The Right Furniture
Perfect summer drinks start with the perfect bar cart for your space. We highly suggest picking out a cart made from weather-resistant material--some of the best outdoor styles include sleek bamboo or tiki-inspired rattan. For a super modern take on an outdoor-friendly bar, look into those made from powder-coated metal or, if you love wood, a light teak.
Summertime drinking is an art. Find a set of festive glasses you like and keep a few stacked on your cart. Be sure to buy at least eight to ensure you'll always have enough for everyone, even if one breaks or is sitting in the dishwasher. And keep it classy with real glasses instead of plastic.
A Signature Cocktail
Pick a cocktail you can master and shop for all the ingredients it requires. We picked a simple drink: tequila sodas with a twist. Ingredient list: tequila, soda, lime, plus agave and grapefruit juice to sweeten it up for those who like a little sugar. Cut up any extra limes and pop them into a pitcher of ice and water to sip alongside your cocktail -- it's super important to stay hydrated on hot summer evenings.
The Right Tools
Keep your cool with an ultra-insulated ice bucket and a set of stainless steel bar tools. Pick up a serving tray, shot glasses for measuring (or maybe even a round of tequila shots ... depending on where the night takes you), and a shaker to show off your bartending skills. For a fun spin on a classic bar tool, we found this amazing pineapple-shaped shaker. Though we noticed the shaker has inspired us to make an unusually large number of Mai Tais lately...
Bar carts are usually loaded up with functional items, especially when you're hosting a large group of people. So make room for a little fun! We suggest adding a small lantern, bud vases, or a plate of treats to snack on. We decided to place a small cactus on a stack of books to mimic the tones in our limey drinks. It's always a good idea to maintain a unifying color palate so that the random assortment of items on your bar cart will look perfectly tied together -- giving it a playful, yet polished vibe.
Add a pop of color to your bar cart by surrounding your glasses with limes and lemons, patterned paper straws (or these fun floral straws), and decorative cocktail stirrers. To be honest, we're suckers for mini umbrellas to top off tropical drinks.
Not all cocktail hours are created equally, and we want to make sure that yours will land at the top of the list. Besides good conversation and great cocktails, a well-designed outdoor bar is the necessary recipe for perfect summer nights.