Entertaining for the holidays can have you juggling many roles: chef, bartender, performer – even family mediator. Setting up a self-serve bar for your holiday party gives you more time to enjoy your guests, but it may not be as simple as you think. Here are some tips to DIY a successful self-serve bar for the holidays.
Keep the drink selection simple
As the party host, it’s up to you how many drink options you’d like to supply for your guests. You can stick to just beer and wine, add in a themed cocktail, or stock all the basics of a full bar and allow guests to create their own drinks. Here are some staples to consider:
If you’d like to serve a signature cocktail hassle-free, you can pre-mix ingredients and serve them in a large beverage dispenser. To keep drinks cold without diluting them, chill ingredients thoroughly before mixing, then: add ice cubes made out of your non-alcoholic ingredients, add frozen fruit, or choose a beverage dispenser designed to keep liquids cold.
Write cocktail recipes for guests
If your guests like to be a bit more hands-on, you can provide the cocktail recipe and let guests mix their own drinks. Choose a signature cocktail or two and print the recipes on paper or cardstock, write them on a chalkboard, or even on a mirror. If a drink requires an exact measurement, be sure to have that measuring utensil available. Don’t forget to provide any garnishes.
Choose drinks that complement your theme or occasion
This is the fun part: brainstorming signature drinks to suit your party theme or occasion. Warm, rich drinks are welcome at a cozy fall or winter party. Traditional drinks like mulled wine are a festive addition to holiday parties. And fresh, fruity drinks are ideal for summer get-togethers. For ideas and inspiration, check out our list of eight signature cocktails for your next event or five fall-inspired cocktail recipes.
Purchase the right amount of alcohol for your party
Party duration, number of guests, type of alcohol, and type of party all affect how much alcohol you’ll need to purchase. This drink calculator from Evite is a great place to start.
Have supplies readily available
The supplies you’ll need depend on the complexity of your drink offerings. Even the most basic self-serve bar will need:
Other supplies to consider include:
eep your guests (and yourself) safe
With a self-serve bar, you won’t be able to keep track of how much alcohol each guest consumes. Look for signs of intoxication (loud speech, slurred speech, stumbling, rude behavior, etc.) and discourage any guests you suspect to be impaired from driving. Be ready to call ride services, offer a room for the night, or even to call police if things escalate. Check your local and state laws: As party host, you may be held responsible for the actions of impaired guests, even after they’ve left your property.
Sound like a lot? With some planning and drink prep, anyone can provide their own self-serve bar this holiday season. But if you’re short on time or just don’t feel ready, you can book all of these services with On the Rocks.
You’ll get a consultation with us to discuss drink ideas, how much alcohol you’ll need to purchase, and delivery coordination. On the day of your event, our TIPS-certified bartenders – trained in safe service and preventing drunk driving and underage intoxication – will serve your guests, so you can be worry free.
Meet ON THE ROCKS
MBD Marketing & Events is proud to introduce you to our newest client, On The Rocks CO.
These guys have an AMAZING concept and beautiful product - a custom mobile bar perfect for any type of gathering!
Here is a bit about them:
We are Mike and Kate, and we are On The Rocks: the only mobile bar based in northern Colorado. Our renovated horse trailer, Pearl, is the third member of our team, and she has been through quite a journey.
We were married in 2013 at Gull Point State Park in Iowa at a beautiful lakefront lodge. Like many couples, we spent months searching for a beautiful, unique venue that would provide the flexibility we were looking for within our budget. It was a stressful experience that had us visiting dozens of golf courses, hotels, and event centers, ultimately finding that the more the venue charged, the more freedom we lost.
We created Pearl to provide a flexible, elegant, unique, and affordable all-in-one bartending solution for anyone planning a wedding or other special event. Open bars shouldn’t cost thousands of dollars for limited options. We believe in an affordable experience, tailored to be exactly what you want.
Pearl is a 1960s horse trailer who spent a decade sitting in an open field overlooking the foothills of northern Colorado. In her past life, she hauled a young girl’s horse around the state for 4-H and other competitions. We saw her on our way to work one day, and immediately started dreaming of the possibilities.
A full-body sandblast, metal-fill, custom weld work, and trim and body paint gave Pearl a new life. You can see Pearl’s renovation journey here [https://ontherocksco.com/gallery/]. With a self-serve four-tap “keezer” cooled draft tower on one side and a live edge bartender service window on the other, Pearl is ready to bring your event to the next level.
Why On the Rocks?
With Pearl, you can have an event anywhere – we’ll bring our luxury bar to you. Whether you’re a couple getting married, a company planning an employee retreat, or a concert organizer, customize your drinks, service, and even Pearl’s décor for a unique event experience your guests will be sure to remember.
Not sure where to start? Check out our packages https://ontherocksco.com/reservations/or contact us https://ontherocksco.com/contact/ for a custom quote.
MBD is assisting Pearl with her website, messaging, marketing, social media, blogs and event connections!
We love helping businesses launch!
Contact MBD Marketing & Events
Small Business. Big Impact.
Phone: 970-613-1455 or 303-886-3068
We serve the entire Front Range; Denver, Southern Wyoming, the CO Mountains, and Northern Colorado: Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, Berthoud, Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Wellington, Johnstown, Evans, Severance, Timnath, Mead, Frederick, Firestone, Milliken
Search our blog
Making Business Personal. We pride ourselves on giving you something to look forward to. We are a connected collective of creatives - owned an operated by outstanding women.
Never miss an event or opportunity. Sign up for our newsletter!
*All content produced by My Big Day; DBA Big Deal Company, including websites, are the property of My Big Day LLC and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, modify, create derivative works, or in any other way exploit any part of our materials without the prior written permission from My Big Day LLC.