Although the busy festive season may be wrapping up, the truth is there is always reason to celebrate and bring people together. From the simple gathering with friends to the elegant dinner party, as a society we are constantly looking for ways to come together and connect as individuals. We even find celebration in the planning of the celebration! We get excited about planning the events, creating the menus, and even about the endless décor ideas. While all of these aspects of planning for the event are important, one of the finest additions to any celebration is a classy cocktail or signature drink for your guests to enjoy. However, it can be easy to overwhelm your guests when you have too many options and underwhelm them when only a single option is provided. What is the perfect balance when creating your drinks for the evening and how do you setup your cocktail bar to make it match the celebration? Here are a few basic rules when creating the minimalist cocktail bar perfect for your guests:
The Minimalist Display
When creating a cocktail bar, it is important to consider how you will display the drinks. Selecting a separate stand is the best option for creating your space for serving. This provides clear guidance to your guests when it comes to navigating your room as a whole. When they are looking to create their cocktail, there is no question about where to go or what to do. However, it is important that you keep the stand fairly small and at the proper height. Choose one that a person of average height does not have to lean over or reach up in order to obtain their drink. It should be no larger than a small breakfast nook table and no smaller than a standard bed tray. The appearance of the stand itself should also be considered. If your room tends to be more modern chic with hints of marble, glass, and a little sparkle, consider opting for a metallic piece made of bronze, gold, or silver. However, if your space allows for more of a matte finish with key décor details being made of linen, greenery, and muted tones, aim for a wooden stand. You want your piece to match the space it is in.
Other components to consider when creating your display are a few hand-selected decanters and a simple tray to place them on. Placing your alcohol of choice in clean-lined, minimalist pieces removes the busyness often found on labels of certain bottles. Decanters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. It can be easy to get caught up in all of the “magic tricks” and nifty nozzles when choosing which decanter to purchase. However, less is always more. Opt for two or three elegant pieces made of lead crystal and potentially a few wood or metallic finishes. You do not want to overstimulate your guests or make the drink creating process overly confusing with complicated dispensers. The tray you place your drinks on should also be simple and refined. Again, consider your space, and select a tray accordingly. A mirrored tray can be a nice addition if your space is small and you want to provide a touch of reflection off of the crystal pieces.
The Minimalist Tools
Your minimalist bar only needs a few useful tools for your cocktails. Once again, it is important to not provide your guests with too many options or gadgets to use. Also, be sure that each item you select matches the cohesive whole. If you are incorporating metallic elements, keep with this theme when selecting your other pieces. You can branch out and use different metallic options and provide hints of glass and marble, but do not have every piece be made of a different material. It is important to select a cohesive theme in order to provide a clean look in your space. Depending on the drink of choice the items you will need for your cocktail bar include: a small ice bucket, a shot glass, a shaker, a juicer, a zester, a mortar and pestle, small cocktail skewers, bar spoons, garnishes, the proper glasses for your drink of choice, and decanters filled with the proper liquor and additional liquids. Only select what your drink requires to add to the cocktail bar. Do not place anything that is not needed to avoid confusion for your guests.
The Minimalist Drinks
The final component to your cocktail bar is the actual drinks to be served. First and foremost, it is important to have a non-alcoholic option for your guests. Mineral water with a berry or fruit wedge and herb garnish is a go-to for a simple, yet, tasteful option. In addition to the alcohol-free option, as a general rule of thumb, having a wine option, or beer depending on the occasion, is a great way to please the average guest not looking for a signature drink or the hassle of making a drink themselves. However, pick one option and stick to that. You do not need to have all options available because it only leads to too many decisions for your guests to make.
Once your basics are covered, consider making one signature cocktail for your event. Use two to three natural ingredients, avoiding the “juice blends” and the “spice packets”, to be paired with the alcohol of your choosing. Consider the event you have planned and select a cocktail that nicely compliments the theme of the party. If you have a balance of men and women attending your event, you may consider selecting a masculine cocktail (think whiskey-family) and a more feminine cocktail (think vodka or rum families).
A minimalist cocktail bar is the perfect addition to any festivity for the year ahead. It not only provides a celebratory ambiance, but it allows your guests to feel treated and catered to. When designing your bar, just be sure you stick to a refined material palette, only the tools necessary for creating your drink of choice, and one or two options for your guests to allow them to effectively navigate the bar and the festive celebration that awaits them!