How to create a mini holiday bar cart
Hosting over the holidays? This festive, well-edited bar cart, built around four special bottles, will keep spirits bright
We promise: you don’t need to be flush with space to create a holiday bar cart (we’re looking at you, Toronto apartment dwellers). Built around four memorable spirits that also make charming gifts, this mini cart will set you up for elevated holiday entertaining.
Ready to get hosting? Read on for essential bottles and cocktail ideas, along with your other bar cart building blocks.
A versatile whiskey
Proper No. Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey is rich in flavour and smooth in finish, giving it the texture to stand up in spirit-forward cocktails, like a cranberry mule or an Irish old-fashioned. Crafted in partnership with UFC legend Conor McGregor and named after the Dublin district he grew up in, this whiskey also makes for a great conversation topic at cocktail hour. LCBO, #11945, 750 mL, $38.95
Proper No. Twelve Holiday Ginger Mule
- 1½ oz Proper No. Twelve Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey
- ½ oz cranberry juice
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Ginger beer to top
- Apple wheel and/or cinnamon stick to garnish
Combine whiskey, cranberry juice, lemon juice and Angostura bitters in a glass over ice, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of apple and/or a cinnamon stick.
A rum with personality
The Kraken, a distinctive Caribbean rum made with a secret blend of spices, including vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, gets its name from a sea beast rumoured to have attacked a ship laden with the spiced spirit in the Caribbean islands. All that remained were the barrels of rum covered in the black, mysterious ink of the Kraken from which the bottle gets its name. An ounce or two adds rich spice flavours year-round, and for the holidays, it’s surprisingly versatile—try it in rum punch, warm apple cider or, our favourite, an eggnog-spiked espresso martini. LCBO, #225698, 750 mL, $33.45
The Kraken Espresso Martini
- 1½ oz The Kraken Black Spiced Rum
- ½ oz The Kraken Black Roast Coffee Rum
- 1 oz espresso
- 1½ oz eggnog
- Grated nutmeg to garnish
Pour rum, espresso and eggnog into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake hard. Strain out ice and shake mixture without ice to aerate. Pour out through a fine strainer, and garnish with grated nutmeg.
An elegant Tequila
Is Tequila more your flavour? Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila is a supremely sippable cristalino, meaning it’s a combination of extra añejo, añejo and reposado Tequilas filtered to remove any impurities, colour or harsh flavours. It’s a great bottle to elevate your spirits game; or, enjoy it in a Champagne-topped holiday spritz. LCBO, #401307, 750 mL, $66.95
Dobel Holiday Spritz
- 1½ oz Maestro Dobel Diamante Tequila
- ½ oz honey syrup
- ¾ oz lemon juice
- Dash of absinthe
- Champagne to top
- Grapes and lemon zest to garnish
Pour Tequila, honey syrup, lemon juice and absinthe into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake hard. Pour out through a fine strainer, top with Champagne and garnish.
A sipping spirit
Lastly, you’re going to want a beautiful spirit to drink neat to cap off the night. Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey is just that. Made with care at the world’s oldest licensed distillery, Bushmills has been the standard-bearer for quality single-malt whiskey for more than 400 years. With fresh citrus aromas on the nose and a palate of creamy vanilla and soft toasted wood, it’s best enjoyed neat, with ice, or with a drop or two of pure water. Bonus: it pairs perfectly with festive sweets like caramel-covered shortbread or toffee pudding. LCBO, #131870, 750 mL, $53.95
Glasses: Moscow Mule Mug ($29.95) | Pinecone Cut Double Old-Fashioned Glass ($21.95) | 1910 Retro Coupe ($16) | Medlin 11 oz Whiskey Glass, set of six ($154.94) | Red Striped Holiday Glass ($19.95) | 1920 Retro Martini Glass ($16)
Extras: Vinterfit Striped Paper Napkins ($3.99) | Gold Potts Merry Stirrer, set of four ($13.99) | The Basic Stirred Cocktail Set ($82) | Milano Stainless Steel Cocktail Shaker ($69.95) | Disco Ball Ice Bucket ($99.99)