It's great to plan those holiday parties, but once the commitment is made, reality sinks in and the work begins. Not everyone is blessed with a finished basement, ready made for parties, and complete with an oak wet bar and dance floor. Not to worry, with a little work and some creativity you can create your own temporary bar.
Portable bars are great. You can wheel them out whenever you need them and they're already pre-stocked with all the necessities. If you don't own one of these, a make shift bar station can easily be set up and tailored to your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind when setting up your beverage center.
Location, Location, Location
Location is probably your most important decision when setting up you bar station. Guests automatically gravitate to the bar during a party so decide what area of the house you want people to gather. If you have a small kitchen, this may not be the best location. Close proximity to a sink is a perk, but not a necessity. Some people like to set up their bar so that it doubles as a blockade to prevent guests from wandering into certain areas of the house. Try to find an area where you have room to store extra bottles and supplies in behind. A kitchen island or other designated space works well as long as you can handle the traffic jams while you're preparing food. I've also heard of people using bookshelves or outside patios (if the weather cooperates). Wherever you decide, make sure there is space for people to stand around and mingle.
Reuse and Recycle
Setting up a portable bar does not mean going out and buying a new piece of furniture. The chances are you have something lying around the house that will be suitable. Small tables or serving carts work well. I've even seen someone use an old barrel.
Stock Your Bar
Ice storage should be one of your first considerations. A small ice bucket, constantly in need of refilling, will only create unnecessary work. Try to get a larger container, such as a cleaned out planter, an urn or large bowl. I've even seen someone take a large cooler, place it beside the bar and have it over flowing with chilled beverages.
Display your bottles, glasses, openers, and mix so that guests can easily help themselves. Be sure to include juice, pop, a pitcher of water, sliced lime and/or lemons and olives.
Give Your Bar Some Pizzazz
Now is the time to pull out your showy pieces and make your bar stand out. Grab those crystal bowls to hold your condiments and silver trays to show off glassware. If you have a theme for your party, try and reflect it in your bar decor. Have it resemble a beach hut for that Hawaiian theme or display pine boughs for a holiday party. Set up a wine tasting area by pre-opening various bottles and setting them out. If the party is for a big game, set up your keg and stick up a few sports pictures or other memorabilia.
Once the set up is complete, pour yourself a drink to celebrate and wait for the guests to start pouring in.
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