Stocking Your Family-Friendly Bar {Guest Blogger}

Continuing with our “Bar” theme, I’d like to introduce you to Coryanne Ettiene of Housewife Bliss.  We “met” on Twitter and she is a delightful resource for all things “Homemaking.”  She’s offering tips today, for insuring that you have a Family Friendly bar to accomodate adults & kids alike:

Celebrating with family over the holidays inevitably means catering to a variety of drinking styles, and stocking a family friendly bar is not an easy feat. Not only do you need to account for the cocktails, but you need to consider the mocktails, children’s drinks and inspiring ways to keep them festive. When stocking a family friendly bar, here are some tips to remember:

  • Plan ahead – Be sure to consider your guests drinking habits before they arrive as there is nothing worse that rushing to the shops to get the diet version of the drink you have in your bar. Likewise, if you know that more guests are not drinking this year, ensure you have extra mixers, and festive accessories for your drinks.
  • Keep it Festive – Adding a little cheer to your ice trays will keep the most drab of drinks festive. Everyone loves a cheeky napkin, a sparkler for flair, an unusual straw or festive ice cubes added to their drinks. I add cranberries, currants, mint, citrus and cherries to my ice trays…they are always a hit and so very simply to make that it makes the perfect activity for the children.

  • Be Prepared – Drinking and spilling go together like Vermouth and olives. No one wants to see his or her red wine spilled on your new cream carpet. To avoid the embarrassment and frustration of cocktail stains on your carpet or upholstery, opt to serve vodka, gin, champagne, and white rum. Compliment with clear mixers like 7up, Indian tonic and soda water, then garnish with lime, lemon and olives.
  • Mocktail or Cocktail? – Telling the difference between a mocktail and a cocktail is not an easy feat, and is a standard that should be sought after in the family bar. There are very few guests who would prefer to sip a cola while the drinking crowd is enjoying margaritas, likewise those not yet old enough to drink but old enough to be included in the family toast should have an appropriate glass to raise. For every drink you offer, ensure that you have a duplicate mocktail to offer. This year I will be serving 2 sparking cocktails/mocktail:
Bliss Toast Mocktail:
A splash of white cranberry juice, topped off with sparking cider.

Bliss Toast Cocktail:
A splash of Tripple Sec, a splash of white cranberry juice, topped off with Champgaign.
  • Youthful Drinks – The delight of being a child at a family bar is the endless supply of Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers. The best way to be a hit amongst your younger set is to keep these free flowing, heaping with maraschino cherries, fancy straws, swords and fun napkins for them to set their drinks on.
  • Keep them flowing – If you are serving mixed drinks, serve them in a carafe to ensure that your guests can return to the bar for a quick top up.

Photos: tablesetting

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  1. Mel says

    Great tips to keep in mind. We attended a function this month and they had 4 punch bowls in various areas of the hall. Three of them were alcohol based, one was not. There were many children there..good thing for signs indicating each!