Picture this: You’re hosting a holiday party, and are trying to do something a bit different. Hot cocoa bar? (Did that.) A microbrew tasting? (Did that, too.)
Keep the party going this year by adding a champagne bar. They are a fun way to liven up a dinner before - or after - a delicious meal and treat your guests to a little bubbly while toasting to the holiday season or the upcoming new year. A champagne bar can come in many forms and works for Hanukkah celebrations, Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve festivities.
Prep Your Display
A little prep work can go a long way. Set up your champagne bar ahead of time so it is in the view of guests as they arrive. Set out the glasses, a chilling bottle of champagne and a few candles or lights on a side table. (Don’t forget the sugar for the rims!) It will serve as a conversation starter and get your party off on the right track.
Remember that each bottle holds about six glasses of bubbly.
Don’t you always feel a little sad when a party fizzles out and guests start to leave? With a ready to go champagne bar, you can make sure your guests know the night is still young - whether that means cranking up the music to get the dancing started, or curling up in front of a fire for warm conversation with friends and family.
Also, don’t forget the snacks. As foodies, we know this is a no-brainer for any party. If you are hosting the champagne bar after a night of cocktails and dinner, have another round of snacks for guests with the champagne. It’s our job - and yours - as good hosts to make sure everyone gets home safely and snacks can help. (So can keeping your favorite Uber driver on speed dial on your phone.)
Make It Interactive
Are you inviting a few different sets of friends who might not know each other? Get them mingling - and ease those awkward first moments - by making your champagne bar interactive. Allowing guests to rim their own glasses with the colored or flavored cocktail rim sugar of their choice can be fun when you have multiple different rim sugar varieties that fit your theme.
You might be surprised how many people don’t know how to rim a glass. Here’s the solution: Give a quick demonstration to your guests - and then hand out the glasses for them to try themselves. Here is quick bartending refresher if you need one, too.
Also try having berries, fruits or more colored sugar for guests to personalize their drinks. A strawberry on the side of the glass, a large blackberry floating on the bubbles or a spoonful of red sugar added to the champagne (which will turn the wine pink!) are all great ways to keep guests entertained and talking.
Practice Your Toast
We’re not saying you have to head to Toast Master’s so you give the speech of the century but... be prepared to give your guests a well timed joke or a short story from the past year. 2015 was a good one, right? So raise that glass high, and surprise them with a funny memory or a charming quote. One of my favorites, particularly for a girl’s night in, comes from Bette Davis: “There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.”
Finally, remember why you wanted to host the party in the first place: to spend a little quality time with family and friends. Make sure that as the host you get a chance to relax and have fun too. After all, this is YOUR party …. you can even cry if you want too. *grin*
We’d love to know if you have hosted a champagne bar and have any other ideas. Let us know in the comments how you celebrated!