Let’s not beat around the bush; we all like to indulge with a drink or two at home every now and then. Whether your poison is a fine Australian red or white wine, a simple gin and tonic or perhaps a cocktail such as a Negroni or an Old Fashioned, enjoying alcohol in the comfort of your own home is something not to be sneered at.
But we imagine most homes will have the ‘alcohol cupboard’. A space, usually in the kitchen, in which bottles of booze are hidden so as not to attract attention but something that can be flung open when guests come round that they can treat as an inebriating buffet.
We’re telling you now, it’s time to celebrate your alcohol collection – especially if you have some limited edition or rare bottles of grog – and present it on a drinks trolley. Perhaps associated more with homes of yesteryear, drinks trolleys and bar carts are now seeing a resurgence, with several designers and furniture producers putting their stamp on the classical piece of furniture to create something that you will want to show off all year round.
But, seeing as you probably haven’t thought about investing in a drinks trolley or bar cart before, what exactly should you be looking out for if you’re to invest in one?
The very premise of a bar cart or drinks trolley – and even by definition – is that it should have wheels. If it doesn’t, it’s a side table. But the number of wheels your cart has could make all the difference in your home. Bar carts – including the ones in this list – will come with either two or four wheels. Naturally, four wheels lend it to being much easier to move between rooms or to make the transition to outside, without having to worry too much about whether the drinks on the cart are going to tumble and spill.
Carts with two wheels, however, will need to make greater use of the attached handle, and you’ll need to lift one end off the ground in order to make use of the wheels. This could pose an issue if you have open bottles of full glasses on top, so we’d strongly suggest you move your cart into position first before pouring.
Where a two-wheeled cart could prove to be a stronger option is once in position, as it will have two legs to offer more stable support. You wouldn’t want a guest who’s under the influence to go crashing into your four-wheeler, that’s for sure.
Naturally, with any piece of furniture, you’ll need to consider the size of your bar cart. Too big and it will end up being in the way, too small and it might not be able to hold enough stuff. You’ll also want to consider the space between the shelves (and how many shelves it has, too) as if you can’t stand bottles up on the bottom shelf, for example, because the shelf above inhibits it, you may want to look elsewhere.
Whereas with decorative or furniture pieces for your living room, for example, will all need to reflect a certain style and design, you can be a little more lenient with a bar cart, since it has the ability to move around. That’s not to say you should stray completely from the design path you’ve chosen for your home, and a good word of caution is to style your drinks trolley around the room it will likely spend most of its time.
So, now you’re a little more clued up, let us present to you this fine selection of some of the coolest, best-looking beer carts and drinks trolleys around.
This Trays Trolley, while not advertised specifically as a trolley but more as a piece of furniture for the work space or to keep a room tidy, offers plenty of space to display your bottles of spirits and wine. Designed by Italian designer Piero Lissoni (a frequent collaborator of Kartell's) this simple yet stylish trolley is available in glossy black or white and comes on a full set of castors to make wheeling it around the home a breeze.
Take the Trace Drinks Trolley for example. Part of Tait's Trace collection of furniture, this trolley exhibits both retro styling (we can see it hosting a plethora of vodka martinis on top) and use of modern materials in the form of stainless steel framing an timber for the large wheels. It might not have a barrier to hold items in place, but the lack of gives it a much cleaner look that will complement any indoor or outdoor space you choose.
The Outdoor Drinks Trolley is a prime example, sporting a wholly minimalist look, complete with a teak-finished handle and two wheels and is made from aluminium, making it perfect for use outside all year round. A thoughtfully-designed piece on the top tray will hold four bottles of your finest grog to save them toppling over.
The Imola Outdoor Trek Bar Cart is one such item to receive the aluminium treatment, as well as a powedercoat in a range of colours to suit most spaces. A large top surface and a bottle holder on the lower level make it simple to manoeuvre your booze outside.
The Haller Serving Cart takes the fundamental basics of the Haller system – the steel tube framing – and fashions it into an incredibly stylish drinks trolley that will look great in any room. Available in a range of colours and finishes, the Haller cart is a design classic that will remain relevant for years to come.
The 901 Tea Trolley was designed by Alvar himself in 1936, with the same design being retained today. It's a low table at just 56cm high, but thanks to a lightweight birch construction, it's incredibly easy to move around. Alvar took inspiration from both British tea culture when designing the 901, as well as Japanese architecture. We feel the large birch wheels give it an especially Asian flair.
Such as the Aurelius Bar Cart, one of the more elegant drinks trolleys on this list. Legs have a 'barley' design integrated into them, shelves are given a mirrored finish, four castors make it easy to move around, with a large handle makes steering it a doddle. While we can't see the Aurelius hosting a six pack of beers, it's much more suited to moving your champagne or martinis to your guests.
It also includes this Dayne Bar Cart, which marries together rustic and industrial design influences, with cast iron used throughout for the frame and the wheels, and solid wood used for the shelving. It's a simple approach to bar cart design, but one that will complement a variety of rooms.
The Nissafors trolley rocks a narrow build, making it easy to move into tight space and out of sight when not in use. Couple that with a lightweight steel build and four wheels and you have yourself an incredibly useful – not to mention incredibly affordable – party starter.