Party time: 10 of the best drinks trolleys and bar carts

Best in Class: Drinks trolleys



It’s party time so serve your drinks in style by dressing the cabinet or cocktail trolly with decorations and/or battery-operated lights to give a festive mobile bar. This Push brass trolly from Meadows and Byrne, €198, is a wheelable, oval-shaped design that will have drinks at the ready for when the countdown begins. You can stack its glass shelves with bottles of everyone’s favourite tipple or set up couples on the bottom shelf and a champagne bucket on the top shelf, one big enough to fit a couple of bottles. The chain also sells a smart cooler bag, €19.95, that allows you to keep your bubbly cool if on the move.


This Next bar cart is decoratively festive in a way that is easy to replicate. The key here is to ensure you fill it with ice, decent stemware and a core collection of spirits to lift the mood. The stemware is from a selection at Next and a cart similar to this can be purchased from newly opened Pieces on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street where it costs €359. For designated drivers make sure you include non-alcoholic options like Heineken’s really palatable Zero alcohol beer and check out the BBC’s Good Food site for fizzies that won’t pack a punch.;;


Bubbles are essential. Serve in crystal coupes like these simple ones froms from Waterford Crystal’s Elegant Optics range. You can add a little crème de cassis to turn the drinks a pale shade of pink and serve Kir Royale or serve cocktails. Clover Club is a confection of gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and an egg white, which emulsifies the pink drink and looks the business. 

Keep the bubbles chilled by investing in a decent size cooler. Paul Costelloe’s Living range for Dunnes Stores includes family silver heirlooms like a restaurant-worthy champagne bucket, €150, big enough to hold at least two bottles of bubbly.;


Whatever drinks you decide to serve, dress to impress with finishing touches that evoke this special night. This is something you can prep in advance. You could even steal the style of the Dylan Hotel’s Spice and All Things Nice cocktail menu which includes a winter wine warmer made with clove and star anise syrup and dressed with orange peel and a cinnamon stick; an old-fashioned made with a peaty whiskey paired with nutmeg and clove red wine syrup and angostura bitters, and garnished with a simple slice of orange that sits on the lip of the glass alongside a star of anise or serve a dessert in a glass, this apple and cinnamon crumble is finished with a delicious cookie crumble rim. 


If your NYE celebrations are going to be more modest, a tray helps elevate the fancy a drink moment into something more special and allows you to do all the back room preparation in, well another room, making the offer appear effortless. This Bloomsbury bar tray, €40, is available from Marks & Spencer and its stainless steel finish and handles make it easy to wipe down if you happen to have any spills. Scatter a few baubles or decorations across it to help make it a party mood. The glasses, pictured, are all priced as sets of four and include Maxim flutes, €20; Manhattan tumblers, €16 and gin glasses, €27. The ornaments include a standing stag, €10; a glass tree, €8.25 and an Indian glass bauble, E€20, for a set of four.


A decanter is a beautiful way to display spirits or wines and allows guests to top up their own glasses once everyone relaxes a bit. Pictured is a decanter that will really draw attention. Made by Portuguese porcelain and crystal group Vista Alegre’s Atlantis the Fenix whiskey decanter is a thing of beauty. Embellished with eye-catching art deco patterns of hand-painted gold it costs about €585, ex delivery, from UK-based luxury tableware etailer Bonadea. Fill with a single pot stills like Greenspot, which can trace its roots to the early 1900s, from the Celtic Whiskey Shop, or the butterscotch finish of Redbreast 12 Year Old. Both cost about €59.99.


Eclectic London-based print company Divine Savages was founded by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy and includes wallpapers, cushions, shower curtains and velvets and linens with verve. It also sells smart gifts like these Geometric Aviary drink coasters, about €30 for a set of four, ex delivery, that might just be the perfect gift for the house-proud hostess, for at parties house guests tend to discard stemware all over the house.


Zelouf & Bell is one of the nation’s top furniture-making talents. One of the design duo’s specialities is the cocktail cabinet, which they embellish with all manner of luxurious woods. Pictured is its Jaguar design, featuring macassar ebony inlaid with a wrap-around burr walnut on which a marquetry crow perches, watching over the mahogany and bolivar big cat, €48,000, to the rear of shot and its Serpents bar cart, €24,000, which is a tangle of baby snakes in ripple sycamore inlaid into bird’s eye maple. The cart also has concealed castors and pull-out shelves finished in vivid purple quartz. It is railed in chrome-plated solid brass hardware.


Include the kids – even for just a few minutes before you dispatch them to bed. A hot cocoa bar is a treat they won’t forget, especially if you go all out and follow the suggestions at Crate & Barrel’s blog, which includes how to make home-made marshmallow. You can hop the kids up on sugar and dispatch them up to bed to run wild with some glitter cannons, from about €3 each at any party shop – while adults get the grown-up party started downstairs. Serve hot chocolate with lashings of whipped cream and a pinch in festive paper cups like these Yay ones from Ginger Ray, about €4 per set of eight. Even plain warm milk, sweetened with honey, can taste positively ambrosial and has the added benefit of being a soporific.;


Baby it may be cold outside but nothing hits a damper note than warm drinks at a party. Ice is essential, especially for non-drinkers, who won’t have had luxury of having their taste buds neutered by alcohol. It makes mocktails look the business. You can use anything from a bath – if you’re expecting hundreds of guests – to a dainty cut crystal ice bucket for drinks a deux. This green ceramic design by Rockett St George is now sold out but shows you that the vessel you choose just needs to be able to accommodate bottles of wine or bubbles – it doesn’t strictly have to be a ice bucket. An acquaintance of this writer’s once even used a toilet cistern to chill his NYE drinks.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.