cocktail Basics

The foundation of any cocktail is high-quality liquor. Select the basics you enjoy for your “well drinks,” since your cocktail hour is likely to be held remotely for the foreseeable future. Choose whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum as the bedrock for your cart. Impress your friends with your display of a bottle or two of collectible bourbon or tequila.

Mixers and Liqueurs

Beyond the usual tonic, soda, and seltzer, maintain a supply of filtered still and sparkling water, plus ginger beer, vermouth, and, for fall flavors, apple cider. Add liqueurs like Cointreau, Kahlua, and even Chartreuse. Add a selection of bitters to give your cocktails an extra dash of flavor.


Set these out just before the online happy hour begins. A well-stocked bar cart includes a compartmentalized tray of Maraschino cherries, limes, lemon twists, olives, and cocktail onions. For the true mixologist, add mint, basil, and orange slices.


Supplement classic rocks and martini glasses with a few highball glasses. You could add a few champagne flutes or coupes if your bar cart accommodates more delicate vessels. Add tall coffee mugs for warm winter refreshments. Although the mule trend may be fading, a few bright copper mule mugs add a touch of interest to your barware collection.


Mix up some simple syrup in a saucepan with equal parts sugar and water. Add berries to your garnish tray, and keep some cream on hand for richer winter cocktails. Add a hand juicer to your bar tool collection. Keep some mason jars around for fun, rustic cocktails or to use as shakers and mixing glasses.

Essential items for your bar cart are those that will help you create the drinks you enjoy most while also creating a visually interesting display.