No-Holds-Barred – Create the Perfect Bar Cart

Whether you build up the bar cart of dear old Dad this weekend, or just need to build or re-stock your own, one thing is certain: entertaining is a lot more fun when you have all of the key tools in place for serving your guests!

Image of instructions on how to stock a cocktail cart

This week at Oliver’s, we have a number of bar essentials on sale to make it all more affordable AND we have some great tips below for building a bar cart, including some classic cocktail recipes that will have you set for the season!

Note: All prices are in effect at all four Oliver’s Market locations 6/15-6/21/22.

The Cart or Bar Location

While many of us may fantasize about a beautiful bar cart to roll out for service, this is not always possible. Thankfully, it is not a requirement, and your Bar “Cart” can take many forms, from a bar cabinet to a spot you designate in your home where all these items are kept. The key is to have both your tools and your ingredients gathered so they are easily accessible.

Essential Ingredients

In the world of cocktails, there are five kinds of ingredients to have on hand:

  1. Brown Spirits: The base of many a cocktail, or often enjoyed ‘neat’ or ‘on the rocks’, this group of spirits includes Scotch, Bourbon or Whiskey, Dark Rum, Reposado or Anejo Tequila, Brandy, Cognac, and in some circles, red wine or Port.

This week at Oliver’s, we have great pricing on a couple of Brown Spirit essentials:

  • Redwood Empire Pipe Dreams Bourbon- 750 ml, $27.99 (LOCAL)
  • Christian Brothers Brandy – 750 ml, $6.99
  • Corralejo Reposado Tequila – 750 ml, $22.99
  1. White Spirits: These spirits have little to no color and are clear, but ‘white’ has been their traditional moniker. They include Tequila (Silver or Blanco), Rum (White), Vodka and Gin, along with sparkling and white wine.

This week at Oliver’s, we have great pricing on a couple of White Spirit essentials:

  • Ketel One Vodka – 750 ml, $17.99
  • Alamere Citrus Gin – 750 ml, $25.99
  • Havana Rum – 750 ml, $17.99
  1. Cocktail Ingredients: This group of items are the alcoholic and non-alcoholic ‘condiments’ that make a cocktail come together, but they are rarely enjoyed on their own. This group includes everything from Vermouth to bitters to Sweet & Sour Mix or Simple Syrup.

If you are in need of cocktail ingredients, this is your lucky week at Oliver’s, as we have great pricing on a solid list of cocktail ingredients:

  • Fernet Branca – 750 ml, $23.99
  • Cocchi Vermouth di Torino- 750 ml, $18.99
  • Martini and Rossi Rosso, Bianco, or Dry Vermouth – 750 ml, $6.99
  • Stirrings Simple Syrup – 355 ml, $4.99
  • Liquid Alchemist Cocktail Syrups – 375 ml, Selected Varieties, $11.99
  • Peychaud’s Bitters – 5 oz. Bottle, $5.99
  • Rose’s Grenadine or Lime Juice – 12 oz. Bottle, $3.49
  1. Mixers: Mixers are what the name might indicate: stand-alone non-alcoholic beverages that are used in cocktails. This includes everything from Club Soda or Tonic Water to sweetened sodas and fruit juices.

This week at Oliver’s, stock up on quality mixers from Fever Tree at a great price:

  • Fever Tree Premium Mixers, Selected Varieties, 8 pack/150 ml. Cans, $3.99
  1. Garnishes: Garnishes are the ‘finishing touches’ that make your cocktail complete. This group can include jarred items like cherries and olives, as well as fresh citrus fruits.

We have a few great garnishes to offer this week at Oliver’s:

  • Hotel Starlino Cherries of Italy – 14.1 oz., $12.99
  • Jose Cuervo Margarita Salt – 6.5 oz. Container, $2.99
  • Organic Lemons, California grown 59¢ each
  • Organic Limes grown by Covilli/Mexico 3 for 99¢

Essential Bar Tools

Once you have a handle on the ingredients you want to gather and have on hand, it’s time to think about the tools you will need.

The illustration above provides a list for a very complete set-up. For getting started, you can start with the items you need to prepare your favorite drinks and then build up from there.

Essential Glassware

The above is a very complete glassware collection, but might be more than many of us can easily store or display. A good tip for this conundrum is to select a couple of multi-purpose glasses that serve several purposes. For example, select a stemless wine glass that can also hold a cocktail, or a martini glass in a style that could also work for a Margarita.

Essential Cocktails

OK! We have our essential ingredients, bar tools, and glassware lined up and it’s time for some Mixology!

With the history of the tools, the spirits, the ingredients, and the actual cocktail recipes and lore, the art of mixing a cocktail can be as simple as mixing rum and cola over ice, or time-consuming as a Long Island Iced Tea or gourmet Bloody Mary. Once you catch the cocktail ‘bug’, there is a lot to learn, taste, and appreciate!

To get started, the illustration above provides recipes for some classic drinks using the most popular Brown and White spirits:

  • Mojito (White Rum)
  • Manhattan (Whiskey)
  • Gimlet (Gin)
  • Martini (Gin or Vodka)
  • Paloma (Tequila – blanco or silver)

Check out our website for more great recipes. We just added the Classic Sidecar, the Rum Sour, and a Pipe Dreams Old Fashioned, and all feature ingredients listed in this week’s ad!

Watch our weekly ads for the “Cocktail of the Week”, featuring an item on sale. This week, the Oliver’s Market Cocktail of the Week if the French Twist. It features Courvoisier VS Cognac, so be sure to take advantage of the sale price and enjoy this cocktail at home!

If you are into the latest cocktail trends, you know that ‘smoked’ cocktails are very popular right now. You can buy a cocktail smoking kit, or try our recipe for a smoked cocktail.

Great Advice

Don’t forget that our Wine, Beer and Spirits team is standing by in our stores, ready to assist you with cocktail questions, wine tips, and the latest information on craft beers.

We wish you a robust and useful ‘bar cart’ and some great summer entertaining!

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