Preparing Your Bar for a Cocktail Party

Preparing your Bar

Hosting a cocktail party can be a joyous occasion. In order to throw an effective cocktail party, preparing your bar to host the party will need the following.

Bar Supplies

To stock your bar start with some supplies  like shakers, stirrers, and glasses. Adding plastic glasses to the stock is effective for easy cleaning. Another option is to invest in glasses that come in a variety of styles for different drinks. Straws and cocktail napkins are also helpful. Cocktail napkins have a way of dressing up your cocktail party, so have some fun.


Additionally, you will need ice for your drinks or to chill bottles of wine. With ice, you may need an ice bucket. Another option is to use a small kitchen sink,like a vegetable sink, to store ice or chilled beverages.

Liquor and Mixers

As for the cocktails themselves, the basic liquor options are vodka, gin, rum, tequila, bourbon and scotch. Some of your guests will drink their cocktails on the rocks ,while others will want mixers. Some of the basic mixers to stock your bar are orange juice, cranberry juice, cola, diet cola, lemon-lime soda, tonic water and club soda. Creating a specialty cocktail that highlights the theme of your party is always fun! This specialty cocktail can be made ahead of time and set aside in a shaker or pitcher.

The types of cocktails you can make are in abundance. Flavored vodkas and bourbons, specialty rums and aperitifs are sold in local liquor stores. There are also a lot of juices to choose from as mixers. Have some fun and be creative with your drink concoctions.

Some of your guests will want wine or champagne, so keep some wine and wine glasses on hand for the wine drinkers.


To continue preparing your bar, keep garnishes on hand like lemons, limes, oranges, cherries and olives. Once the items are cut, set them aside in dishes. Setting these garnishes aside makes it easier to make drinks quickly.


The best way to get a party started is to have your bar accessories organized and set up prior to your party. Here are some great accessories offered by Pottery Barn for preparing your bar for your party. If you are not near a Pottery Barn, most stores will carry what you need.

Have fun and be safe! Drink Responsively!