*If you choose to drink, please do so responsibly.
This has been a public service message from Home-Ec101.com*
It’s a difficult task to entertain guests when throwing a house party, but the task can be doubly difficult when you have the responsibility of running the bar. Whether it’s a marble-topped masterpiece you designed from scratch or a mini bar on wheels, the priorities remain the same: be concise, know your limits and keep the party happy.
Lots of the cold stuff.
Ice. Pure and simple. Have plenty of it on hand whenever you’re entertaining guest. Unless it’s Ernest Hemingway, most party goers are going to want a drink that includes ice and something to mix their alcohol with. You’ll all have to take into consideration that there will be guests that will not be imbibing the good stuff but will still need ice to cool down hot sodas or seltzer water. When in doubt, remember this ratio: 10 lbs. of ice for every 5 guests. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about whether it’s cubed, chunked or what have you. It’s a house party, not a speakeasy.
Pack a punch!
Even college students know this one. If you make a large batch of alcohol-ladened punch, you’ll have an easier time serving those that require something with a little more effort. A good go-to punch for the spring would be a gin fizz kind of concoction. It’s lighter, tasty and pairs well with light sodas like 7-Up or Fresca. A fair warning, though: be mindful of how much alcohol you put in it; a punch is meant to serve as a buffer between well drinks, not the main event.
Blood in, blood out.
I know it might be hard to resist a drink or two when throwing an event like this. I mean, it is your house, for cripe’s sake; you should be able to do what ever you want to! Here’s where you’ll have to cast aside your candor in favor of something a little more controlled. If you must have a drink or two (or three), be sure to replace what you take out. Always have a glass of water or Gatorade on hand to keep you hydrated. It should be one glass of water for every beer or drink you consume.
This should be a given, but you”d be surprised how many amateur bartenders fail to interact with their “customers”. I realize that these are your friends and you probably interact with them several times a week, but that shouldn’t keep you from keeping a rapport with your guests. People can get so caught up in the process of making drinks that they forget to just breathe every once in a while. Remember, the one person that should be the most relaxed in a high-stress situation like that is you.