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Bar Supplies and Tips

Stock the bar

How to Stock the Perfect Bar

The music's pumping, and the guests are dancing and having a grand time. Once the song is over, they converge on the bar for cooling refreshments, and there's no orange juice for a screwdriver and no ice cream for a mudslide. It's a bartender's and host's worst nightmare: unhappy, thirsty guests.

Luckily, there's no need to worry because we’ve got you covered! We put together a comprehensive guide to help you and your staff prepare everything from a proper Tom Collins to a strawberry daiquiri.

Bar Tools, Cups, and Accessories

No bar would be complete without a selection of barware, drink stirrers, and beverage napkins for spills or to protect bar tops and tables from condensation.
  • Stock the bar area with plenty of neutral drink stirrers like our Trendware Wavy Drink Stirrers in clear. Not only will they complement every event, but the design is a cool, stylish twist on the traditional straight stirrer.
  • Drink napkins in hues that coordinate with the event will show your client that you are attentive to details to make their day special. With a large selection of beverage napkins in an array of colors, there will be no issue finding the perfect match that suits the client's theme and event.
  • For barware, not only do we have a wide range of durable plastic stemware, but also available are tumblers and 9 ounce hot or cold paper cups, as well as 12 ounce plastic cups and 16 ounce plastic cups. Depending on the type of drinks the client wants served, you can choose the best products that will suit the event and the bartender's needs. These cups are also produced in an assortment of colors that will match the celebration's theme colors.
  • Ice is an essential item for mixers and for those not drinking alcohol. For indoor events, be sure ice machines are operating properly. For outdoor events, be sure to have coolers stocked full of bagged ice.
  • Bottled water is another of those staple items that some bars don’t carry or forget about. Some guests may be designated drivers, or do not wish to drink alcoholic beverages, so be sure to have plenty of individual water bottles on hand. If operating a cash bar, it's a nice gesture to offer designated drivers complimentary water and soda.
  • A bartender will need a variety of tools to make cocktails, including shot glasses or jiggers, cocktail shakers, blenders, cocktail strainers, muddlers, bar spoons, melon ballers, citrus presses, zesters, paring knives, peelers, and channel knives.

What are the Alcohol Essentials?

We’re glad you asked! It's a good idea to offer a house red and a house white wine, as well as a more pricey option of each. If the occasion is a wedding, champagne is also a must. As for beer, consider offering at least a light and regular beer, and also perhaps a couple craft options. Tequila, rum, gin, vodka, cognac, brandy, and whiskey are constants in the bar world. These are not only used in cocktails, but some are served neat or on the rocks. It's always a good idea to have a well or mixing version of these, as well as top shelf options.

Keep in mind that while you want to keep the liquor price down, by no means does that mean cheap liquor. Depending on the event, using top shelf liquor and spirits for all drinks will not be cost effective, but cheaper versions may end up costing you future business. When choosing your liquor selections, keep in mind the neighborhood, targeted clientele, and future business recommendations. In most cases, liquors and spirits in the medium price range will be the best route to go. Remember that a great bar starts with great liquor, and great liquor means happy, and repeat, patrons.

Garnishes and mixers will vary, but here are a few of the more commonly used:
  • Cherries, limes, lemons, oranges, olives, cocktail onions, celery, pieces of fruit like strawberries and pineapple
  • Party picks or toothpicks
  • Carbonated mixers: club soda, tonic, cola, lemon-lime soda, and a diet version of each
  • Simple syrup and bitters
  • Liqueurs: orange-flavored liqueur, amaretto, triple sec, curacao, and coffee liqueur
  • Cranberry, orange, tomato, and pineapple juices
  • Milk
  • Unsweetened iced tea
  • Fresh mint

Most Popular Adult Beverages

As times goes on, more and more bartenders are being imaginative and creating one-of-a-kind adult beverages. If your bar has a signature drink, it will set the establishment apart from the rest. However, the classics still reign supreme and these drinks are hugely popular today:
  1. An Old Fashioned would be best served in our 9 ounce fluted tumbler.
  2. A 10 ounce tumbler will hold a classic bloody mary easily.
  3. Not only will our clear plastic margarita glass work for a cooling margarita, but a frozen daiquiri as well.
  4. Whiskey sours, mint juleps, and the always-prevalent martinis are always crowd pleasers.
Whether the client has chosen your place of business to host their tailgate party or their wedding reception, a well-stocked bar and knowledgeable bartender will make their celebration that much better.

Wonderful tablecovers! Not a cheap plastic look or feel, these look so nice and elegant. ... read more

Abigail – Seattle, WA

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