Party planning should be fun and easy, so get things done in 15 minutes or less.

The 15-Minute Party Planner's blog breaks down basic party-planning tasks into simple actions that take 15 minutes or less. We're not here to make you the next Martha, we're here to help you be crafty quickly!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stocking the perfect party bar

It's much easier to be a 15-minute party planner when you have the appropriate tools and supplies at the ready. This article on stocking a party-ready bar is the first of a three-part series on the supplies every prepared party planner should have on hand.

Alcohol
There are hundreds of beers, wines, and spirits out there, but what you stock for booze is a matter of personal preference. Keep just a few basics on hand so that you're always ready to party.

The 15-Minute Party Planner recommends:
  • A few bottles of white wine
    Chardonnay is the most popular white and Gew├╝rztraminer is an pleasingly aromatic white and something your guests may not have tried before.
  • A few bottles of red wine
    Merlot and Cabernet are red wines that are likely to please any guest.
  • Gin
    Combine gin with dry vermouth and you're on your way to a basic martini!
  • Vodka
    Vodka mixes with practically everything. Try a flavored variety for a little pizazz.
  • Tequila
    Nothing says summer like a margarita, and nothing says margarita like tequila.
  • Beer
    This is a matter of personal preference, but keeping two different kinds of beer on hand will keep you party-ready (and you can always use a bottle or two to dress up recipes).
Mixers
Keep a few of these on hand to mix up cocktails in no time.
  • A citrus soda (like Sprite)
  • Cola
  • Fruit juices (try orange or cranberry)
  • Grenadine
  • Seltzer/tonic
Garnish
It's easy to keep simple food and non-food items in your cupboards and refrigerator to garnish drinks. A little garnish turns a simple drink into a fancy cocktail. For food items try cherries, lemon slices, lime wedges, mint, olives, orange slices, etc. Non-food items you should stock include swizzle sticks, drink umbrellas, and sword picks.

Tools
You've got the liquids and garnish out of the way, but what about the tools? If you have an official bar area at home, feel free to go fancy. Otherwise, you can certainly keep the basics in a simple container.
Accessories
Having the appropriate glasses and bar paraphernalia will set you up to look classy. Try having a variety of the following items on hand:
  • Coasters
    The 15-Minute Party Planner loves these, since they make a great conversation piece!
  • Cocktail napkins
    Keep a few different kinds on hand from classy to quirky to themed.
  • Highball glasses
    You'll use highball glasses for most cocktails.
  • Martini glasses
    Martini glasses also make cute dessert dishes!
  • Old-fashioned glasses
    These short, wide glasses are meant to hold any drinks ordered "on the rocks".
  • Wine glasses
    There are differently-shaped glasses for different kinds of wine, but something like these are multi-purpose.

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