December 3, 2018 12:00 am

How to stock and style your holiday bar cart

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Move over plaid table runners and rose-gold napkin rings. One of the hottest trends in home decor this holiday season has nothing to do with the table setting or the meal you serve, but everything to do with the “spirit” you’re doling out.

We’re talking about the bar cart– one stocked and decorated with all of the essentials that a host needs to throw the soirée of the year.

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In partnership with Magnum Cream Liqueur, we investigate four tips for styling an impressive drink caddy.

Start with the basics

Stock your cart with five basic spirits: vodka, gin, rum, tequila and whiskey.

With that as your base, fill out your cart with an array of mixes. Orange, cranberry and tomato juice are good to have on hand, while cola, ginger ale and a citrus-flavoured pop are all nice fizz-makers. Round that out with some tonic or sparkling water and a couple of bitters to cover your bases.

“Keep soda and tonic in multiples,” Christian May of Maison 21 tells HGTV. “Several of the same bottles will keep the bar looking welcoming and not overly cluttered”.

Then go beyond the basics

With the basics out of the way, now it’s time to stock up with bonus bottles and premium liqueurs.

Consider adding a few versatile items like triple sec and maraschino for cocktails, along with bold statement pieces like brandy, cognac or absinthe that add a sophisticated flair to your cart.

Magnum Cream Liqueur certainly fits that bill. Its recyclable packaging is pretty enough to put right on the cart. The drink’s creamy caramel notes pair perfectly with whisky for a pre-meal drink or with an indulgent post-dinner coffee.

Assemble the proper tools

An ice bucket (stocked before guests arrive) is key, as are bottle openers and corkscrews (always have backups).

“Ice is one of, if not the most important ingredient in making a cocktail; sadly [it] is the most overlooked component, especially at home because fancy cocktail ice is thought to be only found in high-end bars,” L.A.-based bartender Eric Alperin tells Greatist.

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Stay organized… and add some flair

Staying organized is the biggest key to pulling off stylish bar cart.

“Use trays to help… divide the bar cart into zones and dedicate each zone to a specific essential, whether it’s glassware, bottles or your own brass menagerie. You’ll be simultaneously stylish and organized,” Society Social founder Roxy Owens tells HGTV.

“Custom coasters add style and function. Cloth cocktail napkins are a small touch that can go a long way, and researching a small or local distillery can yield pretty packaging as well as equally delicious spirits.”

Don’t be afraid of a holiday themed cart. Go classic with decorative ferns and pops of red and green, or aim for modern adornments like silver baubles, fake snow and a painted-white reindeer.

The sky’s the limit, because when you’re properly stocked up on everything else, why shouldn’t you go “cart” blanche with the rest?

Make sure Magnum Cream Liqueur is the centrepiece of your holiday celebration. This award-winning scotch malt whisky cream liqueur is the perfect host gift and a premium bar cart staple. Sipping it at a holiday party will surely become a tradition that will last for decades to come.

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