If there is one purchase for my home that felt completely frivolous and downright fun, it is my vintage Mastercraft Hollywood Regency bar cart purchased through Chairish. I had admired this midcentury beauty for some time before I pulled the trigger. This cart says, “Let’s party.” In its shiny new brass heyday it was quite a stunner; in its patinated, rather crusty old brass state today it is less flamboyant, but no less elegant.
I did not imagine it would prove to be so practical. In a small urban cottage like mine, storage space requires creativity. This cart gives a stylish home to the wine, liquor, and bar paraphernalia that previously were tucked away in my pantry or office closet.
This holiday, I’m sharing how I’ve styled the bar cart with midcentury finds for both beauty and self-serve practicality. I’m also sharing my to-date favorite cocktail recipe, which I discovered last February at Prime Steak House while skiing Park City, Utah. If you’re a G&T or lemontini fan, you will love the Silverlode. It uses elderflower liqueur. If you’ve not yet met elderflower liqueur, it’s time you did. (You're welcome.) If anything you see here inspires you to style a self-serve coffee bar or a dessert cart (mmmmm), then my work here is done thrice-over. (Is that a word?)
We’re planning to offer holiday guests their choice of wines, Silverlode cocktails, or single-malt scotch, so the cart is stocked accordingly. Sparkling water is on the bottom shelf. I’ve added a large silver tray for pouring and containing spills (plus it’s shiny and pretty), a midcentury ice bucket, and a Heisey glass dish serving sliced lemons and limes. I like to use old silver spoons and forks for serving. A vintage Block crystal decanter holds the single-malt scotch. The blue glass vase with greenery helps to remind everyone that we’re not just here to drink; it’s Christmas after all. A variety of glassware is laid out top and bottom for guests to select and serve themselves.
You can see the patinated, dark old brass, which I love. Its turned, slim side rails and combination of brass and glass speak to its Hollywood Regency style. I also love the streamlined, shapely right-side handle shown in the next photo. (PS: That chair is Ethan Allen and the velvet, beaded pillow is from MGBW.)
There's nothing precious about any of the crystal or silver on top; all are flea market or consignment shop finds. I like to search for midcentury barware and with two grown sons, I have many opportunities for gifting. In this case, both the silver-rimmed bar glasses and the vintage Block crystal whiskey decanter are holiday gifts for my sons (they just don't know quite yet). The Block crystal decanter (minus stopper) was found at a local flea market and the stopper was purchased separately from eBay. After reviewing other Block decanters at Replacements, I *believe* this is a matched set. (All told, I spent less than $20; later, I saw the same decanter in a Denver antique store for $100.) I've yet to find the perfect ice tongs for the midcentury ice bucket shown here, so I put out this large, old Rogers Silver serving spoon so guests can scoop ice. (By the way, I sometimes use this glass ice bucket as a candleholder in summer on the patio. The way its faceted sides throw the candlelight around is pretty great!)
The large, curvy, silverplated tray used for pouring drinks and containing spills is engraved with "Herding Group, ODKC, 1987." It was originally a trophy awarded to Old Dominion Kennel Club of Northern Virginia. Such a fabulous thrift shop score! I found it just a few months after we adopted a Border Collie puppy (our own little herder) from a Boulder rescue organization, so of course I had to have it. (Smaller, similar silver trays are available in the store.) All the old silver spoons and forks I use for serving are part of a curvy and unusual collection I've gathered over the years. This Texas spoon is dated 1931.
This heavy, Greek key Heisey glass dish is perfect for offering sliced lemons or limes for guests' Silverlode cocktails or sparkling water. This is a beautiful, distinctive piece. Heisey Glass ended operations in the 1950s. (This one's available for purchase in the shop.)
I'm eager to put all of this vintage goodness to good use in just a few days. Now try the Silverlode. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Cheers! The very best to you this holiday and in the new year.
Making a Silverlode Martini
Tanqueray gin (1.5 ounces)
Simple syrup (to taste)
Fresh squeezed lemon (2 ounces)
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur (2 ounces)
Float of Prosecco sparkling wine
Note: You can use alternative brands for the gin or elderflower liqueur. We’ve done so in the past, and it’s tasted just as yummy.
- Combine all ingredients except the Prosecco in a beverage server
- Pour into a martini glass
- Add a float of Prosecco to each glass (a “float” is a splash)
- Garnish with a lemon slice
Note: To make simple syrup, bring 1 cup of water to a boil, add 2 cups sugar and stir until dissolved. Cool and use. You can store simple syrup in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.
All styling and photography by Urban Cottage Style, unless otherwise noted.