Creating A Holiday-Party-Worthy Bar
As a host or hostess, you have enough to do around holiday gatherings without having to be a bartender, too. So here are our tips for creating a serve-yourself, well-stocked holiday bar.
Find a place in your home that has enough space around it for people to get to. But an area that is not in the flow of traffic. A small table or cart is a perfect solution that you can locate where you want it. Resist the temptation to have any snacks on the bar area, so people can get in and get out without standing around snacking. You can even add a few books or bricks to the back of the table, cover with some beautiful fabric, and use as a shelf for the bottles to sit up on.
The most important part, right? Single serve mixers like soda water, tonic, ginger ale, lemon-lime soda, and cola are your basic non-alcoholic musts. The liquor side requires vodka, gin, light rum, bourbon, scotch and tequila as the minimum needed. Don’t forget to have a bottle of bitters and some simple syrup, too. Garnishes like mint and rosemary sprigs, lemon/lime wedges (precut and de-seeded), olives and even cranberries for color take it up a notch and add a level of fun and interest.
Wine and beer is the other call to make and those items can be kept in an ice-filled oversize container with easy access near the bar area.
Near the bar, make sure you have the right accouterments. Keep an ice bucket (or a deep serving bowl with tongs will do), a water pitcher and, if you're serving wine, a corkscrew. Decorative stirrers, a shot glass for measuring, a cocktail shaker and fancy toothpicks round it all out.
Barware and stemware should be plentiful and near. While you might be tempted to use plastic cups, if this is your holiday party, go for the nice stuff. You can’t beat the feeling it evokes and it shows off your style. And every drink tastes better in a glass made for the drink you’re drinking. At minimum have rocks glasses, highballs, white and red wine stems and a classic stemmed beer glass. Have fun with it, too, by adding ribbon to your stemware for color.
Now go have a party to die-for and let us know how it goes.