When you host a party, you want your guests to enjoy their time, which means never spending too much time with an empty cup. Of course, you want to enjoy your party too, so the last thing you want to do is spend it serving up drinks. Instead of serving them yourself or hiring an expensive waitress, why not create a unique drink station that guests can use to refill their own glasses? There are plenty of ideas.
1. Fill a Drink Dispenser With a Signature Cocktail
Head to your local restaurant warehouse, fancy home goods store, or even a thrift store and find one or two extra-large drink dispensers for your event. Mix up large batches of a couple of your favorite Absolut drinks and fill the dispensers with them. Depending on the drink, remember to include plenty of ice to keep it cold. This way, guests always have refills available at the touch of a button and you're free to continue mingling for most of the night.
2. Keep a Cooler of Drinks in a Central Location
Some of your guests may prefer more casual drink options, such as domestic or imported beers. Others may not drink alcohol and need access to soda, juice, or bottled water. Instead of running back and forth to the refrigerator in your kitchen, fill a cooler, a few giant buckets, or something else large with plenty of ice and a selection of drinks that your guests can grab at their own leisure. Remember to keep extra ice on hand if the party will run late into the night.
3. Create Pre-Filled Drink Jars
Mason jars are still all the rage for party decor and are relatively affordable online or in discount stores. Purchase them in bulk and get creative. Fill them with the cocktail you created, add fruit and ice as a garnish, pop a drink lid on them, and stick a straw inside. Instant delicious drinks for everyone, and your guests can reuse the jars to fill at the drink station. If you have the time and are crafty, you can personalize the jars by adding your guests' names and the date of your party. This way, they can take the jar home as a party favor, too.
4. Build a Make-Your-Favorite-Drink Buffet
Who says you need to do any of the major work for the drinks? Let your guests do it for you by creating a make-your-own-drink buffet. Provide a variety of liquors, spirits, and beers, as well as shakers, glasses, and stirrers. Add ice, cut up fruit that your guests can use as garnishment, and provide plenty of different mixers. Remember to include ice and plenty of non-alcoholic options for guests who don't want to drink. If you aren't sure what to buy, consider creating a small poll for your guests. This way, they can tell you some of their favorite drinks and you'll know what to add to your shopping list.
5. Create a Colorful Drink Station
Naturally, you want your drink station to match the rest of your party's theme. Consider what your color scheme is and create a drink station based around it. Is it blue and purple? Find glasses, glass bottles, or serving containers in blue and purple hues by scouring online or in thrift stores. If you want to get extra creative, build a drink station of rainbow colors by finding glassware in all colors of the rainbow.
Having plenty of variety at your drink station is the best thing you can do for it. By planning ahead, you can be sure you have something for everyone on your guest list. Start a few weeks before the party for the best results.