The holidays are back and we can finally entertain again! Are you set up and ready for guests again?

One of my favourite hosting tricks is to have a central bar cart. It’s a social way for people to get drinks, and keeps people out of the kitchen where I am cooking (I’ve lived in small apartments my entire adult life).

If you’ve never set up a bar cart before, here are some of my favourite tips for creating the perfect holiday party bar.

holiday party bar set up

Creating Festive Drinks

There are some basics you need at every bar. Check out this article you’re looking to stock your bar cart for the first time. Choose a few flavours to include, and build a set of syrups, liqueurs, and mixers for people to play with.

Important Note – Many home cocktails shakers I have used leak. Test yours out a few days before your party to ensure your guests won’t ruin their clothes.

Make sure to include

  • Ice and Tongs
  • Glassware and a way to label glasses
  • Bar spoon, 2 jiggers, a strainer
  • A leak proof cocktial shaker
  • Bottle opener
  • A tea towel and napkins
  • Drink stirrers
  • Garnish
  • Snacks

Peppermint Refresher

Prep Time3 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: champagne, Pepepermint, Vodka
Servings: 6 Drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 Bottle Secco or Sparkling Wine
  • 6 oz Vodka
  • 8 oz Peppermint Liqueur
  • 2 Candy Canes Crushed (optional)

Instructions

  • roll the rim of your glasses in some water and then your crushed candy cane to coat
  • Mix your sparkling wine, vodka, and peppermint liqueur together in a chilled pitcher
  • Serve and enjoy!
pear bellini easy holiday cocktail party bar

Pre-Made Cocktails

If your friends aren’t from the hospitality industry or aren’t that picky, they may feel a little intimidated by mixing their own cocktail.

Have 1 or two pre-made cocktails that people can serve themselves to help alleviate crowds around the bar cart ad to act as welcome drinks!

pepermint champagne christmas cocktail

Pear Bellini

Prep Time2 minutes
Course: Drinks
Keyword: champagne, pear
Servings: 6 Drinks

Ingredients

  • 1 Bottle Secco or Sparkling Wine Lola by Pelee Island
  • 250 ml Pear Juice

Instructions

  • combine in pitcher and stir
  • Add edible glitter for something truly magical

Holiday Bar Setup

So it’s time to organize your bar! You should get a lot of this done a little in advance. Remove everything and dust your cart; stock cups and tools in a secure and accessible place. It would be tragic to lose your crystal because someone bumps the table or cart.

Group your hard alcohols and liqueurs together, prep your syrups. You can even prep some of the non-perishable garnish a few days before your event.

On the day of your holiday party, chill the bottles that might need it, stock your ice bin and ensure you have backup ice in the freezer. Prep your perishable garnishes and decorate. If things don’t feel like they’re coming together, greater sections with trays and add a little greenery to tie everything together.

The Alcohols

  • Vodka
  • Bourbon
  • Spiced Rum
  • Tequila

The Liqueurs

  • Triple Sec
  • Grand Marnier
  • Peppermint Shnapps

The Mixes

The Garnishes

  • Bourbon Cherries
  • Orange Slices
  • Crushed Candy Cane
  • Edible Glitter
  • Colourful Sprinkles

What is Edible Glitter?

Maybe the star of my holiday party bar is edible glitter. It’s such an easy way to dress up a drink and I’m an overall sucker for glittery things. There are a couple of things out there just labelled non-toxic. They might include plastic. Look for something sugar-based!

What’s your favourite holiday drink? Let me know in the comments below!