Picture of Travel Bar
If you are content to drink beer or wine, there are plenty of options for drinking on-the-go or to grab something on the way to a party.  For those of us who prefer something a bit more complex we find ourselves often disappointed by alcohol options at parties or find it is too much work to bring all the necessary accouterments to make what we like to drink.

The Travel Bar inside a suitcase is a way to always have exactly what you need to make more complicated drinks anywhere. My case is designed to make 3 different whiskey based drinks and has enough glasses and coasters for 6 people.  

For more photos of the finished case and higher quality photos, please visit my personal blog by clicking here

Note:  Some of the photos/steps may seem out of order.  I made this suitcase for the Instructables Show and Tell at the Craftsman Experience studio.  To properly document how I made the case I had to take it apart at times after completing steps and reassemble while taking photos.

Step 1: What It Is Built to Carry

Picture of What It Is Built to Carry
To begin with, you must locate a good suitcase for this project.  I strongly recommend a hard-sided suitcase and to avoid anything that is soft or fabric.  A lot of the stability of the case comes from the suitcase itself so starting with something sturdy will lead to a successful project. 

I created this case to hold supplies for a few types of whiskey drinks specifically.  This case was built around the objects I wanted it to carry so before I started I searched my local stores and purchased the objects needed to complete my vision.  This included bottles to hold the alcohol and mixers.  I might change the brand of whiskey to carry or the company may change the size/shape of their bottles and I didn't want those things to effect the future usability of my case.

Here is a list of items the case is set up to hold:
- 2 large bottles (one for whiskey, one vermouth)
- 2 medium bottles (one for lemon, one bitters)
- A shaker
- A set of 6 glasses
- A jigger
- 3 glass jars (for cherries, sugar, and orange slices)
- A set of coasters
- Tongs for serving sugar
- Straws
- Stir sticks

I thought I was the only one who felt like this I also drink whiskey, scotch, cognac, and usually I have to bring my own bottle places but don't like drinking out of plastic cups or not having drinks to mix or chase. Thanks for this I will be attempting this myself. Nice job

Moumoufr3 months ago

Funny and useful !

andy.knote7 months ago

Wow, that's a great build. Impressive work. Nice detailed instructable with great photos, material list, and step-by-step instructions. Nice use of laser cut pieces! Great work!

xxroxexx1 year ago
This is amazing! I concur with asandoval7
I will for sure be telling my mom about this she will use it a lot!!!!!!!
asandoval71 year ago
This is brilliant, so so classy!
utest_551 year ago
Thanks a million pounds a bit like that and it will take a while now available on this product out the new one for me is a great deal on a daily rate for this transaction is an automated response free of viruses as the one you want a copy for the use the information in it to you soon
Very cool little drinking travel kit! Might need to add something to my site about drinking games www.halfnakeddrinkinggames.com.
This is very cool! I might need to add something to my <a href="http://www.halfnakeddrinkinggames.com" alt="Half Naked Drinking Games">website about drinking games.</a>
xtewx922 years ago
That's cool I might make one for my dad
papa-g2 years ago
This design is well done. I like the Art Deco look (or maybe it's just a 1920's look) because that's when cocktails were king.

How much does the full kit weigh when loaded up? Can it be carried with one hand, or it is more of a luggable?
antibromide (author)  papa-g2 years ago
Thanks, it was something I wanted to make to have around for forever and I really thought about how to design a functional object that will last.

It is around 20lbs when fully loaded. It can be carried with one hand but 1) It is a second hand suitcase, I'm not exactly sure how abused it was before I bought it, 2) I don't want to put unnecessary pressure on it and risk breaking it, 3) It is a bit heavy for me to carry and any momentum that builds up when carrying/swinging it can pull me over pretty easily so I carry it with a careful lift.
M.O.T.H.2 years ago
I hope you win! Good luck.
Montrose2 years ago
Ahhhhhh beyond cool. Now to incorporate a record player or an app that notifies your friends of the location of the suitcase bar when its opened.
QR code with the 'subscribe' link stuck on the side of the case.
antibromide (author)  Montrose2 years ago
Thanks! I need to become friends with someone who owns a suitcase record player and we will be a traveling party duo! Wherever we are there will be a party. ;)
Drspacedom2 years ago
Will carry one with me in my travel car. Thank you.
steve62212 years ago
what a good job !!!
realife112 years ago
I just saw this idea today selling at World Market. Original price was $600+, marked down to $350. So to make this yourself is a HUGE savings and a very cool item to have. Thanks for posting it. Here's the world market link where they're selling one:

mstyle1832 years ago
you are my idol!!
very good good job
poofrabbit2 years ago
Congratulations on being a winner in the digital fabrication contest!
antibromide (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thanks! I wish I had won the CNC router but I'm sure I can do lots of fun things with the goodies at Inventables.
Congratulations on being a finalist in the be prepare contest! (Look at you go ya little contest ninja!)
pneum0nic2 years ago
Beautiful and practical. I love this!
antibromide (author)  pneum0nic2 years ago
Thank you!
Now it just needs a Fuller Brushes advertising logo on the outside of the case. Awesome.
heyster2 years ago

this travel bar reminds me of this other instructable that made a picnic table out of a suitcase. couple the travel bar with this picnic table and you can have a good party anywhere. I could also use this set up for organizing all of my gadgets too. add some foam to protect everything.
Old Fashioneds.. yeah. :D Great work, way nicer than my Executair 100 (?).
antibromide (author)  doctressjulia2 years ago
You can't deny that the simplicity and straight-forwardness of the Executair 100 would make it a lot easier to serve your self after a few rounds...
I love this, especially all your finishing touches. It has given me a great idea for my sewing machine and all it's paraphernalia. Think I'd rather a bar though...
antibromide (author)  mandolinible2 years ago
Making a beautiful compartmental box exactly to fit your sewing machine parts would be awesome, too. Maybe add a compartment or two to your sewing box to hold a few bar-like items. ;)
Ingenious! Love the idea of a bar "to go"!
antibromide (author)  angrybanana422 years ago
Thank you! You have everything you need all tidy and in one place. :)
AbbiesAcres2 years ago
My wife loves a classic Manhattan!
antibromide (author)  AbbiesAcres2 years ago
Your wife sounds like a fantastic person.
That is great; a winner for sure.

You might get on well with this guy. (1 minute and 20 secs in.)


from the film Bunny and the Bull.
antibromide (author)  FriendOfHumanity2 years ago
That was so fantastic! I was not familiar with that film before now. And yes, that is kinda maybe how I am at a party. ;)
inkfzz2 years ago
you are cool.
antibromide (author)  inkfzz2 years ago
Thank you. :)
dsage12 years ago
What are the dimensions of the inside of the suitcase?
antibromide (author)  dsage12 years ago
The outside most dimensions of the box I built were 12.5" x 19" (32cm x 48cm). I used 1/4" (0.6cm) stock so I had a usable space of 12" x 18.5" (30cm x 47cm).
agis682 years ago
amazing bravo!
antibromide (author)  agis682 years ago
Thank you!
angelabchua2 years ago
Oh my word.. this is GORGEOUS!
antibromide (author)  angelabchua2 years ago
Thank you! That was my goal. If I was going to make this, I was going to do all the little things to make it beautiful as well as useful. :)
realife112 years ago
Great! Add a table top and you could use it as a cool liquor bar.
antibromide (author)  realife112 years ago
Thanks! If you lived in a small space it would be pretty easy to convert this idea into a small liquor cabinet with table top and everything.
bakunin2 years ago
I really like how the veneer creates movement and leads the eye all around the suitcase.
antibromide (author)  bakunin2 years ago
Thanks! - When I was laying out the veneer pattern on the computer I wasn't sure how it was going to look upon completion and it turned out better than imagined.
dlogan12 years ago
I voted for this in the "Be Prepared" contest. There was a time in my life that this would have been very useful in an instant party sort of situation. Nice job.
antibromide (author)  dlogan12 years ago
Thank you, thank you! I have many friends that would appreciate this type of preparedness and you never know when it might come in handy!
ReeseLloyd2 years ago
Very cool!
antibromide (author)  ReeseLloyd2 years ago
Thanks! :)
barista2 years ago
I followed this glass etch instructable quite successfully
antibromide (author)  barista2 years ago
Etching glass is super easy and the results can look so awesome.
This is superb. I love getting drunk in the park. May as well do it with style. I agree with the comment below - glass etch those bottles!
antibromide (author)  Fuzzy-Wobble2 years ago
Thank you! Etched glass would be a great option and could work well with a differently styled suitcase. I think it would have been overwhelming to add another texture (leather, tartan, veneer) in this suitcase. :)
I would suggest for an alternative style, do a search for a "Glass Etching" instructable. Besides having a classy way to label the bottles, you would also be able to monogram the glasses. Awesome for you, awesome for a gift.
antibromide (author)  Tornado of Knives2 years ago
Glass etching is really pretty. If I didn't have so many different textures (tartan, stripes, leather) I would have done something like that and that would be a good alternative for someone who doesn't have access to a laser cutter or wood burning/etching tool.
JamesW2 years ago
My word, you could make a small fortune selling these things!
antibromide (author)  JamesW2 years ago
I live in a city that loves vintage so finding enough suitcases to meet demand would be a challenge!
jpmarq2 years ago
Now, I want a drink. ;)
Fantastic idea when taking a weekend trip.
antibromide (author)  jpmarq2 years ago
It would be an easy thing to grab and throw in the car for a weekend away, wouldn't it? Now I want to take a weekend trip.
Lorddrake2 years ago
5 stars for old-timey coolness
antibromide (author)  Lorddrake2 years ago
I want to keep this forever so I went with a style that is classic and should look good for a long time. :)
That is just genius! It looks amazing.
antibromide (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Aww, thanks! I've wanted to make this for so long and I used the Instructables/Craftsman Show-and-Tell night as an excuse to finally do it.