In Partnership WithCointreau

Got a Cabinet? Then You Can Have a Cheerful Holiday Bar

published Dec 21, 2020
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Holiday celebrations may require a little more creativity this year, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be memorable. In the latest installation of Apartment Therapy’s Style School, home design maven Sandra Morgan Downie — who shares her warm, serene style at Sandra Morgan Living — walks us through creating a festive holiday bar setup in an unexpected place: a plain old cabinet. That’s right! If you have a little cabinet space, you can create a corner of cheer to make this holiday season one to remember (not forget).

One of the best-kept secrets to making really good drinks — besides a cute spot to mix them in — is buying really good ingredients. One that you’ll find yourself reaching for over and over again is Cointreau. There’s a reason Cointreau crops up in so many recipes. This iconic orange liqueur has been around for over 150 years, and its bright, distinctive citrus flavor is the foundation for hundreds of classic and modern cocktails. It also happens to be one of just three essential ingredients in the original margarita: a deliciously simple, beautifully balanced cocktail that’s perfect for any season. 

In this video, Sandra shares some of her best tips for creating a festive bar setup at home. Dramatic glassware, beautiful garnishes, well-chosen accessories — all are guaranteed to make your holiday celebration feel like a party, however small it may be.

Mix up your glassware

Mixing and matching glassware adds instant appeal to your bar cabinet. Look for different sizes and shapes (for different kinds of drinks). And for an extra festive look, opt for glasses with gold or silver accents. 

Add well-chosen accessories

Sandra takes her look to the next level with fun accents: a jar of playfully patterned straws, seasonal greenery, and candles in mercury glass candleholders — which happen to be a shimmery complement to her gold-accented glassware. 

Keep your shaker front and center

Whether your cocktails of choice are fancy and complicated or simple and classy, a shaker is still a classic, must-have bar accessory. Plus, leaving one out can encourage folks to experiment with their own drinks. Just don’t forget the ice!

Credit: Sandra Morgan Downie

Have coasters on hand

Practical, yes, but they can also be oh so pretty. A mix of eclectic coasters, like a mix of glassware, adds depth and style to your bar. And having coasters out will encourage people to, you know, use them — which will keep your furniture happy as well.

Add that just-so finishing touch

Garnishes are lovely to look at, they add a grace note of flavor to a drink, and they just feel special. Adding little bowls of garnishes to your bar says: This is a big deal. It may not be your typical occasion, but this is definitely an occasion.

Credit: Sandra Morgan Downie

One drink that’s sure to be a hit is The Original Margarita. It’s the perfect marriage of the bright citrus flavor of Cointreau, the freshness of lime, and the warmth of tequila — and the recipe couldn’t be simpler. Don’t forget the salt!

1 oz Cointreau
2 oz tequila
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker
  2. Add ice and shake until well-chilled
  3. Strain into a salted glass with ice. Garnish with a lime wheel
  4. Enjoy!

You can find even more recipes using Cointreau on their website. Can’t wait to start? Pick up a bottle today!