Raise the Bar
By Katy Jones-Gulsby
I love a well-styled bar cart in a home. Evocative of glamorous Art Deco interiors featured in Old Hollywood movies, it’s one of the easiest ways to elevate a room. It’s hard to think of anything more chic than a grouping of classic bottles and beautiful vintage barware.
What we think of as a bar cart has its origins in the Victorian teacart. But once Prohibition was over, using a small rolling cart to bring out the liquor became all the rage. We’re much more laid-back in our living areas and entertaining these days, but I think a bar cart is the perfect way to inject some lost elegance into our lives. No stylish bar setup is complete with a perfectly mixed drink. Here is one of my favorites.
3/4 oz Aperol (or Campari)
3/4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz St. Germain
Shake the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Pour into glass, top with champagne.
Keep an eye out for vintage barware in local antique and vintage stores. You can often find cocktail shakers, bar tools, and glassware for incredible prices. Think about glass colors and metals that will pop with the colors in your room.
I love good typography, and have a soft spot for antique and vintage promotional materials. Ashtrays, match strikers, champagne buckets, and other branded materials from liquor companies bring a layer of graphic interest to your bar cart.
If you don’t have a cart to use, don’t worry! A sideboard, buffet, countertop, or small side table can also be used to create a home bar area. Separate the area by using decorative trays to corral items.
Find a signature cocktail that uses bottles you find aesthetically pleasing. Some might call it silly to purchase alcohol based on the label, but if you enjoy it and find it pretty, then you’re getting more bang for your buck. I’m loving a classic Bicyclette cocktail this summer, using my favorite Aperol bottle.
Get the Look:
All items from Katy’s personal collection, but vintage barware, glassware, and decorative items (including bar carts!) can be sourced locally from vintage and antique shops, including:
Antiques Row 4333 S. Alameda
Olive Blue Resale 1612 Agnes St. Suite C