the bar: part 1

3 Aug

When I host a party the first thing I offer my guests when they arrive is a beverage. Whether it be a cocktail or a glass of water, there is something about holding a glass in our hands that puts people at ease. Here’s what you need to know to be ready for any occasion.

The Bar: First, you need a bar area set up. When hosting parties at my house I use my kitchen island. Although I currently have my eye on this bar at Crate&Barrel-

The Glassware: there is a specific type of glass for every cocktail. Since it’s impossible to know what people are going to choose to drink I’ve narrowed it down to 5 glasses that would be appropriate for a variety of drinks. I have fallen in love with the Viv glasses at Crate&Barrel, simple classic everyday glasses. If my budget allows I love, love, LOVE Riedel glasses. I have a few in my cabinet but for large parties I’m sticking with the Viv glasses (if they break, I won’t shed a tear).

  • classic martini glass: you’ll feel glamorous every time you use one. They are necessary for martini’s and cosmos.
  • 13-oz. stemware glass: you can use these glasses for a variety of drinks, red or white wine, sparkling water, sangria, even a sparkling italian soda.
  • 9-oz. flute: not a requirement, but I like to have a few champagne glasses on hand. This was my recent purchase and I’m so glad to add them to my collection. I’ve spent the past 10 years serving champagne in wine glasses. Can’t wait to make some mimosas in these little gems!
  • 16-oz. highball glass: ideal to be used for beer, water, sodas, and most mixed drinks.
  • 11-oz. lowball glass: appropriate glass for any drink served on the rocks.

The Bar Accessories: the proper accessories will complete a well stocked bar. Here are some must haves to get you started with mixing in style-

  • Corkscrew: I like to use the old-fashioned waiter’s tool. It folds up like a pocket knife. We also have a automatic bottle opener and the rabbit opener. I still reach for the waiter’s tool every time. Whichever you choose it’s essential to have on hand to open wine bottles.
  • Shaker: must have for mixing cold well-mixed cocktails. If you have a large party I would recommend having 2 or 3 of these on hand.
  • Long-handle spoon: stirs mixed drinks & mashes ingredients.
  • Chopping board & knife: for cutting and peeling lemons, limes, orange slices.
  • Shot glass: must have for pouring accurate quantities. A shot glass holds 1 1/2 oz. of liquid.
  • Napkins: stock up on these. Try to make sure you have at least 3 per guest.
  • Pitchers: use to hold sodas, juices, and even ice tea & water.
  • Ice bucket & Scoop: Ice ready for mixed drinks.
  • Party beverage server: Great for holding white wine, champagne, sodas.

Just a thought…..for a engagement party make it a stock the bar party! Guests can bring gifts related to stocking the bar and by the end of the night the newly engaged couple will have a fully stocked bar. Love it!

Tomorrow, part 2 of “the bar” stocking the liquor cabinet & a few of my favorite cocktails.




One Response to “the bar: part 1”

  1. Arm Candy Confessions August 3, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Love it Steph! I am in the market for new glasses and will definitely check out the Viv collection! Thanks for the tips!

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