A DIY Bar Can Be Fun

Handling kitchen duties can be overwhelming for the host of a special event. That’s where caterers come in – we work on-site or prepare off-site and deliver to your home or special event venue.

Tackling bartender duties isn’t so stressful and may be a way for you express yourself and save a few bucks at your next special event. Here are some ideas for your bar needs:

a diy barExplore discounts: Most wine shops and package stores offer case discounts on every 12 bottles – and some offer a discount on just six bottles. If it’s wine crowd and the party is going for three hours, plan on nearly one bottle per guest – that’s one drink an hour. Also, work in advance with your package or wine store operator and ask them to seek out any special deals for you. Lots of wine comes to market that never sees shelf time – and many of those are bargain bottles that are just right for a large crowd.

Ask guests to pitch in: Some wine and package shops have gift registries. Instead of getting overloaded with another toaster, create a wine and liquor gift registry and let your guests pick up the tab for your favorite beverages.

Mix in bulktequila: You don’t want to be tied to bar-tending duties any more than you want to slave over a hot stove. Some cocktails mix well in bulk and guests can self-serve from a container with a spigot. You don’t have to be an expert mixologist to put together these recipes. And, mixing in bulk allows you to use less expensive brands of liquor and mixers bought in bulk at warehouse or discount stores.

Some ideas include:


Manhattan (Serve over ice in small rocks glass, makes 38 oz)
750 ml rye whiskey
10 oz sweet vermouth
3 oz dry vermouth
Garnish with Luxardo cherries

Whiskey or Vodka Mule (Serve over ice in small rocks glass, make 85 oz)
1 liter Vodka OR bourbon
11 oz lime juice
40 dashes of Angostura bitters
40 oz ginger beer
Garnish with lime wheels

ironhorseDon’t get hung up on labels: If you are serving champagne cocktails, don’t get all hung up on the label – after all, your bubbly is about to get diluted with juice or some other mixer. Set aside that special bottle to be shared by the bride and groom – or bridal party – and use the less expensive bubbles for mixers and guests. Consider the options of sparkling wines from the US, Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy – you may just get more bang for your buck with bubbles from outside of France!

Beer bliss: If you are among the growing number of craft beer enthusiasts you probably know a home brewer or two. Ask your favorite homebrewer to craft a special “wedding ale” for your event. It’s a way for the brewer to show off his skills and for you to have a remarkable and one-of-a-kind beer for your event.

Measure, monitor: While no one wants to get serious at a party – you are serving alcohol and by doing so assume the risk as host. To keep consumption – and expense – in check, use small glasses or cups, make plenty of ice available for cocktails and consider cutting off alcohol service an hour or so before the party ends. Offer coffee soft drinks and water. Lastly, don’t let guests who have had too much to drink get behind the wheel. Call a cab – or arrange to have drivers available to take home guests who have had too much to drink.

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