Spirited Design

Curating a well-appointed bar cart.

Illustrations by Chris Horney

Cocktail hour on the patio on a summer night. Mimosas on a lazy Sunday morning. After-dinner digestifs and late-hour nightcaps. These are the moments when we turn to a well-stocked bar cart.

Although functional, the bar cart is also beautiful. An accessory that ties the room together, it is available in any style, from industrial to Art Deco to French country; size; and price range. Choose the cart that works in your space, and then start planning your display.

Dress the cart sparingly for a curated, rather than cluttered, look. Alongside the classic tools—try Fern & Roby’s titanium jigger and Blanc Creatives’ walnut muddler—create a gleaming focal point with spirits stored in glass decanters and bottles that have an aesthetic appeal, like St-Germain. For a true Virginian’s bar, look for spirits distilled in the Commonwealth: Cirrus vodka, Falls Church Distillers’ gin, Ragged Branch bourbon, and Dead Reckoning rum provide a well-rounded menu of quintessential quaffs. Top off your cocktails with Blackwater bitters, Red Root & Co. shrubs, and Flying Fox vermouth, and ply your cart with glassware for every tipple—we love Virginia Distillery Co.’s cut-crystal Glencairns. A bar book, such as The Imbible by Micah LeMon of Charlottesville, is an essential resource.

Not a cocktail drinker? Furnish your cart with wine, glasses, a marble or stainless cooler, and a corkscrew. Or, display an assortment of cups and the accoutrements to serve coffee or tea. Finally, add candles or fresh flowers for a polished finish.  


This article originally appeared in our House + Garden 2019 issue.

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum