How To Rock Your Holiday Bar Cart: Tips from Lulu Powers

By Lulu Powers

Best-selling author, entertaining designer, and celebrity chef Lulu Powers knows her way around a party. Here, she shares her expert tips on equipping your bar with the essentials for holiday entertaining. Stock up now and you won’t be fazed when friends drop by for an impromptu gathering. Instead, you’ll be handing them a festive drink like a pro.

Lulu’s 5 picks for holiday bar cart essentials:

  1. Prosecco Takes the Versatile Prize. “When you offer someone prosecco or champagne, it feels special. You can serve it over ice with a splash of Campari for the holidays. Add frozen cranberries or pomegranate seeds or even a stem of rosemary. More than any other wine, prosecco or champagne universally goes with everything you’re going to eat. My go-to for the holidays? Trader Joe’s Incanto magnums of prosecco for $11.99. They only have them out this time of year. That stuff is delicious!”
  2. Red, White and Rosé Reign. “Of course you should have red and white wine. And now, I always have rosé - I love rosé and people ask for it! People get it in their head that it’s only for the summer, but my own personal feeling is that it doesn’t matter. It’s an all-year-round wine now.”
  3. Vodka and Tequila Make Sublime Cocktails. “I have a new favorite tequila, Clase Azul. The friend who introduced it to me put fresh grapefruit juice and some lime in it, and gave it to me to sip - I thought it was delicious. At a party I recently went to, a guest had brought their own flask filled with Clase Azul tequila, because that’s all they drink. As far as vodka, Tito’s is easy for people, and Trader Joe’s sells it.”
  1. Mixers Go Mini. “You’ll need sparkling water or club soda and tonic water. Little bottles and little cans are chic. They look better and are easier to use. Those small bottles of Orangina are perfect if someone wants orange juice, or the mini cans of Perrier, which come in grapefruit or orange. If you’re not a drinker, it’s great to have the cans to hold. Keep some fun straws on hand. For one of my parties, I bought some stirrers on Etsy with a gold pom-pom on top which are festive and fun. It’s all about the look too!”
  2. Keep Garnishes Cold. “Throw some grapes, cranberries and pomegranate seeds in the freezer now; you can put them in ball jars. Or take a clementine and cut it, and freeze the slices. Then you’re always ready with a garnish.”

As far as pantry essentials for entertaining, Lulu keeps snacks on hand such as potato chips, nuts and olives. “Have fun stuff to eat! Holiday candy like See’s Candies’ bridge mix or toffee. People love dried mango strips.” To serve the snacks, Lulu advises: “Always have three 2-cup bowls ready to go.”

Lastly, make sure you have cocktail napkins on hand and ice in your freezer. Now you’re officially party-ready. Let the holidays begin!

For more entertaining advice and inspiration from Lulu Powers, check out these full Party Plans.

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