How to Stock Your Bar Cart (Plus, a Pomegranate Apple Punch Recipe!)

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The holidays are in full swing and you might have signed up to throw a soiree of your own. The key to any successful party is, of course, preparation. To make sure your bar is fully ready for your guests, we asked New York City mixologist Christy Pope for her pro tips to make sure your next party is a sparkling success!

InStyle: What should every host have in their bar?
"When stocking your bar, focus on a few offerings that will appeal to many–I'd recommend a Champagne/sparkling wine, a light spirit such as gin, a brown spirit such as a bourbon or rye, and liqueurs such as Cointreau or St. Germain.

For mixers, I'd stock up on club soda and tonic, fresh lemon and lime juice, and simple syrup."

What's the one consumable item no bar is complete without?
"Fresh citrus is a must—for both fresh juice and for twists."

What's the one non-consumable item no bar is complete without?
"No bar should be without proper tools: a shaker set, Hawthorne strainer, stirring spoon, and muddler."

What are the best crowd-pleasing and easy cocktail recipes everyone should master?
"A Champagne cocktail and an Old Fashioned!"

How can you decorate your bar to make it more festive?
"To start, seasonal glassware is a great way to decorate and set the mood. I love picking out festive glasses from places like HomeGoods, where you can get a variety of sizes and styles without spending a lot of money, which makes it easy to switch up from season to season!

Also, you'll need plenty fresh ingredients to work with—baking spices like cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, and star anise–which makes the bar look inviting and intriguing."

What are your best bartending tips to make a house party easy on the hostess, but still fun for the guests?
For large groups, a bowl of punch, like my pomegranate apple recipe (see, below), that your guests can serve themselves is always a great idea."

Pomegranate Apple Punch

Pomegranate Apple Punch

"For large groups, a bowl of punch, like my pomegranate apple recipe, that your guests can serve themselves is always a great idea," said New York City mixologist, Christy Pope. This punch includes Laird's Applejack, Cointreau Orange Liqueur and pomegranate juice. Get the recipe here.




1. Measure ingredients into a mixing glass and then add ice.

2. Shake vigorously until chilled.

3. Strain into a chilled wine or punch glass (over ice optional).

4. Garnish with a star anise.

PHOTOS: Our 20 Best Party Throwing Tips, Ever

Pro Tip

For a virgin batch, sub out the Applejack with apple cider and the orange liqueur with orange juice.

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