Holiday Party Planning – Setting a Self Serve Bar

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,808
    Food and prop stylist Annette Joseph teaches you how to plan a self-serve bar for your holiday party on a budget.

    Annette Joseph: Hi! I am Annette Joseph. I am a food and prop stylist and I am going to go show you how to make beautiful holiday party on a budget today. This is our beverage bar, it's self-service. You get to move around and mingle. I like doing it in a different area, you don't have to have a real bar, you can set it up in your kitchen, and your kitchen counter becomes the bar. And then your guest can come in to a different part of the house, mingle with other people while they are mixing their drinks. The most important thing is that you involve people in your party, that you have a really good time, and that it's easy and that it's an affordable party.

    As far as beverages go, I like to keep it simple. I like to have a few sparkling fruit juices. I like to have some wine or perhaps some soft drinks, although I would be away from that. I like to have a pitcher of filtered water, and I love to have inexpensive wines, because they are lot of really great ones out there. Just because a wine is really, really expensive, doesn't mean it taste good. Now, we warn you that there are some inexpensive wines though that don't taste good. So it's very important that maybe you can do a little taste tasting before you have your party, and pick out those that you think your guest and you would enjoy. So let me point out some of the really great dcor ideas here. We have a little bit of wrapping paper, and again, if it doesn't get too messed up, and I don't think it will, you can reuse it again to wrap presents. So it's recyclable. I have also recycled a Christmas tree stand as a really nice stand for my fantastic bucket of ice. The bucket of ice, you can use any bucket. I always like to use either a galvanized bucket; copper buckets are nice. The only thing I would not suggest using is a cooler, because it might look a little tacky. So stick to something that's decorative and pretty. Line up all your glasses, have cocktail napkins readily available, and then I always like to put a little nibbling or something next to my cocktails, and always offer a non-alcoholic option. As far as flowers go, I have our cute little vase that's wrapped in wrapping paper, then we have got thread around it and two little jingle bells, so it's kind of very festive. And we have clustered together like flowers, mums, very tightly into the bouquet and set it into our vase. And this is something that we will go throughout the party. In other words, it will be on your buffet table as well, so that this all coordinates with your buffet table, in your dining room, or your living room or in your kitchen.

    Another really cool food stylist tip is a little cocktail napkin trick that I do. And you have probably seen this; maybe you wonder how it's done. You take your cocktail napkins out of the package, it's a nice little stack, and then you take your fist and you start twirling, and twirling and twirling your fist, and all of a sudden your cocktail napkins will form this really pretty little fan. Then you just put those up for guests. Sometimes the top one, I will give you a tip, is a little crumpled. So what I do as I just flip it over. And then you have a perfect little stack, and that's how it's done. Now that we have got our bar set up, coming up next I will talk to you about a budget minded really delicious holiday menu.