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. Elsie
This is lovely! Do you know by chance where you got your taller tumblers that are on the cart? Or what they’re called? I’m going to search on etsy! Thank you!
Really cute! I am now on the look out for a cart to restyle for our new home! Right now we have ours in a cabinet but it makes it difficult to make a variety of drinks while entertaining.
Oh, my! I caught this cart on your post re: the revamped table and was meaning to ask about it! I love this! My place is small, and so all the open whiskey bottles, wine etc end up being stored in a not so fabulous way. I can’t wait to find a cart and do this for our little nest! You guys are so freekin creative…thanks for sharing!!
This is such a great idea! You should check out The PDT Cocktail Book. It has great recipes and is how I was introduced to St. Germain.
I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been wanting to get a bar cart and this one is super cute. I’m definitely going to have to keep an eye out for one, so I can beautify it myself!
This is how you start a party :)!
Mmmm Pimms. I can’t get enough Pimms in the summer.
I love it!!!
Great idea …I also do some small DIY with an old items I am buying on the flea markets.
You can have a look at my blog to see the stuff I did so far 🙂
A well stocked bar cart is where it’s at! We love making cocktails and I have to say I try never to be without St Germain- an elderflower liquor (so nice in the summer) or Winter Pimms (great with warm apple juice).
Looking forward to reading some of your recipes and ideas…. Happy cocktail making!
x Elena @ Randomly Happy
that is one gorgeous cart!
You did such an amazing job redoing this cart, Elsie! It looks absolutely wonderful!
Macarons and Pearls
These are great tips! And your cart looks so lovely!
Your cart is gorgeous! I love the colour! We recently discover syrups and we add them to the craziest cocktails ! 😉 My fave is and always will be Piña Colada!! It’s kind of tacky, I know!
I love the drinks trolley, it’s a great idea looks stunning with your eclectic mix of glasses. x
Ok, I’m DEFINITELY loving this! I love the green color of the cart!
Lovely bottles, like the collection!
Yes, the oil based primer helps your paint to adhere and makes your top coat much more sturdy. I do it on everything that I don’t sand. xoxo
ahh I love ROOT! i’m going to buy snap or rhuby next, i think.
love this! we have a cosco cart in out kitchen. similar style, I like the paint color you chose!