Impress your guests with a perfectly styled and inviting outdoor bar at your next backyard barbeque or summer brunch. Learn how to create an inviting space that grabs your guests’ attention, serves as a multifunctional entertaining space, and tells a story with every little detail.
Setting up a creative outdoor spritzer bar in your backyard has many advantages. It will help define the entertaining space and provide excitement and entertainment for your guests. Allowing guests to build their own cocktails will free you up as the host or hostess to greet and visit rather than play bartender.
How to Create a Unique Bar
Step outside your comfort zone and the traditional bar setup with a few inspirational ideas that will help you to achieve an effortless look and a well-styled bar. To create a unique outdoor bar, start by simply looking around your home, backyard, or garage for items that would make the perfect surface to share a few outdoor cocktails. The classic bar cart, a picnic table, a gardening potting table, or even an antique dresser makes a unique base for a beautiful summer bar setup. Look for a well-shaded area in your backyard or on your patio to keep your bar out of the direct, bright summer sun and heat. Place potted plants on either side of your bar setup to frame and really define the outdoor bar area. Directional signage, such as “Spritzer Bar” or “Mimosa Bar,” is an element that can help guests know what the space is and guide them toward creating their own cocktails.
How to Style Your Outdoor Bar
Create a space that is functional and simple for your guests. While you are styling your bar, think through how you make your signature cocktail and arrange the bar as if you were reading a book, from left to right. Place empty clean glasses towards the front of the bar and drink ingredients and garnishes to the side. Keep liquor, wine, or other key ingredients in the center. Use large decanters for water or mixers.
After you have identified the ideal bar location, visualize the bar surface area in “layers.” Using the layering method when styling will help you to identify and break down each item you need to create a delicious and refreshing setup. Table runners or a table linen can add texture and a pop of color before you start to add additional bar accessories. Create height on your bar and maximize space with a marble pedestal or cake stand for displaying a refreshing canister of cucumber water or lemonade. Add a touch of floral in a small arrangement to create another element of color and brighten the overall look of the bar.
A painted galvanized metal tray or a stylish rattan serving tray is the perfect accessory to help define space on your bar. Serving trays are an excellent location to display fresh glasses and drink garnishes. They are also helpful when you need to move items from the bar to the dinner table when it is time to sit down and enjoy your barbeque or brunch.
If you are serving wine spritzers or a signature cocktail, such as a pop-tail or a strawberry jalapeno mojito, use small serving dishes or bowls to hold cocktail garnishes or special ingredients, such as jalapenos. Popsicles will melt easily, so keep those in the freezer until you are ready to pour the champagne. Ice buckets are a great accessory to store other essential items like single-serve bottles of club soda or canned wine.
How to Style Different Drinks
Style each cocktail with a simple garnish like fresh watermelon, strawberries, or even a jalapeno! The key drink ingredients in your cocktail will help you determine how to garnish your drink. For example, a strawberry jalapeno on the rim of the glass, along with a sprig of mint. Style your pop-tails with an edible flower or add ice cubes with frozen edible flowers into your glass of water. In the summertime, watermelon also makes a great addition to any glass.
How to Incorporate Themes
It is easy to incorporate themes into the overall look of your outdoor bar with simple decor items that have a dual function in the overall design. A gingham or floral table runner can help set the stage for your overall theme and protect your bar surface from an accidental spill. Incorporating citrus into your decor is a great way to add more color. Fresh fruit such as lemons, limes, and oranges can also serve as drink garnishes. Colorful cocktail napkins or ornate cocktail picks can also serve the dual function of decor and bar accessories. If your summer backyard party is at twilight and the sun is setting, consider adding an element of lighting such as a decorative lantern with a flameless candle or beautiful string lights to create an elegant bar under the stars.