The rise of the humble drinks trolley, from charity store relic to the life of the party, points to the rekindled appreciation for the big night in.
Young people have certainly had their fill of the home bar in the past year or two. While pubs, bars, and nightclubs were shut, the only way to have a crafted cocktail during lockdown was to make it at home.
But has our experience as resident mixologists in our own homes given us a taste for more behind-the-bar entertainment? Are we keener to grow our collection of house spirits and gin mixers? The popularity of the drinks trolley says yes.
Four-wheel drive and a cup holder, the drinks trolley sits at the epicentre of millennial appreciation. Here, we track its cultural rise, the reasons why you need one, and how to pick the best drinks for your own beverage bureau.
Rise of the rolling bar
The rapid rise of the rolling bar is no exaggeration. In fact, when looking at the past 15 years, it’s clear that its popularity has only recently rocketed. Hitting a peak between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 2020, Google searches for ‘Drinks Trolley’ were 171 per cent higher last year than the average three previous years. In the past ten years, its search popularity has exploded 3,480 per cent. But what’s spurring on the drinks-on-wheels revolution?
Ask around your friends and find out what their favourite drinks are. Chances are that they won’t all choose a simple gin and tonic. Our tastes vary, while new cocktail recipes mean that it can take a lot to please everyone at a party. According to a study by Fentimans, the UK’s favourite cocktail is the vodka martini. But how many kitchens have both vermouth and vodka at the ready?
Entertaining is the ultimate millennial pastime. But keeping drinks full and good times flowing can be a difficult balance to achieve. The drinks trolley represents an open home, where guests shouldn’t be afraid to get their own top-up when their glass runs dry.
Standing opposed to the classic liquor cabinet, the drinks trolley isn’t hidden behind glass doors where your home stock may as well be locked away. While a liquor cabinet might create a this is my drink and my drink only atmosphere, the drinks trolley does not share this sentiment. It presents a buffet of spirits and mixers, meaning that you and your guests are always spoilt for choice — nothing is off the table.
People that have a drinks trolley are the centre of their social circle, with friends flocking to their homes for Netflix nights and board game events. If that sounds like you, or someone you want to be, the drinks trolley is your ticket to fun.
Choosing your drinks trolley is one mission, choosing the drinks to go in it is another story. A sleek, classic design that still fits your interior is essential. Gold and silver trimmings are popular and can add some glamour to a trolley with an already ornate presence.
The rise of the drinks trolley runs parallel to the popularity of homemade cocktails. Searches for ‘bartender kits’ have risen by 1,233 per cent in the last ten years. Even now, the demand for stay-at-home cocktails continues to grow. But what should you stock your drinks trolley with to get full use of your bartender kit?
The roaring twenties are happening all over again, and a great time begins with classic cocktails to thrill any drinks connoisseur. Find your drinks trolley, stock your favourite drinks, and enjoy entertaining or relaxing with your favourite beverage.