Two ways to create your own bar cart at home

Showcase local drinks in your at-home cart
Two ways to create your own bar cart at home
Timothy Hughes
On the left is "Cart Blanche," on the right is "Dignified Drinks"

There are no rules when it comes to bar carts, no matter what those mustachioed drink dilettantes might say. This is happy hour at home we’re talking about. Keep things quick and easy with ready-to-drink cocktails, or really wow your at-home guests with thoughtful drink options and artisan accoutrement.

Cart Blanche: There are no rules when it comes to bar carts, so feel free to keep things easy with ready-to-drink cocktails.

It’s Casual
An Anheuser-Busch ice bucket sends a “snobs not allowed” message, as does a Rewind Decor bar cart that doesn’t break the bank.

No Bartender Needed
Canned cocktails like Plain Spoke Cocktail’s Moscow Mule and Bourbon Smash take all the pressure off.

Crowd Pleaser
Give your guests the option of a ready-to-drink bourbon or brandy Old-Fashioned with Yahara Bay Distillers’ 3rd Gear Bourbon Old Fashioned or SoulBoxer’s Brandy Old Fashioned.

Local Flair
Serve your drinks over ice in a cool local glass, like these Genna’s Lounge tumblers, with a vintage Wisconsin supper club swizzle stick.

What’s What

1950s Hamilton Cosco black-and-chrome three-tiered bar cart from Rewind Decor, $95

Top shelf:

Vintage Anheuser-Busch ice bucket, $25
JD Wolfe heart bowl from Hatch Art House, $20
Plain Spoke Cocktails Moscow Mule and Bourbon Smash canned cocktails, $14.99 per four-pack, $3.99 per can
Tea towel from Hazel General Store, $16
Yahara Bay Distillers’ 3rd Gear Bourbon Old Fashioned, $24
SoulBoxer Brandy Old Fashioned, $16.99
Dorothy Thorpe-style cocktail glasses from Rewind Decor, $12 for set of two • Drink tray from Pieces Unimagined, $10.55

Middle shelf:

Midcentury aluminum bowl from Rewind Decor, $28
Vintage low ball cocktail glasses, $36 for set of six

Bottom shelf:

Pellegrino Limonata, $6.99 for six-pack
Art Deco Kensington aluminum tray designed by Lurelle Guild from Rewind Decor, $16
Genna’s Lounge cocktail glass, collector’s item; not sold at Genna’s anymore
Vintage Wisconsin supper club swizzle sticks from Rewind Decor, $1 each

Dignified Drinks: This bar cart is simple, yet sophisticated. Wow your at-home quests with thoughtful drink options and artisan accoutrement.

A La Cart
Find vintage carts like this stand-alone showstopper at Rewind Decor, which also offers other interesting bar cart items like the vintage brass mesh chain seltzer bottle pictured top left.

After Dinner
After dinner, use State Line Distillery’s Coffee Liqueur to whip up a pitcher of cocktails that will keep the party going.

Sip and Stir
Give y our guests two aperitif options with Wollersheim Distillery’s Coquard Brandy—it’s a sipping brandy and can also be used as an Old-Fashioned base. Keep a bottle of wine on deck to serve with dinner.

The Details
No need for a million trinkets on your cart. Feature a collection of cocktail books, a vintage Fauerbach Brewery bottle opener, mismatched coupe glasses or wares you’ve brought back from a trip that can start a conversation.

What’s What

Vintage Hollywood Regency brass-and-glass bar cart from Rewind Decor, $145

Top shelf:

Vintage brass mesh chain seltzer bottle, made in Czechoslovakia from Rewind Decor, $68
Cocktail mixing glass, $9-$15
Bar spoon with muddler, $9-$13
Madeleine Parker Pottery Calm Face Vase, $35-50, custom order via
Vintage coupe glasses, $6-$15
Wollersheim Distillery’s Coquard Brandy from Steve’s Wine | Beer | Spirits, $37.99
Bittercube Orange from Steve’s, 1-ounce, $8.99, 5-ounce, $19.99
State Line Distillery Coffee Liqueur from Steve’s, $36.99

Bottom shelf:

Curved wood wine holder, $8-$16
“Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails” book, $22.35
“The New Cocktail Hour” book, $9.63
“3-Ingredient Cocktails” book, $14.82
“The New Wine Rules” book, $9.81
Vintage 1948 Fauerbach Brewing Co. bottle opener, three for $15 on


Café Disco:
Currently featured on Sardine’s brunch menu, this drink is made with State Line Distillery’s Coffee Liqueur, Plantation O.F.T.D rum and Kin-Kin cold brew coffee.​​​​​​​

1 1/2 ounce State Line Coffee Liqueur
1 ounce Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum
1 ounce Kin-Kin Cold Brew Coffee
1/4 ounce Branca Menta
3/4 ounce Amarula Cream Liqueur

Stir, strain over fresh ice and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.

(Recipe courtesy of Rachel Bottner and Kelsey Burkett at Sardine.)

Wollersheim Distillery House Brandy Old-Fashioned
Stir things up with Wollersheim Distillery’s house brandy Old-Fashioned cocktail.

1 1/2 ounce Press House Brandy
1/4 ounce Rich Brown Sugar Syrup*
4 dashes Bittercube/Wollersheim Old Fashioned Bitters Blend
1 orange wedge
1 maraschino cherry
7-Up (sweet) or Squirt (sour)

In an Old-Fashioned glass, muddle the syrup, bitters, orange and cherry into a thick paste, being careful not to overwork the orange peel. Add the brandy, fill the glass 3/4 full with ice and top with soda. Briefly stir, then garnish with orange slice and cherry.

*Rich Brown Sugar Syrup:
Combine 2 cups of brown sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Chill and keep in a sealable container in the refrigerator.

(Recipe courtesy of Wollersheim Distillery)