How To Create a Bar Cart on a Budget

Posted on Aug 19 2020 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark

Bar carts are a stylish addition to any home and make hosting parties and other events that little bit easier as everything is to hand and ready to go. In addition if you already have ice buckets, martini glasses, wine glasses and cocktail tools, storing them in one convenient place, table or trolley will help save some essential space in the kitchen too.

But I was surprised to see how expensive they were when looking for one suitable to my decoration and personal style. However, the cheapest cart can look stylish when adorned with bottles, glasses and accessories. So we thought we’d share how we achieved ours including tips on what to have on it, and some cocktail recipes to get you started.

Our bar cart

For our bar cart we purchased the Sunnersta Trolley from IKEA for £22. But weren’t completely happy with the allover white. So before assembling it, we sanded down the arms and painted them in a multi-purpose silvery blue paint. It takes at least 3 coats and it is essential to allow it to dry between applications to get the best appearance. I’d also recommend light applications as the arms aren’t rounded and the paint can clump which, if sets, will need sanding again before re-application (don’t look too closely at ours- we fell for this trap!).

How to accessorize your bar cart

You want to ensure that your bar cart has everything you need to make a range of drinks; be it a glass of wine to go with your meal or cocktails on a Friday evening. We’d recommend kitting your cart with the following:

  • Ice bucket: We’d recommend an insulated one with a lid to keep the ice cold and fresh. 
  • Martini/cocktail glasses: There are tons of different types and styles out there so you’re sure to find something that compliments your interior scheme. You can never go wrong with a classic martini glass though. 
  • Wine carafe: If you’re hosting a dinner party or you know your guests are wine drinkers, a wine carafe will look very elegant on your cart. Additionally, it’s a great way of disguising what you’re serving if you’re not entirely sure. 
  • Cocktail set: If it is cocktails you want to be making, you’ll need a cocktail set. Rather than buying everything individually, which can be expensive, get a set that has everything you need to make superb cocktails. This includes: Shaker, strainer, stirrer, crusher and measuring tool. 

Cocktail recipes

Now you’ve assembled your bar cart why not invite your friends over for a cocktails and canapes party? Give these gin based cocktails from Hotel Chocolat a whirl, they’re sure to be a huge hit. 

Cocoa Gin Martini Cocktail

Cocoa gin martini

Per serving:

  • 5 tablespoon cocoa gin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
  • Handful of ice cubes
  • Twist of orange zest to serve

Method:

Put the gin, orange juice and ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour through a strainer into a martini glass. Finish with a twist of orange.

Pretty Pink Cocktail

Pretty Pink Hotel Chocolat Cocktail

Per serving

  • 25ml gin
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 3 fresh raspberries
  • 1 and 1/2 tspns of rose water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar cane syrup
  • 50ml dry prosecco
  • Rose petal to garnish

Method

Put all the ingredients together, except for the prosecco, in a cocktail shaker. Shake hard enough for the raspberries to release their juices. Pour and strain into a chilled glass then top with prosecco. Float a rose petal on top for presentation.

Ginger Fizz Cocktail

Ginger fizz hotel chocolat cocktail

Per serving

  • 2 thick slices of fresh ginger
  • 50ml gin
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 4 teaspoons honey water (1 teaspoon of honey mixed with 3 teaspoons of hot water)
  • 25ml ginger ale
  • 2 thin slices of fresh ginger to garnish

Method

Muddle the thick slices of fresh ginger in the bottom of a glass, then add the gin, lemon juice and honey water. Pour into a cocktail shaker, shake and pour over crushed ice in a short tumbler. Top with ginger ale and garnish with the fresh ginger

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