When you host a party, you have to think about the bar! Whether you are hosting a small dinner party with friends or a large themed party, you need to remember to stock your bar. In today’s post, I’m sharing how to stock your bar for a party.
There are several options when planning your bar for a party. If you are having a party on a budget, you can always plan for a classic beer and wine bar. We’ll get into selecting the perfect beer and wines for your party in a minute!
If you want to elevate your beer and wine bar, you can also add a signature drink like a margarita, moscow mule, rum punch, cosmopolitan, etc. When selecting a signature drink, keep it in line with the theme of the evening. This is also a great option for a wedding! We did this at my wedding actually. We offered a selection of beer and wine and a signature drink named “The Stormy” after my family dog.
Now let’s tackle a fully stocked bar! If you need a full bar, these are my suggestions, measurements and thoughts for stocking your bar.
- Rum – perfect for warm weather drinks, rum and cokes, punches, etc.
- Vodka – a basic for mixed drinks including martinis, cosmos, Bloody Marys, vodka tonics, screwdrivers, etc.
- Tequila – a staple for margaritas or sipping. I recommend a tequila with blue agave to cut down on hangovers.
- Gin – for the classic gin and tonic or gin and juice drinker
- Whiskey and bourbon – whiskey and bourbon drinkers know what they like. If you aren’t a dark liquor drinker, be sure to ask for help when selecting a bottle. These bottles can be expensive, but should last you awhile.
- Club soda
- Coke/Diet Coke
- Ginger ale
- Sour mix
- Lime juice
- Cranberry juice
- Orange juice
- Tomato juice
- Wine – Offer a few selections of wine that either compliment the food, or cover a wide range of tastes. Go for two reds and two whites. Safe options include a chardonnay, pinot grigio, cabernet, merlot and pinot noir. You should ask for help at the store when selecting a wine! The store staff will be able to help you and can even help you pair your wines with the food you plan to serve.
- Beer – Plan to serve several different types of beers. You can serve something light like a pilsner, a lager and an IPA or craft beer. Again, the store staff will be able to help you to plan with your food.
- For some reason, ice is the thing that goes first at a party. When planning your bar, go ahead and plan for one pound of ice per person. If it’s a warm weather party, remember ice will melt so you will need extra. You will also need ice for chilling beer and wine so take that into account when planning. Ice for your mixed drinks can be served in an ice bucket with tongs. You can store the rest of your ice bags in freezers, coolers, or even your bathtub.
- Corkscrew/wine opener
- Shot glass
- Bar spoon
How much do you need?
- It’s safe to assume your guests will have two drinks per hour
- Most mixed drinks are made with 1-ounce of liquor
- There are around five glasses of wine per bottle
- One liter of mixer typically makes 8 drinks
- A general rule of thumb for mixed drinks is 1 part alcohol to 3 parts mixer
A few ideas for cocktails
- Color changing champagne cocktail
- Spicy jalapeno margarita
- Lemon signature drink
- Jalisco iced tea cocktail
- Botanicals and soda
Here is a quick guide to pin for later! Hopefully it will help when you are planning your party!