A party is not complete without drinks. If you’re planning a party with a number of guests, consider setting up a beverage station as this would let your guests help themselves to your refreshing lemonades or cocktails. With so many options to consider, the best way to make planning easier is to make a checklist of what you want to serve and how you want it to look like. Read on our list to help you create a beverage station that will keep your guests refreshed and wow them, too!
Match Your Beverage Station to the Party Theme
First things first, decide which type of beverage you and your guests would enjoy. Are you serving brunch food? Will you serve non-alcoholic refreshments? Or perhaps a mixture of both to cater to all types of guests? Here’s a mini table guide to give you a few ideas on what some popular beverage stations would need.
|Beverage Station Type||Ingredients||Food and Party Theme Pairings|
|Bloody Mary Station||Mild and spicy Bloody Mary mix, vodka, ice, lemons, limes, olives, pickled vegetables, celery, cocktail onions, peppers, hot sauce, and salt||Ribs, sliders, grilled or fried shrimp, kebabs, and sandwiches|
|Classic Cocktails||Vodka, gin, rum, whiskey, tequila, tonic water, soda water, soda, simple syrup, fresh fruit, fresh citrus, olives, and ice||Pair bold-flavoured cocktails with light-flavoured food; think of complementary pairings like lime and coconut or chocolate and raspberry; or match your tequila bar with your Mexican-themed spread|
|Craft Beer Station||Craft beers and ice||Barbecue, burgers, steak, ribs, and chicken|
|Flavoured Tea and Water Bar||Tea, water, fruit juices, fresh fruits, flavour extracts, and herbs||Summer parties with refreshing salads and light party nibbles|
|Hot Cocoa Station||Homemade hot chocolate, marshmallows, and whipped cream||For late-night holiday celebrations with your kids and lots of freshly baked cookies|
|Lemonade Party||Fresh lemonade, fresh herbs, fresh fruit, and ice||Perfect for poolside get-togethers or summer parties with kids|
|Mimosa Bar||Champagne, rose wine, fruit juices, limeade, sugar cubes, fresh fruits, and rock candy sticks||Ideal for your bridal showers and brunch parties|
|Mojito Station||Rum, fresh mint, lime wedges, fresh-cut fruit, flavoured simple syrups, and club soda||Cool citrus flavours of mojitos go well with spicy party food|
Set Up Your Beverage Station
When you have finally decided on which type of beverage you are serving, it’s time to think about the things you’ll need to build your station. The most important things would be the glassware you’ll need for serving your drinks. These would include your beverage dispensers, pitchers, and tumblers. Milk bottles also make charming beverage glasses for your juice or lemonade stations. If you need sparkling water for your chosen drinks station, a soda stream machine will also come in handy.
A self-service station also needs utensils to make it easier for your guests to help themselves to your cool party drinks. Depending on your beverage bar, you may need to include some coasters, ice buckets, bottle openers, mini tongs, and cocktail-making tools. Make sure to to place smaller utensils near where they are needed so your guests can easily find them.
Add Drink Essentials
If your are setting up a station that lets your guests make their own drinks, it’s best to prepare containers for them, too. For example, you can store paper or reusable straws, skewers, or stirrers in jars. Fresh fruit slices for garnish can be stored in bowls placed underneath a bowl of ice. Mini bowls, on the other hand, can be used for chopped herbs, olives, marshmallows, and any other smaller food items. A napkin holder should also be present to quickly clean up any mess or spills.
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You may think it’s not necessary but a little decoration on your beverage station can give it colour and style to match your party theme. While flowers or paper decor can easily spruce up your beverage bar, you may also want to put decorative pieces that are also functional. For instance, chalkboard or sticker labels are perfect for identifying your drinks and condiments. For a build-your-own drink station, these may be helpful when giving your guests brief written out instructions.
Line your table with waterproof placemats to protect the surface from spills as well as match your party motif. Trays, tea towels, and wicker baskets also add beauty to your station, not to mention help you clear everything up after the party!
While tools and decor are important when creating your station, just remember that your party drinks should still be the star of the show. So make sure that they go well with your menu and all your guests can drink and enjoy your refreshing concoctions.