The Gentleman’s Bar Cart Essentials With Courtney Lake

We love the work of interior designer Courtney Lake. His design company, Monogram Decor, is known for impeccable and classic style. So, when we had questions about how we could help gentleman of all ages style the perfect bar cart, we knew Courtney was the man to talk to. He shares with us his tips on creating a flawless bar for any gentleman who loves entertaining.

So Courtney, what are your tips for styling the perfect bar cart?

I am not 100% sure when I fell in love with bar carts but in almost every project I have done, one has found its way into the final design. Whether mid-century cool or Hollywood Regency glamour, I think bar carts are the perfect ways to inject a tiny dose of masculine flair into a space with the added bonus of booze. Seriously, booze and design – it’s a match made in heaven in my book! In all my bar carts, I follow a base set of rules for what they should house including:

Five Liquor Stickler – Stock List

I strongly believe that bar carts should have the 5 basics: dark rum, whisky/bourbon, vodka, gin and a “wild card”. At the moment, I am smitten with mescal – think tequila’s more refined older brother. Made from agave, like tequila, the distillation process produces a smooth, smoky and potent libation that I am gaga over. I recently experimented with the liquor and came up with a recipe I call “Pink Heat”. Don’t let the name fool you, the drink is like a beautiful, intelligent woman – full of surprises and may knock you flat on your arse if you aren’t careful.

Recant the Bottle – Decant Your Booze

We are adults now, so it’s time to lose the handle bottles. I go to Costco too but that doesn’t mean I want to show the world how big of a lush I am! Invest in beautiful decanters to store your spirits. And I know some liquors are light sensitive, and by no means am I saying destroy your stash for the sake of beauty, but for as little as $10 you can definitely class up your bar cart. I personally am smitten with these beauties from West Elm.

Man Up – Tool Up

The best cocktails I have had follow some simple rules. They follow a recipe – aka – someone measured the ingredients. Nothing worse than a poorly mixed drink. So man up and invest in the following: a jigger, a cocktail shaker and strainer, a stirrer and most importantly a cocktail book. I think this book can do no wrong – it has over 1000 recipes and covers the basics to the esoteric in simple language.

Courtney’s Pink Heat Recipe

1 jigger of Hanger One Chipotle Vodka

1 jigger of Cielo Rojo Bacanora

3 jiggers of Wild Poppy Blood Orange Chili juice

1 teaspoon of agave syrup

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

chili flakes (decoration)


Mix sugar and chipotle powder on a small saucer.  Moisten rim of glass and roll edge in sugar mixture.  Set aside.  In a cocktail shaker add vodka, bacanora, juice & agave syrup with ice and shake.  Place one large ice cube & strained mixture into rimmed glass.  Garnish with a pinch of chili flakes.

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