23 December 2018

How to style and stock your bar for the holidays

Parties are such a great way to gather together with friends.  Whether it’s for a special occasion or a just a casual get-together, I absolutely love to throw a party! Over the years there have been many at our house.  Some for a specific celebration and some just for fun. Luckily, I’m able to prepare in a pretty relaxed way, thanks to dear friends who always make a contribution.  And who seem to have no problem helping themselves to a drink! 😂  Before the event, I always do a quick pre-festivity review of what makes a good party:  good music, good drinks, and good food of course.  In that order.

Since offering enticing cocktails is of the utmost importance, having a fully stocked bar where friends can help themselves is key.  And since everything must be pretty in my book, then having a beautiful AND functional cocktail area is vital. It must have everything your guests will need.  From the proper mixers to the best spirits to the appropriate garnishes – and glassware. This will make every party you host easy to prepare for and this in turn makes entertaining less stressful and so much more enjoyable … the hosts are supposed to have fun too!!

I recently purchased Ina Garten’s newest book “Cook Like a Pro,” and the section “Arrange a Bar Like a Pro” has some of the best tips: everything from arranging the glasses, to placing bottles of wine and spirits, to finishing the bar with a pretty dish of crudités.  Keep reading for a little inspiration and a few décor tips!

My dear friend’s very stylish bar area.  Heidi Semler interior design.


Get the look


Beautiful glassware

Ina suggests hand-blown stemmed all-purpose glasses like these.  I love her tip on arranging glasses in a triangle, how clever is that?  These glasses are on my wish list, since all of a sudden many of mine have disappeared!


Baskets and trays

Trays can be used just about anywhere in your home, and are the perfect addition for setting up a bar.  I’m using this one currently, and it’s an organized way to keep everything grouped together and tidy.

Barware tools

There are many options, depending on how fancy you want to be.  I love a small wood cutting board for lemons and limes.  And this cocktail shaker is a must.


The Basics

For every party, I always make sure to have large bottles of San Pelligrino, my favorite Prosecco (this, because of the pretty blue label), and this water dispenser is absolutely one of my favorite things any time of year.


The signature drink

I always like to choose one drink to make ahead of time that can be served from a pitcher.  I love to peruse Pinterest for inspiration on something new and seasonal.  Unless you have a good friend (Jim) who makes the BEST drinks … and then you just let him take over the bartending duties!


Images via Pinterest

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