By Lyre's Spirit Co
10th May 2022
No item of interior decor dares you to show off your fun side like a bar cart.
At parties and celebrations in the 1950s (the peak of their popularity), hosts would roll them room to room so they could make cocktails on the run. It was guerilla-style entertaining.
These days though, bar carts and drinks trolleys are as much (if not more) about expressing a personal aesthetic as they are about distribution. You’ve seen the well curated ones, where light darts through a suspended ice castle of coloured bottles, sparkling glassware and flashing bar tools. It’s impossible not to do a double-take.
At Lyre’s, we love being part of a well stocked, beautifully put-together bar cart. So much so we’ve hooked up with the good folk at R J Living - purveyors of modern luxe furniture and decor - who let us spend a bit of time with and take some photos of their latest drinks trolley, the Cater.
We had a lot of fun with the Cater, dressing it up with colour-coordinated combos of our non-alcoholic spirit bottles including Dry London, Pink London, Aperitif Roso and Italian Orange, plus glassware of various sizes and formats. After all, the ‘50s were 70 years ago, and while beautiful bar carts are still about enjoying a well-mixed drink, alcohol no longer gets automatic star billing.
Would you like to know what we learned about styling up a bar cart sans alcohol, to help you style up the perfect drinks trolley for you and how you like to entertain? We’ve put together a few tips below to factor into your thinking, plus a couple of cocktail recipes to practise afterwards too. Treat them as starting points, then let your personality take over as creative director. Like we said in the first sentence, the cart is daring you to show off your fun side. Do it!
Start with the cart
Your cart can be either a platform you can build on, or a destination all its own. For that reason, we suggest going for a design with some versatility rather than one that’s super-niche. If you love the broad concept of old-school classics that can work across genres, the Cater from R J Living has everything sorted. Choose the version finished in timeless powder-coated black for a bold combination of storage and style, or Gingerbread if you want to make a subtler statement.
What to load it with
You’ve got two tiers to play with. Here are four things to consider when fitting out a cart so it looks as good as the cocktails you’re serving on it.
Less is more:
Don’t fill every inch - otherwise you’ll lose too much function. Stick to some quality spirits to make classics, a good set of cocktail tools and some interesting glassware. Add extra ingredients specifically for the drinks you plan to be making, plus ice, just before you make them.
Instead of obvious brands, show your worldliness by including unexpected local ones to introduce your guests to.
Add a splash of accessories:
Think colour, pattern, texture, just not too much. Vintage bar accessories are always cool, as are flowers and greenery.
Nerd out with books:
Stack some cocktail recipe reference material on the lower shelf to show you mean business.
How about a Cosmo to start? Or a Negroni?
From the beautiful balance of sweet and tart in an eye-pleasing Cosmopolitan or the classic Italian bite of a Negroni, the spirits collection from Lyre’s allows you to explore, create and enjoy every tried and true cocktail recipe, minus the sore head the next day.
This legendary cocktail is still one of the most popular cocktails going around today. Pink in hue, the Lyre’s version uses White Cane and Orange Sec to compliment citrus and cranberry.
- 1½ Parts (45mL/ 1½ Fl Oz) Lyre's White Cane Spirit
- ½ Part (15mL/ ½ Fl Oz) Lyre's Orange Sec
- ½ Part (15mL/ ½ Fl Oz) lime juice
- 1 Part (30mL/ 1 Fl Oz) cranberry juice
- ¼ Part (7.5mL/ ¼ Fl Oz) white sugar syrup (1:1)
- Lemon twist (placed inside shaker)
Shake briefly with ice, fine strain into glass
This classic aperitif may look like a sweet, Italian orange treat, but like a gate-crashing pack of weasels, it’s crafty, a little bitter and full of surprises.
- 30mL Lyre's Dry London Spirit
- 30mL Lyre's Apéritif Rosso
- 30mL Lyre's Italian Orange
Stir briefly over fresh cubed ice
Cheers both to your next great party at your place, and to a drinks cart no one can take their eyes off.