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Elegant Outdoor Bar

This summer, we are getting outside and enjoying beautiful weather and good conversation.  We gave you our tips and tricks for elegant outdoor entertaining, but what’s a fancy party without some good drinks?  Here are our tips for a classy outdoor bar setup.


Summer entertaining is all about slowing down the pace and relaxing.  Setting up a bar outside doesn’t have to stress you out.  We styled our bar cart quickly and easily keeping these things in mind:

  • Choose carefully: There’s no need to offer up your whole liquor cabinet.  Set out only a selection of liquors and mixers that can all be used together.  Provide corresponding glassware so drinks are easy to mix up.  That way, whether you’re serving your guests, or your bar is self-serve, everyone can easily decide what they want without weighing too many options.
  • Be bold: Don’t worry about making sure everything matches perfectly.  An outdoor gathering lends itself to an eclectic mix of tones and textures.  Pick bold colors and patterns, and mix in metal and wood textures for a relaxed vibe.  Elegant shapes and metallic touches will add sophistication.  Repeating the same colors and textures with different bar items will bring it all together.
  • Mix it up: Guests enjoy choosing their own mixers and having a non-alcoholic option, so having those ready by the bar is a good idea.  Providing mixers and sodas in glass bottles will up the level of sophistication.
  • Top it off: Garnishes don’t just work for your cocktails.  Have lemons and limes, or whatever you like to garnish your drinks with stocked and ready to go, but don’t forget to decorate your bar, too.  We set out bright paper straws, linen towels, and flowers from our garden to add the finishing touch.

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Photo credit: Casey Maxon and Aurore Joigny