We just threw our first party at the new house! It was a combination Birthday/Housewarming/ Birthday Party! We had about 40 people in attendance, so we spent the weeks leading up to the party frantically trying to wrap up projects around the house. More on that coming soon. I also had to try to come up with a menu that would feed that many people without totally blowing the budget. I had a really difficult time with the drinks. I needed something that would work for kids and adults, and that would not require me to spend the whole evening making drinks. I came up with the idea to have a self-serve Party Punch Bar. I actually got the idea from a hot cider bar I saw in a Food Network Magazine (something I think we’ll try out for Christmas).
All I did was make a non-alcoholic party punch (fruit punch, lemonade, and ginger ale) and put it in a drink dispenser. Next, I picked 3 liquors (Whiskey, Spiced Rum, and Vodka) for guests to mix in with their punch asttheir discretion. This way I didn’t have to have separate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and the guests could choose their own poison and strength. I didn’t like the look of just placing liquor bottles on the counter (a little too college frat party for my taste), so I bought these antiqued glass bottles from Michael’s for only $3.50 to hold the alcohol.
I added these gift tags that I also found at Michael’s with strings of burlap to label what was in each jug. I finished the jugs off with wine corks I had laying around to keep the liquor fresh. Finally, I added instructions that I made using PicMonkey (affiliate) and put it in a spare frame, so guests would know what to do.
The punch bar was set-up on top of our new beverage center in the kitchen, so guests also had the option of beer or wine. The punch was a huge hit! I also put out some cut strawberries and maraschino cherries for guests to add to their punch. The drinks were served in clear plastic punch cups.
I can’t wait to try out more self-serve option for future parties. I feel like it really took the pressure off me for serving drinks. I simply pointed guests in the direction of the bar after welcoming them to the party!