Styling the Perfect Bar – Calculating alcohol consumption
Nothing says ‘Let’s Celebrate’ than a well stocked bar. Alcoholic or non alcoholic, there’s something for everyone yet the rules don’t change. There are absolutes and must haves for every successful refreshment station and we’re here to walk you through the detailed check list that will be sure to WOW your guests and keep the festivities going all night long.
* ice – keep a simple yet elegant container on the bar filled with ice accompanied by tongs so people can help themselves or top up their drinks. To take it one step further, consider customizing your ice cubes to compliment your drink menu. You can have a ton of fun and add a splash of colour and flavour to your refreshment station all in one easy step.
* chilling stations – using oversized galvanized containers or coolers filled with ice and stocked with cans or bottled drinks can make for an easy and effective option for guests to help themselves to a cold one. Depending on decor you might consider disguising your cooler with burlap or another fabric to tie into your event theme. You can also look at using wooden troughs, oversized planters or wheel barrels for a more casual outdoor theme.
* Decanters – always a fun option for a casual drink station that allow guests to help themselves. Flavoured water, lemonade and punch are all favourites on a cool summer day. Have them set up on a table or side board complete with glasses and accessories so your guest will enjoy a refreshing break between mingling and pictures.
* Accessories – your station should be complete with glasses for indoor events and/or plastic for outdoor events, cocktail napkins, stir sticks to mix and a selection of complimentary condiments with appropriate serving utensils
*Garnishes – should be placed in uniform containers to keep the presentation visually appealing. Glass vessels are often the most versatile, easily accessed and compliment any style. Lemons, limes and orange slices/wedges are the most traditional selections however celery sticks, carrot sticks and spiced string beans are also popular for cocktails and mixed summer drinks. Remember serving tongs are a must!
*Menu – listing the featured selections of wine, beer and liquor makes the bar a more comfortable place for your guests as they can easily identify what is available without asking. An additional sign for any speciality cocktails or signature drinks is also recommended and should include the ingredients if possible, again to ease the comfort of your guests.
The Big Question – How much do you need to buy?
There are a few factors that come into this equation. Having the answers to the following questions will get you closer to the final numbers you will need when asking the experts. Its important to have the ground work in place giving you the best results for you and your guests.
How many people do you have attending and how many to your knowledge drink?
What are the hours of your event (daytime vs nighttime since temperature will affect consumption)
Are you able to estimate the percentage breakdown of wine, beer and liquor drinkers?
Are you having a cocktail hour and if so how many types are you going to offer?
Will you be having a champagne toast?
Are you serving wine at the tables and if so will there be a red and white?
Will the bar be closed or open during dinner?
When planning for a major event its important to consider how the bar will be set up and where it will be located so that there is plenty of room for the bartenders and your guests. You’ll need room for coolers, storage for glasses both clean and dirty will need to be in the plan as well as an area for extra supplies, garnishes etc.. Depending on the number of guests you may need more than one or two bartenders to keep your guests happy and keep the traffic moving. Remember that the more efficient your refreshment station is the happier your guests are and the less congestion there will be..