How to Style a Bar Cart for Valentine's Day (And a Drink to Match)
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with a tasty beverage? If you’ve got a bar cart or designated drink station at home, it’s a great spot to add a little extra décor. From flowers to food, we’ve got you covered with these handy tips. Plus, no bar cart is complete without a drink, so we’ve provided a list of tasty cocktails and mocktails that will match the Valentine’s Day spirit.
Back to the Basics
The most common color palette for a Valentine’s Day celebration is red, white, and pink. These tried-and-true colors instantly evoke the romance and playfulness this holiday brings. To decorate your bar cart with these familiar hues, opt for pink or red straws, a nice vase of florals to match, and heart-shaped bowls full of Valentine’s Day candy or red fruit. Roses work perfectly if you’d like to focus on romance, or you can fill a vase with pink carnations and baby’s breath for an airy, lighthearted touch. And of course, no Valentine’s Day bar cart setup would be complete without a drink! Love Potion #9 is a bright, creamy drink that combines strawberries and cream to capture the perfect Valentine’s Day vibe.
Love Potion #9
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
- 1 ounce vodka (unflavored, strawberry, or vanilla)
- 1/2 ounce white crème de cacao liqueur
- Strawberry, for garnish
For this easy recipe, all you need to do is combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend! Pour the finished drink into your favorite glass and garnish with a slice of fresh strawberry.
The Little Touches
Everyone loves a personal touch in their décor, and a bar cart is no different! If you’re not here for the usual red, white, and pink palette, try out a more refined look with rose gold and cream décor. A combination of lavender and gold can also add a new, refreshing twist to the romance of the season. Customize even further by propping up a letterboard with your favorite Valentine’s Day-related saying, or placing a few framed photos of your loved ones amongst the food and drinks. You can DIY a banner from yarn or paper to adorn the cart itself for a bold look, or make a smaller banner to wrap around your ice bucket for a more subtle touch. If you’re a party person, heart-shaped balloons tied to the back of the cart can encapsulate the fun of the holiday.
The Sweetheart is another simple cocktail that provides a bright pop of color for the perfect display. The tart cranberry juice is tempered by sweet rose syrup to make a tasty, refreshing beverage.
- 1 fl oz vodka
1/2 oz rose syrup
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz seltzer water
To make this delicious cocktail, simply fill a shaker with ice and then your ingredients. Give it a shake, and strain into a glass.
Delicious Eats and Sweet Treats
The top shelf of your bar cart is the perfect place to set out a few tasty treats to snack on as you sip. The perfect pick if you’re serving a crowd, a Valentine’s Day Charcuterie Board can offer some savory options to balance out the sugary sweetness of the day. But if sweet is all you’re after, you’ve got plenty of delicious options. Pink-frosted sugar cookies are easy to find at any grocery store during the season, along with a wide range of holiday candies. For fresher fare, opt for chocolate-covered strawberries or bowls of fresh raspberries. Don’t forget to pick up some Valentine’s Day-themed plates and napkins to make serving a breeze.
The Virgin Cosmopolitan is the perfect drink for the alcohol-free mixologist. Or you can simply add 1 oz of vodka to this recipe if you’re looking for more of a kick!
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz lime juice
- 2 oz sparkling water
- 1 oz orange juice
Another easy-to-make recipe, all this drink requires is a shaker filled with ice, and then your ingredients. Shake everything together, then strain into a martini glass.
Valentine’s Day offers a wonderful way to celebrate your friendships. If you’re planning on spending the day with your pals, it’s important to make sure your bar cart is stocked with enough glasses and snacks to go around. The bottom shelf of your cart is the perfect place to store extra glasses, bottles, and your ice bucket, leaving the top shelf free so you can mix drinks and set out treats. For a budget-friendly hosting option, look to your local dollar store for pink or red champagne flutes, bowls, and décor.
The classic sangria is a delicious crowd pleaser. This version serves four, and can be doubled or halved to suit your needs. For an alcohol-free version, replace the brandy and wine with seltzer water or sprite.
- 1/2 orange
- 1/2 red apple
- 1 lime
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 3 cups red wine
- 1 cup ice
To start, muddle your apple, orange, lime, and sugar in a large pitcher. Add the brandy and orange juice to your concoction and muddle again. Then pour in your wine and stir to combine. You can add ice to the entire pitcher if you’re not afraid of it getting watered down, or simply place ice in individual glasses and pour.
If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner, you may want a more romantic bar cart layout. Rose petals (real or silk) layered over the shelves are a great way to start. Then, light up some pillar candles or candlesticks to provide a warm, inviting glow. Make sure to include some of you and your partner’s favorite food and drinks in the display—the perfect way to show you care.
You can’t go wrong with a simple glass of wine on Valentine’s Day date night, but if you’re looking for a mixed drink to test your mixology skills, look no further than the chocolate martini.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz chocolate liqueur
- 1 oz crème de cacao liqueur
- 1 oz half and half or Bailey’s (Bailey’s adds extra sweetness)
- Chocolate syrup
- Shaved chocolate (optional)
To start, dip the rim of your martini glass in chocolate syrup, then flip upright and drizzle a little more syrup along the walls of the glass. Fill a shaker with ice, and then add all the liquids. Shake until the drink is combined and chilled, about 20 seconds. Pour into your glass and top with shaved chocolate if desired.
How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Show us your bar cart décor by tagging @walkeredisonco on social media.