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The shining, circular Asprey Drink Trolley rests on polished wheels, loaded with bartending supplies.

Raising The Bar: Design for a Drink Trolley

Article by Anne Ichikawa 04.05.2018

Asprey has been creating and designing bespoke pieces with the highest quality and finest craftsmanship for more than 230 years. Now, the luxury goods brand designs a bespoke drink trolley exclusively for The Ritz-Carlton for a cocktail that be can shaken — or stirred.

Known and loved internationally for its luxury goods, clients come to Asprey to find extraordinary and unique products. So it makes sense that the London-based brand has partnered with The Ritz-Carlton to create an exclusive drink trolley for its hotel guests to enjoy. The one-of-a-kind silver-plated trolley will travel around the world to Ritz-Carlton hotels in Japan, Europe and the U.S. In select cities, expert mixologists will serve up handcrafted drinks, using local ingredients for regionally curated cocktails. Asprey’s Ciara Hurley-Stewart shares the design inspirations for this singular drink trolley.

Can you go into some of the history of Asprey’s barware?

The late 1920s and into the 1930s were the heydays of Asprey’s most creative and innovative bar designs. Asprey catalogs of this era are beautiful anthologies of luxury goods. It was the age of the cocktail and Asprey embraced this by creating original, iconic and humorous pieces. In fact, during this period, Asprey was the place to buy your cocktail shaker.  These designs are so enduring that they’re still available today: The Tell Me How, Thirst Extinguisher, Starboard and Port Shakers, Joy Bell and Dumbbell cocktail shakers all date from the 1930s.

Did this influence your design for The Ritz-Carlton trolley?

Yes, we chose Art Deco, because our design inspirations came from our archives — a time when barware was at the height of fashion. However, we incorporated modern elements in keeping with our current and new barware collections

What are the typical components of the “ideal” drink trolley, from tools and barware to types of liquor?

You can find all the essentials in our Asprey collection: cocktail shaker, bar spoon for mixing, spirit measurer, mixing glass, strainer, ice bucket, tongs, decanter and elegant glassware. Regarding liquor, the basics to have are a high-quality vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and vermouth. With these ingredients and tools, you can create a multitude of cocktails and drinks.

What items will the bespoke Asprey drink trolley feature?

For The Ritz-Carlton, we have chosen to focus on our handmade cocktail shakers, expertly crafted in our workshops located above our flagship store in London.  A selection of six models will be displayed alongside mouth blown and hand engraved glassware to include the following pieces:  Rocket, Thirst Extinguisher, The Classic, Tell Me How, Port and Starboard Cocktail Shakers with the Bubbles, Cross Hatch, Octopus (in clear and in black), Shark and Stag glassware.  There will be a rotation of pieces, considered and selected for each of The Ritz-Carlton properties.

What are the details that make this trolley special?

We put extra attention on the details with added personalized touches, such as incorporating the Asprey “A” in the design, the shaping of the arch by the wheels, the hand engraved Asprey for Ritz-Carlton plaque. These are the details and that make it so unique. In addition, the silver plated and glass trolley were hand built by master craftsmen in the Asprey workshops over the New Bond Street store in London.

From glasses to shakers, does barware influence the quality of a cocktail?

Definitely. The quality of the glassware, the feel and weight of the glassware in your hand and the thickness of the rim all add to the experience when partaking in a cocktail. And when you’re drinking out of an Asprey glass, we hope it’s not just a drink, but a moment to truly enjoy and remember.

Celebrating this golden age of cocktails, the silver-plated and tempered glass trolley will go on tour, rolling into Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world. At each stop, Ritz-Carlton mixologists will concoct innovative libations and serve the classics, in addition to offering handcrafted drinks using local ingredients for regionally curated cocktails. Explore More


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