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How to Set Up a Collected Stylish Holiday Bar

Hi Everyone. Happy Holidays. Annie thought it would be fun to share ideas for Holiday Beverage bars which we thought would be fun. So, today we are joined by Kim and Juliet are joining in the fun, We are wine drinkers but are attempting to become more adept at cocktails. Let/s talk about how to set up a Collected Stylish Holiday Bar.

How to Set Up a Collected Stylish Holiday Bar

One of the things I love about this house is this great built-in buffet. It is original and very functional.

cindy hattersley's holiday bar

When it comes to provisions, it’s better to have too much rather than too little. According to my research, a well-rounded bar should include at least one bottle of each of the six essential liquors. Stocking a good mix of these will allow you to make almost any cocktail.

cindy hattersley's bar tray closeup

What are those six? They include vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whiskey (scotch & bourbon), and brandy. Here are some articles that will help you set up a proper bar. Ballard Designs has some great tips here: Ballard Designs How to Set Up a Bar for your Holiday Party. Martha Stewart as well here: How to Set Up a Bar for Your Next Holiday Party The Washington Post has great tips here: Tips for Setting Up Your Home Bar for the Holidays and Beyond. The Today show has some great ideas here also; Today Show-How to Set Up the Bar for Your Holiday Party

The beautiful tray was a gift from one of my husband’s favorite clients years ago. I have never seen a similar one except at Auction many years ago. I did find this silver tray on ebay here. Update If you search Indian Silver Butlers Tray one might turn up. First Dibs has had them on occasion.

cindy hattersley's bar tray

I have to be honest, I want the bottles to be pretty if they are going to sit on my counter (haha). My son, who can make a mean cocktail, conferred that most of the “good” liquors have nice bottles.

See what I mean about the pretty bottles. I like the ones that have a sort of vintage look. I always ask Colin first before I buy. FYI why are most of the vodka bottles so unattractive?

cindy hattersley's stocked bar tray

I added a couple of vintage wicker-covered bottles just to make it interesting. If you want to start collecting vintage wicker-covered bottles you can find them on Etsy here. Ebay is a great source for wicker-covered bottles also here.

cindy hattersley's bar tray contents

Here are some great suggestions on what tools you need to set up a proper bar: Most Important Bar Tools for a Home Mixologist. I love my bar tools. They are from the Harrison Collection at Pottery Barn. They have sort of a vintage deco hotel look which I like. The little Santa is from Walnut Ridge. I have owned it for many years. There are several Walnut Ridge belsnickel on Ebay here. You can find similar Belsnickels on Ebay here

Cindy Hattersley's essential bar tools

Okay, so I am not ready for the big time with cocktails. I am no mixologist. To be honest I tried to nudge Colin and Lauren (hoping they would make it and I could take a picture) but they did not take the bai. They did send me several that sounded way too complicated for an amateur like me. So here is a recipe for a cocktail I can handle at this point, the cranberry, clementine, rosemary cocktail from coleycooks. The only additions I made were sugar around the top of the glass. You know the drill dip in water and then in sugar, and the same with fresh rosemary for garnish. It just makes it a little more festive.

cranberry clemintine and rosemary cocktail

Of course, the most important item on the Hattersley bar would always be wine. It’s always nice to have a mix of reds and whites. Here I have a Cabernet from Ridge Vineyards, a Pinot Noir from Morgan Winery, and a Rhone Blend from Benom for the reds. For the whites, the Margerum Viognier, a Babcock Chardonnay, and an Ian Brand Sauvignon Blanc.


My daughter (Summer’s mom) buys me funny coffee mugs (that are oh so true) and cocktail napkins (the same). I thought you would enjoy a little of her holiday humor to finish off the post.


cindy hattersley humorous cocktail napkin

Gotta love this one!

cindy hattersley humorous cocktail napkins

Happy Holidays Guys! I hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. Let’s take a look at our other blogging friend’s posts. They are a talented bunch. I think you will enjoy them.

P.S Thank you for all the sweet birthday wishes. I appreciate each and every one of them!


Classic Casual Home
Most Lovely Things
Northern California Style
Make Mine a Spritzer
how to set up a collected stylish bar

Reader Interactions


  1. Karen B. says

    I love your bar set-up. Like you, I will shop for a pretty label at our local Total Wine. Then I check with the experts at the store for input as to whether it’s drinkable or not. Haha. Your tray is beautiful. This was a fun topic for the season.
    Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family.
    Karen B.

  2. Christy @Our southern home says

    Absolutely love this post! That tray is a fabulous find. I gave up looking for silver when I found a large rattan one. Your silver one is great! I’m in awe over your dreamy buffet. What a great entertaining space!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Christy

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I love rattan trays. I rarely used this tray in my former home, but this is the perfect spot for it.

  3. kim says

    Cindy, I am so in love with your built in bar. It’s beautiful with the wreaths too. I agree with everyone that your tray is stunning, but how you accessorize it is what looks so good. I need to start buying some wicker bottles. I hear you that vodka never looks great, but all the gin bottles are quite pretty! What is the little mixer bottles? I haven’t seen that brand before. I love the small ones. I am taking note of all of your wines, because you know what is good. For someone who claims not to know cocktails, that Christmas one sure looks beautiful! I think we may try this on Christmas Eve! This was such a fun post and I loved joining you ladies! Happy holidays Cindy and I hope your birthday was lovely. xoxo Kim

    • cindy says

      Hi Kim
      Aren’t you observant I found those cute bottles at our local market in Salinas Star Market. I know I shouldn’t be about the looks but sadly I am. Darn it i want it to look pretty as well. Colin keeps me on top of what is actually good.

  4. Annie Diamond says

    Cindy! I love your whole bar set up in your beautiful dining room! That tray is really gorgeous! I agree with the pretty bottles and there are so many to choose from. Every thing you do is gorgeous and your bar and cocktail is no exception. I think I drank my coffee in one of those mugs from Jenna!

  5. Karen says

    fabulous, Beautifully displayed and the built in
    is sooo Awesome. At the old farmhouse, so glad
    the built ins were left original and with the Wavy glass just like almost all the Windows too.

    This is going to inspire me to set up an Drink station, have collected beautiful decanters and
    Collection of Hotel Silver.

    Thank you,


  6. Sharon says

    Gorgeous set up on your buffet! One thing I have become obsessed with: giant ice cubes! The look is so great and they melt slowly. I ordered the silicon tray for them off of Amazon.

  7. LA CONTESSA says

    The silver tray looks like a TWO CROWS if I recall correctly!They were from INDIA as you stated CINDY.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Elizabeth

      I do not know the brand as it was a gift probably over 15 years ago. Hopefully that will help people’s search if you are correct!

  8. Mary Ann Pickett says

    What a great set-up. You could get off the hook by having one of the kids do a specialty cocktail…that’s what we do (since I am more into wine too). Love the cranberry and rosemary garnish.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      We will be going to Colin and Lauren’s for Christmas so I only need to do Christmas eve and breakfast.I am sure there will be some craft cocktails at their soiree

  9. Gray says

    A great post! Who needs to be a mixologist when your bar is so gorgeous?? I have a similar set up on mine but it’s a min version of yours – much smaller so can’t fit all that great styling stuff! I LOVE the wicker bottles – such a cool idea.
    Love the napkins – we carried the second line in my store – they are hilarous…
    And finally – Happy Happy Birthday! You look amazing. Go get em girl..

  10. Joanna says

    Your bar set up is so pretty. The use of baskets/wicker and that beautiful tray adds character and elegance.
    You put a lot of time and research into every post, Cindy. Thank you!

  11. Juliet says

    Happy Holiday’s, Cindy! Your built-in buffet is magnificent … and that drinks tray. Wow. What can I say, you win the beverage bar races! I’m totally with you about pretty bottles … and (sheepishly) admit to being partial to pretty wine labels too. I know, I know. Love your festive cocktail … cranberry, clementine and rosemary with a sugared rim … I’m ready, let’s go! It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?! xo

  12. Kim says

    Beautiful post. Really love the bar tray and how it contains all the bottles and lemons/limes. Could you please provide the source? I do enjoy a good garnish and use cake sprinkles on glass rims. There is a sparkly cake sprinkle that looks like crystals/snow. You can find these sprinkles anywhere from Hobby Lobby to most grocery stores. It adds a fun and festive touch. Happy Holidays!

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Kim

      As I mentioned to Julie the tray was a gift and I have never seen a similar one, other than at auction. I am sure we have had it for over 15 years. I just checked again 1st Dibs has had them on occasion it looks like. I would search Indian Silver Butlers Tray with sides and maybe you can find one.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Laura

      I just linked to some similar ones on Ebay. There are a few Walnut Ridge ones on Ebay.

  13. Beth says

    Fun post! My only thought is that “whiskey” , for a complete bar, needs to be divided into scotch and bourbon. What one person calls whiskey is not necessarily what someone else is wanting to drink. Being without both just doesn’t work.

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Beth

      Yes of course I should have been more specific. That is why I linked to the articles, rather than go into too much detail for those who already know. I did put that in parenthsis however so as to not confuse anyone.

  14. Julie B says

    Love this blog post Would you please tell me about your bar tray and point me in the right direction to find one that beautiful?

    • Cindy Hattersley says

      Hi Julie

      The tray was a gift from one of my Husband’s favorite clients years ago. I have never been able to find one. I did see one at Auction in 2013 but that was it.

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