How to Plan a Stock-the-Bar Party

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Whether it's a couples bridal shower, housewarming get-together or 21st birthday, a stock-the-bar party calls for party-goers to bring their favorite bottle of liquor, wine or beer for the guest of honor. If they feel generous, they can also gift a bar accessory, such as a cocktail shaker or festive wine glass charms. As the host of the party, set out festive hors d'oeuvres, a signature cocktail and, if the occasion dictates, play a few themed party games to keep things fun.

Advertisement

Themed Invitations

Make your choice of media for the invitations -- printed or electronic -- dependent on the formality of the event and your guests' demographic. For a bridal shower, a printed invitation is appropriate, while a housewarming party with a guest list full of millennials might dictate an evite. In either case, make the purpose of the party clear with a line about bringing a bar-based gift. For a cutesy rhyme, print "A bottle of red or a bottle of white, a bottle of tequila for a margarita delight. Glasses or napkins, an ice bucket, too, we'll stock their bar before they say 'I do.'" Tweak the lines as necessary for a housewarming party or other occasion. Adorn the invitation with an image of a cocktail shaker or wine glass; if possible, hole-punch the side and add a wine glass charm for a little something extra.

Advertisement

Decor and Music

The good thing about a stock-the-bar party is that it doesn't require much decor outside of a clean home. However, you can pull the theme into your decor a little bit by collecting nice liquor bottles, cleaning them and using them as vases for small bouquet of fresh flowers. Turn on a playlist of jazz music for background music; avoid songs with words, as they can interfere with conversation.

Advertisement

Party Food and Drinks

For a stock-the-bar party, plan the menu as if it's a regular cocktail party and go with finger foods and small desserts. Appetizer options include bruschetta or crostini, cheese balls or a cheese platter, crudites, meatballs and sliders. For dessert, set out bite-sized brownies, fruit tarts or miniature cupcakes. Naturally, a stock-the-bar party includes cocktails, so offer beer and wine, as well as one signature drink. For something different, create a gin-and-tonic bar by mixing up the classic cocktail in a beverage dispenser. Set out potential add-ins in bowls and pitchers; options include lime and lemon wedges, grapefruit juice and wedges, bitters, basil and cucumber slices.

Advertisement

Party Games

For some parties, simply mingling is enough of an activity. If you're hosting a shower or birthday party, though, you might want some lighthearted activities. An easy themed activity involves matching the liquor to the cocktail to test your guests' spirit knowledge. Hand out a piece of paper that lists common spirits on one side and traditional cocktails on the other, and have each draw a line to pair them. For example, vodka goes with a screwdriver, while campari goes with a negroni. You can also host a wine tasting for a smaller crowd by removing labels from a wine bottle and having guests guess which varietal they're enjoying.

Advertisement

references