This post is sponsored by Oyster Bay Pinot Noir. As always, all opinions are my own.
With parties aplenty this time of year, it’s a good idea to have your bar stocked and ready. Whether you’re hosting a get-together or planning for pop-in guests, a fully stocked and functional bar sets you up for entertaining success. Today I’m going to share my tips on how to set up the ultimate holiday bar cart. Plus, I’m giving you a peek at my holiday bar cart and the festive touches I’ve added for the season.
With a bit of planning, a trip to your local liquor retailer, and a few simple holiday decorations, you can create a beautiful way to serve up your libations during the Christmas season. Let’s get to it!
Begin by choosing your featured holiday drink. For this particular holiday bar, I decided to serve Oyster Bay Pinot Noir as my signature beverage. Wine is a smart choice for a featured drink because it requires very little work on your part. Guests can easily help themselves when their glass is running low. I especially love this elegant cool climate Pinot Noir because of its versatility; it’s great on its own as an aperitif but pairs equally well with a wide range of cuisines, including party canapés. With a fragrant concentration of bright red cherries and red berry fruits, Oyster Bay’s classic red features a vibrant center with a silky lingering texture perfect for the holidays.
When selecting a signature drink, I think it’s important to pick something with meaning. Wines from New Zealand are my absolute favorite, especially Pinot Noir. Oyster Bay, in particular, captures the very best of what New Zealand’s naturally cool climate has to offer. I also love that it gives your guests the opportunity to explore a new region through a trusted brand.
Now that you’ve decided on your signature drink, it’s time to select a cart or cabinet. I used this vintage pie safe, but a more traditional bar cart, a standard table or even a bookcase all do the trick. Any piece of furniture that can hold a collection of bottles and glassware plus a little decor will work, so feel free to cater your choice to match your personal style.
I find it easiest to begin by clearing everything out so I can start with a clean slate. This also gives you flexibility for display. Next, I recommend adding a few cake stands, trays, or stacks of books to give a little variation in height to your display. Here, I used a couple pedestal cake plates.
Next, you’ll want to provide several types of liquor for those who prefer something other than your featured beverage. I have a collection of glass decanters, so I used them to display a few standard liquors (vodka, gin, bourbon and rum). Decanters are not required, but I think they make things feel extra special. However, feel free to customize your offerings based on knowledge of your guests’ tastes. I also recommend having one or two varieties of beer and several mixers in the refrigerator.
After those are in place, you’ll want to add glassware. Obviously, you’ll need some wine glasses if you’re serving wine. I also recommend a rocks glass, high ball glass, and martini glass or coupe. With these four types of glassware, you’ll be stocked to serve almost any drink.
With all of that set, feel free to add standard bar tools, such as cocktail shakers, jiggers, spoons, and wine openers. Put yourself in guests’ shoes and think about what they’ll need. Then, stock those things in the bar cart or somewhere nearby so you won’t have to hunt anything down while entertaining.
Finally, it’s time to pull in the holiday decor. As you know from my Holiday Home Tour, I’m a big fan of these glass trees, so I tucked a few of those around my bar cart to give it a personal touch. I also brought in different types of fresh greenery to complement the cart with a seasonal feel, fabulous texture and fresh pine scent. Perfect for the holiday!
If there’s still room to spare on your cart, feel free to set out bowls of snacks, such as mixed nuts and seasoned pretzels, along with small containers of cocktail garnishes, including lemon wedges, cherries, and olives.
And with that, the Ultimate Holiday Bar Car is complete. Let’s pour a glass of wine, shall we?
In case you’ve never had this 2015 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir, I highly recommend it. It received an outstanding 90-point score from Wine Spectator and was awarded 95 points and a Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.
I couldn’t be more excited about how this bar cart (er, cabinet) came together. It’s both festive and functional. I hope you picked up a few tips and are inspired to set up your own seasonal bar cart. Whatever you offer, be sure to include Oyster Bay Pinot Noir – your guests will thank you! You can find it at select retailers nationwide or online via Drizly. Head on over to oysterbaypinotnoir.com to learn more.