Swanks Giving: Bar Cart

And the countdown is on. Only 17 days until Thanksgiving!

But this year it’s not going to be any Thanksgiving for us. Nope. Instead we are hosting a dazzling, tony, posh Swanks Giving. A retro Thanksgiving inspired by none other than Mad Men. Sothe next few weeks we will be taking you on a journey to throwing the swankiest Thanksgiving on the block.

Let’s start out with the quintessential party accoutrement: the bar cart.

Every good retro inspired soiree needs a bar cart. But in the modern world, your bar cart might need a few modern accessories as well.

Spirits & Wine:

It might be stating the obvious, but every good bar cart starts with liquor. We do have quite a few in our home, but there are some essentials that you should have on hand.

I recommend the basics: vodka {I’m partial to Kettle One, which we keep in the freezer until right before a party}, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey/scotch/bourbon and cognac. These basics will ensure you can make the classic drinks. We are big on rum so we often have white and dark. White is great for mojitos and daquiris, but I prefer the stronger flavor of the darks {often from the Caribbean} in dark and stormy’s.

You’ll also want to have wine and champagne on hand. I recommend a basic red, a cold white and a champagne or Prosecco. Be sure to have a wine bottle opener readily available.


You could go crazy in the mixer department, but I try to restrain myself. It’s always good to have club soda and tonic water on hand. An array of other sodas and juices such {like cranberry and orange} are handy. I really like ginger beer {again for dark and stormy’s}. Vermouth is very common in martinis. I’d also recommend simple syrup and olive juice.

Keep the cart stocked with olives, cherries and lemon and lime wedges. If you are serving margaritas you’ll want to have some salt.


Your glassware depends on the types of drinks you are planning to make and serve. Martini glasses are a staple.

I like having pretty shot glasses {to really kick the party up a notch}. Old fashioneds and double old fashioneds accommodate small and large drinks. Wine and champagne glasses are obvious necessities for those drinks. Striped and metal straws, coasters and drink umbrellas are fun embellishments.


You’ll want to have some gear on hand to actually mix the drinks. An ice bucket filled with large pieces of ice {which take longer to melt} is key. You’ll also need a cocktail shaker, strainer, muddler, spoon, wine opener and jigger {to measure the liquor}. I love this set from Crate and Barrel.

No retro bar car would be complete without matches.  I like to keep a book filled with drink recipes nearby, in case someone wants to experiment.

The most exciting part of our Swanks Giving cart? The cart itself was incredibly affordable. We bought it on eBay!

Happy Swanks Giving



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  1. […] good swanky party {especially Swanks Giving} needs a bar cart and a martini. Although I am a big fan of the martini, it’s usually stems from incessantly […]

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