This past weekend I threw a family birthday party together at the last minute. I had the party on the calendar, but had a very stressful week dealing with my youngest son’s meltdowns at preschool. Getting ready for the party was very low on my list.
Usually, we offer healthy drinks at family parties: water, ice tea, and organic juice. Years ago, we used to offer wine, beer, and soda as beverage options until some family members starting developing health issues like diabetes. My husband and I were also concerned about the message we sent to our kids by not offering healthy drinks at family parties while always offering them the rest of the time. This time we offered homemade ice tea, water, and yes, Swiss Farms lemonade, not something I normally buy. Otherwise, we offer kids organic apple juice.
I always set up the beverage station in the kitchen, especially for smaller parties. The baking area on one side of the kitchen is the perfect spot for the beverage station since it’s across the room from the food prep area. If we do food prep during the party, or use the oven, we don’t need to worry about people wanting to grab a drink in the same area of the kitchen.
For bigger parties, I keep the beverage station here and use the baking counter space and the one to the right. I clear everything away from both spaces and store it in the basement.
There is no one great way to set up the beverage area. I put a filled thrifted ice bucket ($5) on one side, close to the freezer. I leave a pair of tongs by the ice bucket for grabbing ice. On the other side I put stacks of plastic Ikea cups. While the big adult cups are not the ideal size, being a little big, they help us keep our party “green.” The small cups are perfect for little hands; we always keep a stack of Ikea cups handy for neighbor kids during the summer. In the middle of the beverage station go the beverage containers.
What are your favorite beverages for a crowd?
Receive my new PDF Easy Weeknight Meals: Chicken 5 Ways when you subscribe to the Frugal Local Kitchen Email List.
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to: