The Fall & Halloween Bar Cart 2018

What’s black and gold and goes bump in the night? You tripping over your fabulously decorated bar cart. We’re going spooky elegant this year…

Halloween and Fall Bar Cart 2018 // stirandstrain.com

This month let your bar cart transition back and forth from elegant to macabre with a few black and gold touches. And a giant pumpkin punch bowl because DUH! A rich, dark amaro is good for spooky drinks, or sipping neat. And if you’re looking to conjure some fiery spirits, fill your bitters bottle with a tincture that will have your guests spitting fire. And a block of dry ice wouldn’t hurt either.

1. Black and gold jigger 2. Bitters bottle 3. Skull rocks glass 4. Pick your poison coasters 5. Pumpkin punch bowl 6. Black metal straws 7. Amaro D’Abruzzo 8. Gold bar cart 9. Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture

 

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Rum Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Daiquiri Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to the final installment of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

Today we’re looking at the rum cocktail, the classic, the Daiquiri. You might only be familiar with the frozen kinds you get at the bar by the beach, but let me tell you, a simple Daiquiri is deceptively good, and super easy to make. And no, you don’t need a blender. (Also, realizing there’s a LOT of limes in these cocktail this week, so if you’re not so into those, shoot me an email or leave a comment below that you’d like a different, easy to make cocktail, and I’ll get back to you!) Hope you’ve enjoyed this series!

Daiquiri Home Bar Under $50 ($47.04)

  1. Rum: there are some great under $20 light rums out there now. Pick one you’d like to drink cause you’re going to taste it in this drink.
  2. Jigger: can’t stress enough how important an accurate pour is.
  3. Sugar: go ahead and make a large batch of simple syrup (1:1) and keep it in the fridge for up to a month.
  4. Pairing knife: there’s lime juice in the recipe so you’ll need to cut up some fruit.
  5. Limes: like I said…limes.
  6. Cocktail glass: again Ikea comes to the rescue. However, hit up some Goodwill shops or Etsy for my creative finds.
  7. Cocktail shaker: no need for a separate strainer as these have the built-in kind (Also, use your refrigerator’s ice maker to fill this with ice. No need for fancy cubes here).
  8. Citrus reamer: you need a lot of lime juice here so get it all out with a reamer.

Upgrade to an El Presidente ($32.05)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Tequila Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Paloma Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to day three of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

It’s Tequila Thursday around here and today’s guide will get you set up with a Paloma cocktail plus a few extra tools and ingredients (Like a pinch tin of salt! Where my salt lovers at??). The grapefruit garnish is optional but I love a big slice of grapefruit in my drink to be honest.

Paloma Home Bar Under $50 ($49.74)

  1. Grapefruit: as I mentioned in the note above, this is optional, but it does make a pretty garnish.
  2. Jigger: nothing fancy but it gets the job done. The job being an accurate pour!
  3. Limes: fresh juice is essential here so make sure you have some fruit on hand all the time.
  4. Tequila: You can get a 100% blue agave blanco tequila for under $20 so go ahead and get the 750 ml.
  5. Pairing knife: you can’t cut fruit with your fingers so a basic pairing knife is a must.
  6. Ice cube tray: 1.25″ ice cubes are the perfect size for your highball glass so get a tray that makes enough for you and guests.
  7. Bar spoon: for gentle stirring of drinks.
  8. Salt: throw a pinch into your drink and rim your glass if you like it like that.
  9. Grapefruit soda: an essential part of the Paloma and these cans are great to stack in your bar.
  10. Highball glasses: Ikea has 5 glasses for under $5. Go ahead and stock up.

Upgrade to a Spicy Margarita ($42.98)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Gin Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Gin and Tonic Edition // stirandstrain.comWelcome to the second installment of our “Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50 (including booze!)” series. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

Today is for all you gin lovers out there. The Gin and Tonic is another easy to whip up, refreshing cocktail to have on hand for yourself and guests. You’ll just need a few essential bar tools and only three ingredients to make your drink. This cocktail is also easily adaptable to other ingredients on hand, so you can change it up when the feeling strikes.

Gin & Tonic Home Bar Under $50 ($49.60)

  1. Ice cube tray: 1.25″ ice cubes are the perfect size for your highball glass and you’ll need a whole tray for guests and your next round.
  2. Limes: because you’ll need a squeeze of lime. I like to keep at least 3 on hand because I find odd numbered things pleasing to look at.
  3. Pairing knife: a sharp knife will precisely cut your limes and double opening that stubborn wrapper on your gin bottle.
  4. Bar spoon: for gentle stirring of drinks.
  5. Gin: you can splurge for a full 750 ml bottle of Beefeater because it’s good and cheap.
  6. Jigger: 1 ounce and 2 ounces is all you’ll need here for precise measurements.
  7. Tonic water: I’m a fan of Q-Tonic and tonic in cans I find easier to store in my home bar.
  8. Highballs: get yourself to Ikea and get yourself some perfectly acceptable highball glasses in cases of 6 under $5. Sweet deal.

Upgrade to a Negroni ($30.98)

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

Outfitting a Home Bar Under $50: Whiskey Edition

Outfitting a bar under $50: The Old Fashioned Edition // stirandstrain.comOver the next week we’ll be giving some guides on how to outfit your home bar under $50 (and that’s including booze!) depending on what your house cocktail is. These guides are meant to be used either as is, or as a starting point to at least get the essentials in order so you’re not stuck with guests and no cocktails. If you have some extra change we’re also including one way to upgrade it as a bonus at the end of the guides!

Today’s home bar surrounds the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. You don’t need much in the way of tools or liquor to get this set up quick, so it’s an easy way to start!

Old Fashioned Home Bar Under $50 ($49.07)

  1. Large ice cube tray: a basic large ice cube tray makes enough cubes for you and a guest plus another round.
  2. Sugar cubes: save your granulated sugar for syrups and the kitchen. Place a few of these out in a glass to have them at the ready.
  3. Bar spoon: for stirring cocktails!
  4. Bourbon: you don’t have to invest in large bottles to start your home bar. Get a 375ml to try and you’ll still get 6+ drinks out of it!
  5. Angostura bitters: you need bitters for an Old Fashioned so get an all purpose aromatic.
  6. Jigger: sure you could eyeball it but this way you know exactly how much booze to make the perfect cocktail.
  7. Muddler: a basic muddler will crush those sugar cubes as good as a really fancy one.
  8. All purpose glass tumbler: these are my GO TO glasses right now for cocktails to water to wine. And they’re cheap so you won’t worry when a guest (or, *ahem* you) break one.

Upgrade to a Manhattan ($24.39)

 

**Prices on products are subject to change and we cannot guarantee that you’ll still be able to score all this under fifty bucks come holiday season. Or two years from now. Pricing not including shipping and local taxes.

May Entertaining: Memorial Day Backyard Party

It’s a three day weekend. Time to grab a watermelon, eat some frozen champagne and dress up like a cocktail!

May Entertaining: Memorial Day 2018 Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

It’s the official start of summer. So let’s tap a (watermelon) keg, freeze up the champagne (pops), and break out the patriotic bunting and vodka. You’re going to need some shades out there in that sun, so they might as well resemble your favorite cocktail. And if that’s too loud a statement, put your favorite spritz on your shoes instead.

1. Bunting 2. Cocktail Sunglasses 3. Aperol Spritz Shoes 4. Tiki Pin 5. Frozen Champagne Pop 6. Watermelon Keg 7. Watermelon Martini Pop 8. Star Swizzle Sticks 9. Crystal Head Vodka

Catch up on all the gift guides here!

May Entertaining: Cinco de Derby Party

Giddy-up! ¡Olé! It’s a Cinco de Derby Cocktail Party brought to you by Master of Mixes!

May Entertaining: Cinco de Derby Gift Guide // stirandstrain.com

Place your bets! Does your trifecta include Blood Orange Margaritas? Minty Mint Juleps? Three Sheets to the Wind? (I’m definitely putting all my money down on those three)

When Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby fall on the same day, everyone’s lucky. So, it’s time to throw a party of dueling cocktails! Mix up a giant punch bowl of Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margaritas, or make some ice cold batches of super minty Mint Juleps with a little help from Master of Mixes Mint Syrup (with extra mint garnishes please!). Stir it up with a pony or two, and tip back a festive cup to drink them all out of. And if you’re headed to the races later, slip a little into your lucky flask.

1. Party Banner 2. Cactus Cups 3. Tassel Napkins 4. Pony Cocktail Pick 5. Master of Mixes Blood Orange Margarita Mix 6. Master of Mixes Mint Syrup 7. Silver Punch Bowl 8. Opera Glasses 9. Horseshoe Flask

 

If you’d like to learn more about Master of Mixes and their naturally flavored, delicious mixers (and take a peek at their over 45! different flavors), please visit them at MixologyPro.com!

Bar Cart Styling: From Coffee to Cocktails

It’s like one of those day to night outfits, except with a bar cart.

Bar Cart Styling: From Coffee to Cocktails, a day to night transformation // stirandstrain.com

Earlier this year I saw the alarming trend that cocktail bar carts were going away! And instead, coffee carts were going to be the next big thing. Well, we’re all not about to throw away a $600 cart we bought just to get another cart and then have that trend flop on its face. If you’re on the fence about purchasing a cart, well, maybe this will inspire you! You can have it both ways by dressing your cart up for breakfast AND happy hour. Let me show you how your bar cart can do double duty as it transforms from coffee to cocktails.

  • Utilize items that work for both coffee and cocktails: sugar cubes, spoons, containers, napkins, straws, etc…
  • A french press will make a great cup of coffee AND you can use it to infuse flavors into booze.
  • Double duty glasses for water and cocktails.
  • Coffee and tonic is still a trend so keep a few bottles out for morning and then later for G&Ts.
  • Have a house cocktail and keep just those items stocked on the cart.
  • Flowers! Decorate with edible flowers like pansies or nasturtiums and your cart will look pretty all day, and your drinks will look pretty all night.
  • Keep the whiskey, rum, liqueur, etc… out. Who says you can’t have coffee and cocktails?!

1. Edible Flowers 2. Canister 3. French Press 4. Ceramic and Wood Glasses 5. Leaf Napkins 6. Sugar Cubes 7. Bar (Coffee) Cart 8. Glasses 9. Containers 10. Tonic 11. Decanter 12. Gold Straws 13. Bitters 14. Bar Spoon

Gift Guide: A Sweet, Boozy Valentine’s Day 2018

Give me all your whiskey filled chocolates and don’t ask me to share. That’s love.

Gift Guide: A sweet, boozy Valentine's Day // stirandstrain.com

What time is it? It’s time for champagne! Champagne cocktails, with a splash of hot red, bitter love. Mix it up for two in a few racy glasses and top off the evening stuffing your face with whiskey filled chocolates. Not into chocolate? How about a glass that doesn’t leave condensation rings all over your coffee table? Now that is SEXY.

1. Rosé Gummy Bear Cocktail Kit 2. Duo Glass 3. Champagne Watch 4. Stripper Glass Lady 5. Stripper Glass Man 6. Irish Whiskey Chocolate 7. Sweet Drink Stir Sticks 8. Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rosé 9. Red Vintage Pitcher 10. Campari

New Year’s Eve Bar Cart Styling: The Champagne Cocktail

We’re all so exhausted from this year. Let’s ring in the new year with a simple cocktail. And a sword.

Bar Cart Style Post: New Year's Eve Champagne Cocktails // stirandstrain.com

Keep this year’s style simple with a few glittery tassels and a light box that tells guests to “Make Drinks Here”. If you want a few theatrics, pop that bubbly with a sabre and point guests to the use of your Chambong. Our drink of choice? A Champagne Cocktail: just drop one sugar cube into your glass. Add some Angostura bitters. Pour in the champagne. And don’t forget the Bloody Mary glasses for the morning after.

1. Metallic Tassels 2. Light Box 3. Stemless Champagne Flutes 4. Champagne Sabre 5. Pink & Gold Napkins 6. Glitter Champagne 7. Sugar Cubes 8. Angostura Bitters 9. Bloody Mary Glasses 10. Arabella Bar Cart 11. Chambong

Check our Instagram this week for a chance to WIN an Arabella Bar Cart and a bunch more prizes from Louis Jadot Wine!

Catch up on all the gift guides here!