Woman mixing a drink at a bar cart


Ready to turn your living room into a swanky spot for soirees? Whether you’re looking to build your own at-home bar cart from scratch or simply need to restock after the holidays, A. Smith Bowman Distillery has created a guide of everything you need to make quality cocktails — right at home.

Bottle of John J. Bowman whiskey

That’s the Spirit (and Liqueurs)!

Arguably the most important aspect of a very versatile bar cart begins with your “wet goods.” We recommend stocking up with award-winning John J. Bowman Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Deep Run Virginia Vodka, Sunset Hills Virginia Gin, and our rum and liqueur for both cocktails and straight sipping. Having a variety of spirits is a pro-move when entertaining guests from your bar cart — or just for experimenting with new drinks at your leisure.

Bottle of Peychaud's Aromatic Bitters

Nothing Bitter about Bitters

Bitters are a common cocktail ingredient, and therefore a must for any at-home bar cart. They draw their flavor from various botanicals and spices and are a clever way to elevate your cocktail creations or act as straightforward additions to bar stalwarts like the Bowman Brothers Bourbon Perfect Manhattan or Winter Spiced Old Fashioned. It’s a fact: No cart is complete without Peychaud’s Aromatic Bitters or Regan’s Orange Bitters.

A. Smith Bowman Shaker

Bar Tools and Equipment Essentials

For when you need to measure, shake, stir, and strain your cocktails. When stocking paraphernalia for your at-home happy hours, having high-quality bar cart equipment is important to make high-quality cocktails. The must-haves before you get mixing? A Cocktail Strainer, Mixing Glass, Jigger, and Cocktail Shaker.

A. Smith Bowman Brandy Glass

Glassware Half Full or Half Empty?

They are more than just accent pieces — glassware is a detail that makes a difference. Having the right vessel for your cocktail not only enhances the drink itself but heightens your home’s overall decor factor. No at-home bar cart is complete without (a branded A. Smith Bowman Distillery) Brandy Glass, Glencairn Glass, High Ball Glass, Round Double-Old-Fashioned Glass, and Shot Glass.

Selection of Mixers in Glass Bottles

Non-Boozy Ingredients

It may seem counterintuitive, but they are actually essential additions to cocktails. Fresh citrus, simple syrup, grenadine, cherries (Maraschino, Amarena, or bourbon), and mixers are all important to have on hand for your next cocktail party. Oh, and of course a Cocktail Recipe Book to turn your bar cart into a boozy bookshelf.

Ready to start your at-home bar cart? Our online distillery gift shop offers everything you will need to serve refreshing DIY cocktails — including bottles of our award-winning spirits for Virginia residents.