The first thing to keep in mind is the type of party you’re hosting. If you’re throwing a get-together for family or close friends, you certainly want to keep in mind whether or not people have personal preferences. If you know your guests like drinking a simple beer like Bud Light or Blue Moon, then pleasing your guests will be a breeze. Cookouts and informal dinners are also a great time to try out a variety of domestic and imported beers. A quick trip to your grocery store or local beer distributor will yield plenty of options, and you can even ask for suggestions based on the food you plan to serve. An easy way to cover your bases is to choose a variety of dark and light beers from wit beers and Belgian beers, to porters and stouts. Set the beer up in buckets or large bowls filled with ice to keep the beverages chilled and allow guests to simply help themselves. Setting out some pint glasses for guests who prefer not to drink straight from the bottle also adds a nice touch.
When you’re throwing a more formal gathering and want to serve liquor, you can choose to serve a variety of drink options. An easy way to cover your bases is to choose a few types liquors, such as vodka, rum and whiskey. For the mixed drinks, you’ll also want to provide different sodas, including cola and lemon-lime sodas. You may also want to set out ice and a variety of garnishes. Popular garnishes include lemon, lime and orange wedges, cherries and martini olives. You may also want to set out some swizzle sticks or stir sticks for your guests to use. If you have a friend who is good at mixing drinks you can ask if they mind helping out other guests, or you can hire a bartender for a few hours to give your party a truly formal touch.
If you decide to serve wine at your party, a trip to your local wine store will have a large variety of options. Most employees at wine stores will be knowledgeable and happy to help. If you plan to serve other drinks, in addition to the wine, you can simply choose one red and one white to suffice. If you would like a larger selection of wines, you’ll want to make sure you have a nice variety from light and sweet to more full-bodied wines. For sweeter white wines a few nice choices are White Zinfandels, Rieslings or a Pinot Grigio. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are great choices for guests who prefer dry white wines. When choosing red wines, a Port or a Pinot Noir is a nice choice for a sweeter wine. For dryer reds, you’ll want to choose a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Red Zinfandel. You may also want to check with the employees at the wine store to confirm whether the wine should be served chilled or at room temperature.
Planning your holiday parties doesn’t have to be stressful. Taking a few moments to figure out your guests’ personal preferences and asking for advice at your local beer distributor, liquor or wine store can go a long way when planning your upcoming events.