Welcome to our comprehensive guide on creating the ultimate bar setup and host unforgettable cocktail parties!
Whether you're planning a private gathering, corporate event, or special celebration, utilizing the right event rentals can transform your space into a sophisticated and inviting ambiance.
In this article, we'll explore the essential tips, tricks, and photo suggestions to help you plan and execute a successful event. Let's dive in!
Crafting the Bar Setup
It’s best to have a standing height bar for the bartender. This will avoid leaning over for hours on end. This may become very uncomfortable for long periods of time.
Not all bars are created equal. There are many pros and cons to consider when renting your Bar. Ideally your bar will have an ice-well or at least room for ice on station. Also its important to have some storage room on the bar for bottles and supplies.
If the floor the bartender is standing on is smooth, it could become very dangerous when it inevitably gets wet. You must ensure you avoid any slipping so it’s highly recommended to have a bar mat to stand on.
TIP: Do not serve ice for drinks from your main ice storage. Use a large scoop to move ice onto a smaller ice bin (or ice well) for service. This avoids contamination if a glass breaks or liquid is spilled potentially spoiling all of the ice.
It will be important to have a secondary table for the bar to store the glassware and other items needed. This could be a standard height rectangle table and usually would be a 6”x30” or an 8”x30” table. This will be important for the bartender to keep backups out of the way, leaving amble room for making drinks.
How much glassware is enough?
This is one of the most common questions we get asked, and while there is no one right answer for this, there are a few tips to ensure you do not run out.
Let’s assume your guests will consume 2 drinks in the first hour, and 1 drink every hour after that. (this is accurate for a 3 - 4 hour bar service). This will balance out the people who continue to drink and the people who stop drinking.
Here is another example. For a 2-hour cocktail party with 100 guests, we recommend an average of 2.5 glasses per person. However, it's always a good idea to have a few extra glasses on hand to account for unforeseen circumstances or breakages. With this in mind, here is the recommended quantity for each type of glassware for a 2 hour cocktail party:
40 x Martini Glasses or Beer/Multi-purpose Glasses
60 x Old Fashioned Glasses
100 x Wine Glasses (red and white)
50 x Champagne Flutes
Other Factors to Consider
Glassware can also different depending on the age group, how much drinking and what is being consumed.
Another factor to consider is if your event is an “Open Bar” meaning guests do not have to pay for their drinks. In this style of service, It’s more likely your guests will be willing to use the same glass for several trips to the bar. However when guests are paying for each drink, most likely they will prefer a fresh glass for their beverage and would be considered proper etiquette.
Popular Glassware Options
For a well-rounded cocktail party, it's essential to have a variety of glassware options to accommodate different types of drinks. Here are some key glassware suggestions:
- Highball Glasses: Highball glasses are versatile and suitable for serving a wide range of cocktails, such as mojitos, gin and tonics, and screwdrivers.
- Beer Glass: Classic tall, tapered pilsner glass. Typically used for pilsner or pale lager, although it can be used for any beer. The slender shape helps reveal the color, and carbonation of the beer.
- Double Rocks: Old fashioned glasses, also known as rocks glasses, are ideal for serving whiskey-based cocktails, such as an old fashioned or a whiskey sour.
- Moscow Mule: Moscow Mule Mugs will make your Moscow Mule or other specialty drinks stand out! Finished in a true copper coating.
- Margarita Glass: This is the traditional glass for Margarita straight-up or frozen. This is also a great glass for serving desserts, such as scooped gelato. 6.25″ tall.
- Martini Glass: Martini glasses are elegant and perfect for serving classic martinis, cosmopolitans, and other sophisticated cocktails.
- Shot Glass: 1 oz shot glass, a necessity for any bar or rounds of shots. Alternately used as appetizer serving.
- Wine Glasses: Include both red and white wine glasses to cater to guests' preferences. Stemmed glasses are generally preferred for wine service.
- Champagne Flutes: Champagne flutes are essential for toasting and serving sparkling wines or champagne-based cocktails.
It's advisable to have a separate glassware station or designated area where guests can return their used glasses, allowing for easy cleanup and minimizing the risk of breakages.
Consider renting a glassware rack or storage solution to keep the glasses organized and readily accessible for bartenders or servers.
If your cocktail party includes a seated dinner portion, you will need additional glassware for water, table wine or specialty drink pairings.