Bartending For Dummies
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When doing any sort of entertaining, one of the biggest hassles is trying to figure how to set up your bar. Here are a few tips for setting up your home bar.

Set up a traffic flow for your party

Keep the bar as far as possible from your food and snacks. This prevents large groups of people from staying in one area. If possible, base a wine and beer bar in one area and a cocktail bar in another.

Keep your bar in or near the kitchen

Cleaning up spills is a lot easier in your kitchen. What's more, you'll do a lot less running around if you are close to the sink and refrigerator. If you have to set up your bar in another location, put a small rug or cloth under and behind the bar to protect the floor or carpet. And no matter where your bar is, use a strong, steady table to avoid tipping or collapsing.

Serve smartly

Your party will run smoothly and your guests will be happy if you take the following suggestions to heart:

  • Use nothing larger than a shot glass for shots, and do not serve doubles to your guests. You aren't doing anyone any favors by overserving. If a recipe calls for 1-1/2 oz. of vodka, use just that amount. All mixed drinks should not exceed 2 oz. of liquor.
  • Use lower proof products if they're available.
  • Have fruit punch available for those "light" drinkers.
  • Have alcohol-free drinks available, plus coffee and tea.
  • Use only clean, fresh ice and fruit.
  • If possible, chill glasses and do not put them out until five minutes before the party begins.
  • When serving hot drinks, make sure that the cups or glasses have handles.
  • Use scoops, tongs, or large spoons to serve ice. Never use your hands.
  • If you do not have bottle pourers, rub wax paper over the tip of liquor bottles to prevent dripping.
  • Close the bar an hour to an hour and a half before the end of the party.
  • If possible, hire a professional bartender.

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