I think the absolute best thing about summer in the Midwest is that we get to entertain outdoors, and we love to throw both intimate gatherings and big, blowout bashes in our backyard. I have a list of my outdoor bar cart must-haves and make sure to stay stocked through the summer.
One thing that has perplexed me throughout the years is how to mix cocktails outdoors- I am always running inside to grab refills and missing juicy tidbits of gossip in order to keep my guests topped off. I found this portable, foldable bar cart– perfect for seasonal shaking of martinis, mixing of mojitos and stirring of sangria. I can use it for a portable craft center in the winter, and transform it into an outdoor cocktail making machine in the summer!
My BFF Cecilia, aka Home with Keki, just so happens to be the hostess with the mostess, especially when it comes to bar cart styling. I take a lot of cues from her and add a splash of my own DIY style to create a custom cocktail cart.
These are my outdoor bar car must-haves:
Cocktail Shaker with Strainer
I wanted to add a little color to my bar cart and protect the surface from spills. I grabbed an old oilcloth tablecloth and cut a section that fit the cart’s tray- this removable piece makes cleanup a snap!
Tip: You can grab plastic place mats from the dollar store and trim to size to line your bar cart.
My summer drink that I have perfected over the years is a mojito, and this year I am putting a twist on it by adding fresh-picked blueberries. I always plant mint in my herb garden, but keep it in a separate pot because that stuff spreads like wildfire and tends to choke other plants. I use the leaves in cocktails, appetizers, main dishes (think mint pesto) and desserts- SO many uses for this herb, same goes for basil!
Tip: Keep a mini herb plant on your bar cart for decoration and use the fresh leaves in cocktails.
Here is my tried and true recipe for Blueberry Mojitos:
Tip: If you don’t have fresh citrus, keep a shaker of True Lime/True Lemon on hand.
I am a huge fan of easy appetizers, and love pairing sweet and salty flavors together. Whenever I pick a big batch of blueberries, I love to use as many fresh ones as possible before freezing the batch.
Crostini is SO simple, and you can make multiple varieties to appeal to different tastes. I thought up this Goat Cheese, Blueberry & Prosciutto Crostini the other day and decided to give it a try!
Serve these on a brightly colored tray or a neutral tray lined with brightly-colored napkins.
Time to wheel out that bar and fire up the ice machine, ’cause this summer celebration is about to begin!
Cheers to strong friendships and even stronger cocktails, both enjoyed al fresco this summer with my outdoor bar cart must-haves!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Shopko, but all opinions are honest and my own as always. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you purchase through my site. It does not, however, change your price.