Entertaining Notes - featuring Ashley Meyer of The Bar Cartist

The Bar Cartist Founders Pop-Up Shop
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Born and raised in Dallas, Ashley Meyer Garrett lives with her husband, Jordan, and precious pup, Lady, in East Dallas. Ashley works together with Jared to run The Bar Cartist - their online shop for all things home-bar related. The Bar Cartist features a curated selection of bar products made by specialist designers and helps people to have the home-bar cocktail experiences that they've always wanted. Ashley loves all things champagne and travel related…and Tex-Mex cuisine.

My grandmother, Martha Duval, has had the greatest influence on my entertaining style. Martha passed away when I was very young but she was such a gracious hostess and had a gift for entertaining. Her home was impeccable and her tastes were classic. Her love for entertaining was passed down, through my mother, to me. My most treasured Duval heirloom is my ability to throw a lovely soiree, party or dinner for those I love.

The Bar Cartist was born out of necessity - that is, if you consider a great cocktail a necessity. We certainly do! My husband and I got the idea to create the shop during our wedding planning process a few years ago. When registering for our gifts, we couldn't find the home-bar items that we wanted to buy all in one place. At that time, my husband Jordan was trying to figure out how to make his dream of entrepreneurship a reality. When Jordan pitched the idea of The Bar Cartist to me, I was sold; it felt so natural - like an extension of ourselves and our love for well-crafted drinks.

Our business developed to become an online shop stocking just about everything that an aspiring mixologist might need for at-home cocktail making. We carry conventional bar items, like basic jiggers, but our passion is for presenting the products of artisanal designers. Jordan and I scope out the coolest, most-talented artists making bar products and we feature them in our store. These are the sorts of products that can personalize your bar cart.

My work with The Bar Cartist has provided the opportunity to entertain in the way that I’ve always imagined that I could, but hadn't previously been able. Through my work I’m exposed to a bounty of creative ideas and recipes, and I now have the confidence to realize them in exciting new ways. It's a thrill to have access to some killer inventory! I'm never far from the perfect glass for a special occasion.

If I had to give just one tip for hosting a great party I would emphasize quality over quantity. Don't go overboard with crazy details, or a menu so elaborate that you can't enjoy yourself nor leave the kitchen. Parties are made to be enjoyed - enjoy them! Select simple, elegant elements and you can't go wrong. When the hostess is having a good time, everybody’s having a good time.

Although you are most likely to find me with a glass of good champagne, my signature cocktail is the Juliet and Romeo. This lovely gin-based concoction came into my life during a visit to the Cedars Social in Dallas (although it was created by a mixologist at The Violet Hour in Chicago). I loved the drink so much that I taught myself to make it and have impressed guests with it on numerous occasions.

As for essential ingredients, we always make sure that we have everything that we need to make an Old Fashioned, and we always have plenty of chilled champagne. For tools, we make sure that we have a mixing glass, mixing spoon, jigger and some large ice molds. Additionally, I always keep a pair of beautiful crystal rocks glasses on the bar cart. These glasses are so lovely that even a glass of water feels refined when served in them; they elevate the experience every time.

My favorite music for entertaining is from the 60's and 70's, such as our Cocktail Hour playlist; well-loved classics that set the tone for having a great time.

My most interesting parties have been the ones that included the people I love. I loved throwing my sister’s Bridal Sleepover Cocktail Party. Part bachelorette party, part sleep over - it was a super-fun night hanging in our pajamas and drinking cocktails. We played Pin-the-Kiss-on-the-Groom, listened to music, ate way too much food and celebrated one of my favorite people. Eventually, we all fell asleep under a tent that I made from sheets and string-lights in the living room. It was perfect!

My favorite way to enjoy Chopin Vodka is with friends and family - the best way to enjoy any spirit! Although I’ll also take it in a Moscow Mule, if you don't mind!
  • summer-solstice-1

    Summer Solstice


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 2 oz. Mango juice
    • 4 oz. Sparkling water
    • Squeeze of lime


    Combine all ingredients except the sparkling water in a shaker. Shake well and strain into a tall glass.
    Add ice and top with sparkling water.

  • 16Hot Chocolate 2 square crop

    Hot Chocolate


    • 6 oz. Whole milk
    • 2 oz. 70% Cacao chocolate, chopped or grated
    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cream
    • Pinch of cinnamon
    • Pinch of salt
    • Whipped cream


    Warm the milk over medium heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. When smooth, whisk in the remaining milk and cream. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt and heat until hot but do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the Dorda Liqueur. Serve with marshmallows or a dollop of unsweetened, chilled whipped cream.

  • 15 Polish Coffee 2 square crop (1)

    Polish Coffee


    • 3 oz. Brewed coffee
    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Whipped cream


    Stir freshly brewed hot coffee together with Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur in a glass mug. Top with freshly whipped cream. Add garnishes as desired; we like cacao nibs, chocolate-covered espresso beans or shaved chocolate.

  • 14 Dorda Truffle

    Dorda Truffle


    • 2 oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • 1 oz. Cointreau


    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain and pour into a chilled cocktail glass of your choice, over fresh ice.

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    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur Neat


    • 1 ½ oz. Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur
    • Raspberries, to garnish


    We believe Dorda is best enjoyed like a dessert. Serve it neat, or shaken with ice, in a stemmed glass. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

    Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur is made with real chocolate, so always shake well before serving and store it at room temperature.

  • 11 Potato baltic cooler

    Mint-Lime Sparkler


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • 1 oz. Fresh lime juice
    • ¾ oz. Simple syrup
    • 3 Slices of cucumber
    • 5 Mint sprigs
    • Sparkling water


    Muddle cucumber in a mixing glass. Add mint, muddle gently. Add vodka, lime juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake well, strain into a highball glass. Top with sparkling water.

  • 10 Wheat Ginger Mule

    Ginger Mule


    • 2 oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • ½ oz. Fresh lime juice
    • 3 oz. Ginger beer


    In a cocktail shaker ¾ filled with ice, combine vodka and lime juice and shake until chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into a copper mug, filled with crushed ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime and mint.

  • 9 Wheat with cucumber

    Chopin Wheat on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Wheat Vodka
    • Cucumber (ribbons or wheels)


    Pour Chopin Wheat over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with cucumbers.

  • 8 Rye basil gimlet

    Basil Gimlet


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • 6 Fresh basil leaves (torn into strips)
    • ½ oz.  Fresh lime juice
    • Lime zest
    • ½ oz. Simple syrup


    Muddle basil, lime juice, lime zest, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to infuse with the basil flavor. Add the vodka, then fill the shaker ²/₃ with ice. Cover and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish.

  • 7 Rye Bitter Sweet

    Chopin Bitter-Sweet


    • 2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • ½ oz. Grapefruit juice
    • ½ oz. Grenadine
    • ½ oz. Campari


    Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, shake vigorously, strain into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with grapefruit slice.

  • 6 Rye Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary


    • 6 oz. Bloody Mary mix (we love McClure’s and Motherlode Provisions)
    • 1 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka


    Fill a Collins glass with ice. Pour Chopin Rye then Bloody Mary mix into glass. Stir then finish with fresh cracked pepper and garnish to your taste.

  • 5 Rye with pepper olives

    Chopin Rye on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Rye Vodka
    • Olives stuffed with hot peppers


    Pour Chopin Rye over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with pepper-stuffed olives.

  • 3 Potato and rosemary

    Rosemary & Potato Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Dry Vermouth
    • 1 Bar spoon green olive juice
    • 3-4 Drops of high quality, fruity olive oil
    • Rosemary sprig and 1 green olive


    Fill a mixing glass ¾ with ice, add Chopin, vermouth, and olive juice. Using a bar spoon, stir for 30 seconds. Strain the martini into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish with a few drops of olive oil. Garnish with rosemary sprig and olive.

  • 2 Potato Dirty Martini

    Dirty Martini


    • 2 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • ½ oz. Green olive brine
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three olives.

  • 1 Potato with blue cheese olives

    Chopin Potato on the Rocks


    • 1 ½ oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Olives freshly stuffed with bleu cheese (or soft cheese of your choice)


    Pour Chopin Potato over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with bleu cheese olives.

  • 4 Potato sipping

    Chopin Potato Neat


    • 1 oz. Chopin Potato Vodka
    • Snifter, Cordial or Cognac glass


    To fully experience Chopin Potato’s nuanced flavors, it is best served neat in a stemmed snifter glass.