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Bar Planning Essentials

Bar Service
When planning bar service for your office or home based party, let’s review a few key points and guidelines.

Here are our recommendations: For many events, offering beer and wine along with some non-alcoholic options is all that is needed.

Basic Beer & Wine Bar
Stock your basic bar with

  • A quality white wine such as a Chardonnay and/or Sauvignon Blanc
  • A popular red wine like Cabernet and/or Beaujolais
    (When buying wine, you can opt for 750 ml bottles or save a bit and purchase the larger 1.5 liter bottles.)
  • A popular imported beer like Corona
  • Domestic beer option (stick with a "light")

Offering a popular premade mixed cocktail is easy and fun, for example pitchers of margaritas.

A bowl of holiday punch garnished with fresh fruit is a great choice (we have some great recipes and can prepare both alcohol and non-alcohol versions).

A fun and simple idea for holiday entertaining is to have two holiday punches with canny labels like "Over 21" (alcoholic punch) and "Under 21" (non-alcoholic punch).

For a fun informal “Around the World” bar theme, you can provide different types of wines and beers from different countries all over the world.

Basic Bar Service with Spirits
If you would like to offer a Basic Bar Service with spirits, a nine-bottle set up should suffice. Stick with these essentials to cover the cocktail classics:

  • Vodka – Absolut, Kettle One and Smirnoff are all good choices
  • Gin – Tanqueray is classic
  • Bourbon – Jim Beam or Knob Hill are popular
  • Scotch – blended such as Johnnie Walker or J&B
  • Rum (light) – Bacardi
  • Tequila – white such as Patron Silver
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Triple Sec

Also, include mixers like coke, diet coke, club soda, tonic water, orange juice and cranberry juice.

Other Ingredients & Accessories
A mix of sodas and bottled waters for non-drinkers

Garnishes – sliced limes, lemons, green olives, cocktail cherries and kosher salt

Glassware – wine glasses (all-purpose), highball glasses and martini glasses (beer is fine to serve in the bottle wrapped in a cocktail napkin)

Accessories – cork screw, paring knife, cutting board, bottle opener, juice squeezer, cocktail shaker, cocktail napkins and toothpicks

Tip: If you are DYIing your bar, a handbook such as Mr. Boston Bartender’s Guide

Bar Leftovers
When the party is over what to do with the leftover adult beverages?

Any opened bottles of wine will only last for a couple of days
Any unopened wine will stay fine when stored properly
Chilled Beers will need to be kept chilled in order to last for your next event
Opened Liquor will hold just fine

Of course, even pulling off a basic bar such as this requires quite a bit of effort and mixology knowledge. For a worry-free bar experience that covers all your needs, hire a professional service that staffs TABC certified bartenders and that carries the appropriate liability insurance coverage like Royal Catering.


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