Simple Summer Entertaining – Setting Up the Bar

Is it too early to start anticipating summer gatherings?  If you’re on my same wavelength, maybe it’s time put together your strategies to ensure simple summer entertaining. Today’s edition is setting up the bar.

We recently had a small get together and I documented some of the steps I took to make sure our bar was ready to offer a variety of fun beverages.

Here’s what I did.

Stock the Fridge

We have a beverage fridge in our bar and it generally holds our daily drinks such as Coke (him) and seltzer (me).  

A few weeks earlier we had taken the fridge outside, defrosted its poor abused little freezer and cleaned it out.

A nice clean and sort-of-empty fridge was a good opportunity to stock it full of overflow drinks from the cupboards and see what we needed to buy.

When we entertain I like to offer diet soft drinks though we rarely drink them ourselves.  Diet ginger ale and root beer are two that I’ll occasionally drink, so that’s what we got.

Juice it Up

Having juice on hand for mixers is nice to offer, but when guests are ready to transition away from alcohol offering a bit of cranberry in seltzer with a pretty straw and a fancy cherry is fun.

Trader Joe’s has really good OJ so when we need juice for a party, using a juice like that ensures the rest of it will get used up for breakfasts during the week.

Simple Syrup is nice to have on hand for sweet drinks (mint mojitos!). I’ve posted the recipe for it before, but it’s a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water brought to a slow simmer until the sugar disappears.

I made a batch for this little party and when it didn’t get used I diluted it and added to the hummingbird feeder. No waste!

Consider Pre-Mixed Drinks

Ready-made skinny margaritas with the tequila in the mix cannot be beaten in my opinion.  Using a fun margarita glass, rimming it with kosher salt and adding a wedge of lime is a yummy and easy margarita. No blender necessary and guests can easily refill their drink themselves.

Top it Off

Since I’m not much of a mixed drink person, I need to remind myself to offer up toppings.  

  • Olives
  • Amarena cherries
  • Lemon and lime wedges
  • Mint

If I were making a pitcher of spritzers I’d use orange slices, but these are my simple go-tos.

Fox it Up

I was able to use my new World Market goblets (!), my old Reno margarita glasses (Chris, remember these?), martini glasses, cut crystal water and white wine goblets and trusty large inexpensive glasses.

Here’s the thing.

When I’m doing clean up, oftentimes the glasses go right into the dishwasher.  For those I hand wash, I let them drip dry over night.

So.  Ummm.  Yeah.  The water spots.  So for each of the glasses I put out on the bar in the bright morning light, I polished off all those unsightly spots.

Remember the festive straws I bought a while back?  I’m sure I’ll have them the rest of my natural life, so I got them out and added them to some of the drinks.

Fancy Ice

I keep meaning to show you the ice making machine hub bought. Have you seen the fancy countertop ice makers that all the influencers tout during Prime Day? We are always sucked into the appeal of that because we both love small ice cubes in our drinks.

But. Those machines are close to $400 and I hear they are very noisy on your countertop. Since our bar is really part of our living room, I thought the noise would compete the with the TV. Oh, yeah, and it’s $400 for ice cubes. That.

Then hub randomly, and without my knowledge, ordered his own budget version of the ice machine.

Unfortunately, this one just makes the ice. It doesn’t store it as a freezer, so you make the ice, remove it and the machine goes off. Oh, well.

So the ice maker comes out about once a week to make a large bag of ice (which I crunch down in no time) and then stores back in the closet.

This is not exactly a recommended purchase, but it does make the perfect cubes for the ice bucket.

Wrap Up

April was a busy month for many with spring break travel, family and friends for Easter and yard clean up starting after a long winter.

Many of you seem to have BIG travel plans for May. I am praying each of you have trips that are blessed and you are recharged and ready for a great summer.

Many of you have also shared that you are experiencing some not-so-great-issues right now. There is so much frustration with the healthcare systems, with dealing with pain and symptoms and I could go on and on.

You are not alone. I cannot offer advice, and for that I am sorry, but I do offer sympathy and love and prayers.

If you have specific prayers, please let me know. Otherwise know that if you are reading this, you and your loved ones are covered.

I don’t want to end this post on such a serious note. God bless you and have a wonderful week. Have some fun and let me know what you’re doing!

4 Comment

  1. I do remember those glasses. Happy to see you still use them. I still have snd use mine too!

  2. Another lovely posting, Corine. I’m loving them =). God bless you, too <3.

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