Andy Cohen Builds the
Ultimate Bachelor Pad
Take some lessons from the consummate host on setting the scene.
Upgrading your cocktail game is one thing. But stepping up your bartending game? That requires stocking the right bottles at home. Now, what you stock depends entirely on what you and your guests drink. But we do have some thoughts on where you should put said bottles. And, in case you were wondering, on top of the fridge is not a viable place for a grown man to store his booze. A bar cart is a legendary addition to any bachelor pad (or even a den of domestic bliss). The classic looking cart can be tucked into the corner of a room and it not only keeps all of your booze, tools and glasses organized, but it adds a dash of rakish charm to the interior design of your place. And makes one hell of a conversation piece for visitors as well. While most can be pretty pricey, there are ways to keep the cost down if you're willing to put in a little work. So we're presenting you with a weekend challenge: Build yourself the perfect bar bart to suit the style of your home, then stock with your favorite alcohol and vital accessories.
Interior designer Leah Harmatz of Field Theory unearthed a dusty, beat-up bar cart at a flea market and immediately saw the potential. She unscrewed the trays and spray painted them black for a cleaner, more modern look. She then polished up the brass (Bar Keepers Friend works wonders) and put it all back together.
If you like that rugged industrial loft style, Ben Uyeda, founder of HomeMadeModern, offers a simple and straightforward video guide on how to make your own bart car using oak boards and iron pipes, all of which you'll be able to purchase form your local hardware store. Most will even cut the boards to your exact measurements, if you don't happen to have your own power miter saw.
Bartender and contributor to Valet., Luke Andrews, assembled his bar cart from a steel tool cart he found at Harbor Freight Tools for just $38. "It's mobile if it has to be, but it mostly just sits there and holds the bottles that get used the most ... and my old trumpet," he says. "I try to keep flowers on it during the day and a candle at night."
These old fashioned glasses have a generous shape and a weighty feel, which makes them pleasant to hold. Plus, the facets give them a cool crystal look for an unbelievable price.
$2.99 at Ikea
An essential tool for any cocktail mixer, this brushed stainless steel version has all the charm of one passed down from your grandfather.
$8 by Cocktail Kingdom
Don't settle for the run-of-the-mill garnishes procured at the grocery store when you can step up your game with California olives brined in flavorful Vermouth and Oregon cherries steeped in Kentucky bourbon.
$32 / $28 by Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.
When paired with a long, swirled teardrop bar spoon, this large, diamond cut mixing glass makes for a fool-proof cocktail making kit. Plus, it looks great sitting atop your bar cart.
$13.99 by Mixologist
When you want to keep ice and other roughage out of your drinks, you need to strain them after mixing them. This simple Hawthorne stainer is durable and fits most shakers and glasses alike.
$10.32 by Swissmar
Bar carts double as work stations, so make sure you're stocked with the right tools for the job, namely opening bottles. This handsome winery style opener has a sturdy corkscrew and a durable rosewood handle.
$8.33 by Franmara
Coasters are one of those home accessories that sound boring until you realize just how many incredibly cool options are out there. Like these hexagonal coasters cut from soft, quiet and absorbent merino wool.
$18 by Dundry Hill
You could infuse your own simple syrups, but that's another weekend project. For now, try these delicious small-batch syrups made from pure botanicals and natural extracts.
$30 (for four) by Root 23
Bar carts evolved from the tea trolleys of the Victorian era and took off in America during the 1950s (until the '70s when built-in wet bars started showing up.)