While you should always welcome your guests to your party with a drink, setting up a self-serve bar for later on will really help to take some of the party pressure off of you. If you have never done this before, these tips will teach you all that you need to know.
Choosing a Location
When it comes to choosing a location for your self-serve bar, you want somewhere that is out of the way of the main party, as people will tend to congregate here and you do not want them blocking the flow of everything. The kitchen is a great spot to choose, or, if not, set up a table to the side of the room that the party is in. Do not worry if it feels quite tucked away, as people will not mind going out of their way to get to the bar.
What to Include
If you are quite the connoisseur when it comes to drinks, then you should feel free to get quite creative with the alcohol that you include in the bar. However, it is always important to have the classics too, such as red and white wine, both still and sparkling, as well as a selection of beer, and some spirits, including vodka, whisky, tequila, gin and rum. Non-alcoholic drinks are essential, so be sure to keep a few fruit juices, waters and soft drinks on hand too. If you want your party to have an edge of luxury to it, include a couple of champagnes, and maybe even ingredients for a speciality cocktail, although you will need to ensure that the recipe for the cocktail is in an easy-to-find spot.
When setting the actual bar up, try to organize it in a way where guests can start at one end and work their way to the other, with everything set up in the order that they would need them in. Begin with any recipes you may have printed out for guests to use to mix their own drinks with, and then follow this up with glassware, ice, bar tools, alcohol, mixers, stirrers, and garnishes, before finishing off with some napkins.
How Much Alcohol Will You Need?
Working out how much alcohol you will need for a party is always difficult, but there are now several handy calculators online that you can turn to, which will help you with all of this. The Drink Calculator on Evite.com takes into account everything from the number of guests, including how many may be heavy or light drinkers, your party duration, and the types of drinks being served, before estimating how much alcohol you will actually need. These tools do prove to be quite accurate, so do make use of them.
A self-serve bar is a great way for guests to feel more involved at your party, and will give you more time to enjoy the evening too. While you may be used to bartending yourself, or bringing in someone to help, a self-serve bar can really exude a more informal, yet intimate, vibe for your party.