For Effortless Cocktail Parties, Set Up Scattered Drink Stations

Avoid potential bottlenecks at the drink station or your at-home bar by placing several DIY set-ups throughout your house or in the venue where you're hosting your cocktail party. Whether you're prebatching cocktails and leaving drinks in the open for guests to pour their own drinks or placing chilled bottles of wine in containers at different places in your house — in the kitchen, by the couch, on the backyard patio — having multiple sources for guests to fill their glasses can not only reduce social anxieties but keep guests engaged in conversation and sipping away contentedly all night long. 

Keeping glasses filled and guests satisfied is key to hosting a successful cocktail party, and planning drink menus in advance can help you ensure both happen smoothly. By calculating the expected number of guests and the size of your space, you can determine how many drink stations to set up and what kind of beverages and drink-making supplies you should provide at each one. 

Setting up DIY stations in your home

From creating self-service bar stations with alcohol and drink mixes to ensuring there is enough ice to keep drinks cool, your preparations will pay off as you watch guests enjoy the cocktail party. Though kitchens are traditionally reserved for food and drink prep at house parties, consider converting side and coffee tables into makeshift bar areas. Pre-slice citrus and fruits for guests to add as drink garnishes and set out glasses for guests to serve themselves throughout the evening. While it can be challenging to offer many varieties of alcoholic and booze-free beverages, choosing a few key options can help you stay stress-free on the day of your event.

If you'd like to keep drinks organized, store wine bottles in one area, stash beers in another, reserve a table for mocktails and juice and serve cocktails in a different section of your house to quickly and easily direct guests to the appropriate beverage stations. Alternatively, use the kitchen as the main area for drink pours and strategically place refills in different sections of your home. Along with grazing tables and a few carefully placed charcuterie boards, your guests will have an easy time mingling, eating, and drinking — and you'll feel like there's less traffic to manage as guests help themselves so that you, too, can partake in the night's revelry.