Holiday Bar Cart Essentials for the Host

A bar cart is an easy way to get festive and take some stress off the host (or hostess) while entertaining for the holidays. We’ve got tips to help you properly stock your bar cart so that your guests can get involved and you can spend less time mixing cocktails. Here’s what you’ll need…

1. A variety of fresh juices for mixing cocktails – We recommend offering ‘in-season’ flavored juices such as cranberry, pomegranate and cherry. We love using these unique juice dispensers to dress up the cart and create a consistent look.

2. Festive non-alcoholic drink options – In addition to fresh juices, offer a variety of sodas for guests who want to give their cocktail some fizz. These seasonal sodas are also great options for guests who prefer non-alcoholic beverages. Party guests of all ages will love these unique flavors and feel like part of the festivities, without drinking.

3. Garnishes – Set out a few dishes with different garnishes so that guests can dress up their drink. Cranberries are a perfect option for the season and aren’t messy or sticky (like some citrus garnishes can be). This colored sugar is also a great option to dress up the rim of a glass and add flavor to your guests’ cocktails.

4. Festive straws – We love these paper straws for any occasion. You can find them at your local craft store or superstore in a variety of colors and designs.

5. Unique glassware for the occasion – How adorable are these fun holiday mugs? While most guests might choose to use a standard cocktail glass, set out a few unique glassware options for those who really want to get festive. We found these at our local home-goods store along with some other options like hand-painted wine glasses and decorative highball glasses.

6. Decorative touches for the holiday – Dress up your bar cart with seasonal props and special touches, like these gold-striped taper candles. Candlelight creates an elegant atmosphere, but flame-less candles are also an option to give your bar cart a glow. You can find battery-operated candles at your local craft store, superstore or home goods store at relatively inexpensive prices.

7. Offer a punch to make serving easy – A simple way to ensure your guests will enjoy a delicious cocktail (responsibly) is to offer a pre-mixed, batched version. We love this Punch Royale for the holidays. Simply combine 1 bottle of chilled Korbel Brut California Champagne, 4 oz Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur and 4 oz cranberry juice. Allow guests to serve themselves and top with berries.

8. Grab-&-Go party bites – To remind your guests to enjoy cocktails responsibly, set out a few dishes of party bites that they can enjoy while mixing cocktails and waiting on the main food courses. We love these mini wafer cookies topped with chocolate and crushed peppermint candy. Roasted nuts, caramel popcorn and seasoned oyster crackers are other good holiday options to set out on your bar cart.

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