Many guests equals more planning but also more fun! If preparation is the secret to success, this is when it’s the most true. Here are two ways for you to bartend for all your guests without making it the only thing you’ll do.
Pitchers & punches
This is not an easy way out of trouble: it’s an old classic for serving many guests at once. There are quite a few drinks that work in a pitcher or a punch bowl. Any drink typically served over ice -- and not intended to be shaken, strained or muddled – can be prepared in pitchers in advance. If any ingredient is carbonated, add the carbonated ingredient when you serve to “top up,” and thus not to lose carbonation. Many drinks can be “semi- prepared” this way, leaving the muddling, topping up or garnish to the guest.
Buffet of beverages
Having a big self-service bar is always fun, but tend to suffer from a common mistake: long on spirits, short on ice, and only two sorts of sodas to mix with. Make sure to stock up with fruits and berries, simple syrup, lemon juice, sodas, juices and ice. With a good supply of these, you really do not need that many base spirits to provide a really creative and fun bar.
Check out the articles on “Know one Collins and you’ll know them all” and “It’s as easy as 2:1:1” to get some inspiration on what your base drinks could be to build the bar around. A few “pre-selects” will enable you to help the less comfortable guests to get started as well. To keep drinks balanced, the jigger, (spirits measurer) is perhaps the most essential tool you’ll need.
The above advice is also good to keep in mind when everyone is contributing something: remember to delegate all the needed ingredients, not just the spirits. Or make sure to make that your task: to have the essentials and a bar that is ready for anything!