Fall entertaining is upon us. You could be simply celebrating the end of the week with friends, or maybe you’re hosting Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving).
Today I’m excited to share my Fall Bar Cart and delicious recipe for Autumn Harvest Sangria.
You’ve probably noticed that bar carts are rather trendy these days. What was an essential piece back in the 50s and 60s has returned and become more popular than ever. And it’s easy to see why. A bar cart is a fun and fairly simple item to style, plus it conveys the idea of entertaining, celebrating and gathering with family and friends. Who doesn’t love that?
A bar cart is also a super versatile piece that usually doesn’t take up much space, so it’s great for apartment living. You can go the traditional route with an actual cart or you can get creative. You might assemble your “bar cart” on a chic acrylic TV tray, in a spare cupboard, on a side table, or on the wall with shelves and boxes.
Here I’m using a butcher block table I found at a local shop. Personally, I like something with at least two shelves for storage.
From there, you can add whatever you’d like or whatever makes the cart useful for your celebration. I often start with cake stands and trays to add some variation in height. Then I place the functional items, such as cocktail shakers and glassware. Since it’s a bar cart, there also needs to be room for alcohol. I recommend adding bottles of whatever you use the most. Or, if you’re hosting a celebration, display the ingredients for what you’ll be serving.
If there’s space, finish things off with a few seasonal accessories, flowers, and nibbles such as peanuts or cheese and crackers.
When entertaining, I also suggest whipping up a specialty cocktail. For fall, I thought Autumn Harvest Sangria would be perfect.
Sangria is an excellent choice because it’s simple to make yet looks super special. It’s likewise something that most people enjoy.
My Autumn Harvest Sangria was inspired by the orchard and incorporates fresh apples and pears. A cinnamon simple syrup gives it spice for the season.
Another wonderful thing about sangria is that you can whip it up the day before your party. It seems to just get better as the flavors meld together.
Let me walk you through my recipe.
Autumn Harvest Sangria
- 1 bottle light-bodied Spanish wine I used Rioja.
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup pear brandy or apple
- 1/4 cup cinnamon simple syrup*
- 1 Honeycrisp apple cored and chopped
- 1 green pear cored and chopped
- 1/2 orange quartered and sliced
- Seeds from one pomegranate about 1/2 cup
- 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 cinnamon sticks
Make the cinnamon simple syrup. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the sugar dissolves and the liquid just starts to thicken. Transfer the liquid to a heatproof container, add the cinnamon sticks, and chill for at least 4 hours.
In a large pitcher, combine the wine, apple cider, brandy, cinnamon simple syrup, and fruits.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
And that’s it. With your bar cart set up and fall-inspired libation prepared, you’re ready to celebrate the season in style.
Do you have a bar cart in your apartment? What’s your favorite cocktail for autumn?