There's no better way to celebrate the holidays than with a good cocktail. Lockdown restrictions and quarantining at home over the past eight months have shone a light on the art of cocktail making and at-home cocktail hours (who watched Stanley Tucci's viral cocktail series?!), so to get us prepared for hosting duties at home, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit have partnered with Cointreau to share some holiday bar cart tips.
Shearer and Teplin– Hollywood’s favorite home design and organizing duo and stars of the Netflix show Get Organized with The Home Edit–spoke with House Beautiful UK about styling and organzing your bar cart like a pro during the festive season. Christmastime is the season for entertaining, after all, and while the holidaysn will be different for many us this year, our humble abodes will still be the center of all hosting activities—whether that's with our bubble or solo.
"This year more than ever we need to find ways to come together and be festive and have happy memories, even if some will be virtual and on Zoom,' says Clea. 'We're all about trying to make homes more liveable, comfortable and happy places, and what makes a home happier than cocktails?"
Find a color theme
When it comes to styling a bar cart, Clea and Joanna like to lean in to a colour and theme. 'This year, when we styled my bar cart we did a really pretty gold theme with barware and decanters, it just warms everything up and makes it look more festive," says Shearer. "We've all been in our homes for so long and a slight change in decor, pattern or color will mark a shift in the season. I think it just makes it a happier place to be."
For inspiration, the duo suggest using the same color palette as your signature cocktail to amp up your bar.
"The cosmopolitan is such a beautiful blush shade, that it's the perfect color to use within your bar cart, and for accessories, flowers, and everything else," explains Teplin. "A bar cart in itself feels like an intentional special moment and bringing in a beautiful cocktail like a cosmopolitan just adds to that too."
You may be hosting a smaller number of people than usual this year, but plan ahead and get their drink requests or preferences in advance.
"We love stations and we love zones so if you know in advance what your guests are going to like, set those stations up on the bar cart," advises Shearer. "Make a cosmopolitan station, make a margarita station, make your plain vodka station with lime wedges, and other individual setups."
Consider COVID precautions
Even if you are hosting the smallest of gatherings, assemble all the garnishes like lemons and citrus, and lay them out, along with cocktail napkins. And, as Shearer suggests, "this year, put toothpicks in each one so that no fingers have to mingle and touch other things."
Additionally, keep the glassware together to minimize the amount of rustling around, and importantly, label all items on the cart so that guests don't have to pick everything up.
"A bar cart really is about utilizing vertical space that normally wouldn’t be there,' says Shearer. With that in mind, she advises, "find one that has three tiers as it lets you optimize space that much more."
Make everything reachable
The duo suggests taking full advantage of all available space, and using acrylic risers to create depth and height, a technique Shearer uses in her home. "I have a turntable on my bar cart to hold the different bottles of liqueur so that I can spin it around and avoid reaching over to find bottles."
Arrange items not on the turntable from smallest in teh front to largest in the back for easy access.
Declutter and edit
It goes without saying, only include what's needed on the cart. "Remove things that aren't essential," advises Teplin. "Don't let it get cluttered with things that don’t need to be there."
And finally, make sure there aren't any bottles running on empty left on the bar cart. Cheers!
The Cointreau x The Home Edit Holiday Guide features sophisticated cocktail recipes and curated tips to help elevate your home for the holidays. Download it for free exclusively at CointreauCocktailHour.com and TheHomeEdit.com.
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