All about drinks and cocktail outside catering carts

words Al Woods

Outdoor entertaining is all the rage right now and it’s not hard to see why. The sun stays out well into the night and alfresco dining is always a good idea during balmy summer evenings.  After all, who wants to stay cooped up indoors breathing artificial air when you can prepare a table for your loved ones under the stars and moonlight?

However, there’s one aspect of outdoor entertaining that seems to puzzle most people and that’s the drinks and cocktails portion.

Are you tired of serving the same old drinks at every party you host? Do you have time to create an on-site bar situation? Or should you hire that expensive liquid chef duo you saw on Instagram?

Here are a few ideas on how you can take care of the drinks and cocktails in your party without breaking the bank or wasting precious hours on preparation.

Try a bar cart

This is arguably the simplest way to provide drinks at your party and it’ll definitely work if you’re entertaining on your patio. A bar cart is also a great way to display your wine collection and entice guests to try out different blends. These carts are available in a wide variety of designs from metallic models with rose gold or copper accents, to wooden ones that’ll transform your party into a Bahamian affair. Some have a beautifully rounded silhouette while others have a serious geometric design.

The best part is that wine bar carts are mobile so you can wheel them around the party so everyone has a chance to enjoy the beverages you’ve bought.

Just make sure to put everything on the cart so your guests don’t have to run back to the kitchen for things like ice or lemon. Keep in mind that the bar cart is a spot where people are going to congregate for most of the night so make it a seamless experience for them.

Repurpose an old wheelbarrow

If the party you’re hosting has a slightly rustic or farmhouse theme, then you’ll love this one! You know that wheelbarrow that’s collecting dust in your garage? With a little paint and TLC, you can transform it into your very own inexpensive mobile bar. Once you’ve cleaned and painted the wheelbarrow, fill it with ice and regularly replenish it with beer and coolers throughout the party.

Don’t feel like breaking your back wheeling around a wheelbarrow or a mobile cart? The next solution is for you! Read on below.

Hire a food cart

If convenience and style is what you’re after, consider hiring a food cart service that does private party catering. Look out for a drinks cart specifically that specializes in popular beverages like cocktails, beer, and espresso martinis etc. Most food party cart operators offer different packages to suit different needs and budgets. But, you can always request a customized solution to create the perfect ambience for your party.

Just make sure the party cart you hire has a license and be clear on who’s providing things like servers, glasses and trash cans for cleanup. Some service providers offer these services as extras while others don’t.

Premix cocktails

Give yourself some time to mingle by mixing up a few signature cocktails in advance. A cold and fruity sip is sure to hit the spot during warmer months. Plus, anyone can quickly whip up a batch of mojito, Cosmo and pina calada. 

Use beverage dispensers

If you’re throwing a party for 15 people or more, it’s time to take out the beverage dispensers! These innovative beverage decanters really come in handy when you have a larger group to serve. They’re perfect for buffet style dinners and parties where people are moving around and it’s not a sit-down dinner.

Beverage dispensers are also a quick and simple solution. You just pour some ice and whatever cocktail concoction you like, label it and place it on a table along with some cups or glasses. It’s as simple as that!

Make sure you stock up on the drinks

Lastly, it’s important that you stock up on the basics so you’re able to cater to all of your guests preferences. Here’s a quick checklist of drinks to stock up on for an outdoor party:

  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Gin
  • Rye
  • Scotch
  • Campari
  • Juice

You can pretty much make a multitude of cocktails with these bar basics. Then you can add red wine and white wine at the bottom rack. Again, easy access is very important.

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