Elizabeth Taylor

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Whether your home bar sits on a pretty console table or a chic bar cart, now is the perfect time to update it for spring and summer entertaining. Below is the ultimate home bar shopping list plus a few of our favorite inside-to-poolside portable bar carts.

Home Bar

1.  Spirits 

– Gin for Martinis, Gin & Tonics, Gimlets and Collinses
– Vodka for Screwdrivers, Salty Dogs, Bloody Marys and Vodka & Tonics
– Tequila for Margaritas, Tequila Sunrises and Palomas
– White rum for Daiquiris and Mojitos
– Dark rum for Piña Coladas
– Bourbon for Mint Juleps and Whiskey Sours
– Campari for Negronis
– Pimm’s No. 1 for Pimm’s Cups
– Lillet Blanc for drinking on the rocks with an orange slice
– Cointreau for Margaritas, Long Island Iced Teas and Mai Tais
– St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur to add a floral note to cocktails
– Crème de Cassis for Kir Royales
– Dry (white) vermouth for Martinis and Gibsons
– Sweet (red) vermouth for Campari Americanos

Worth noting: liquor has a long shelf life especially if the bottle’s been kept in a cool, dark place and is fairly full (air weakens the flavor). But, if a bottle is less than half full or you can’t remember when you bought it, it’s time to replace it.

lulu powers bar

Entertaining guru, Lulu Powers, uses vintage finds to add personality to her home bar

2. Basic Mixers 

– Tonic water
– Soda water
– Dry ginger ale
– Sprite
– Angostura bitters, a mix of 40 herbs, roots and other botanicals, for blending flavors

3. Basic Garnishes 

– Lemons
– Limes
– Oranges
– Cherries
– Olives
– Cocktails onions

A bowl of fruit and vase of lowers add festive pops of color to a bar top

4. Basic Seasonings 

– Coarse Kosher salt
– Pepper
– Tabasco
– Worcestershire sauce
– Super fine sugar

5. Bar Tools 

– Bar spoon with a long handle for stirring mixed drinks
– Blender
– Bottle opener
– Channel knife for making twists
– Citrus squeezer for extracting fresh lemon, lime and orange juice
– Cocktail picks for olives, onions and other garnishes
– Cocktail shaker
– Corkscrew
– Grater for citrus zest
– Hawthorne strainer
– Jigger for measuring ingredients
– Paring knife and small cutting board
– Mixing glass
– Muddler for mashing fruit and herbs

6. A Bar Cart with Wheels

Bar carts on wheels are especially useful during the warm weather months because they can be moved to a patio or poolside with ease. Here are a few of our summer favorites:

Handwoven Rattan Bar Cart

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Wood and Nickel Bar Cart

Powder Coated Steel Bar Cart

Hardwood Outdoor Bar Cart

Introductory photo: Elizabeth Taylor
Introductory quote: Casablanca, 1942

Photos: Atlanta Homes, Lulu Powers

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