Style Expert

How to Set Up an Outdoor Bar

First and foremost is location. Find a spot that makes the most sense for an outside bar. Remember to make sure there’s plenty of room for seating and mingling in that area. Think about whether you’ll have outdoor bar furniture like bar stools, chairs and lounges, but also allow room for standing guests and wiggle room. I like pieces that are big on storage below and prep space above. You can always add an outdoor fridge nearby. If that’s not an option, an old school metal tub or a wagon filled with ice will keep your beverages cool, too.

Your outdoor parties will get infinitely easier if you have a good bar cart. Keep a separate set of bar tools outside to avoid multiple trips indoors. You’ll only need the basics in this outdoor setup: openers, paring knife, napkins and stirrers.

A great tip someone taught me is to place pouring spouts on all liquor and mixer bottles keep spills to a minimum. Good idea, right? Also, a cordless drink blender – the kind that does one glass at a time – is fabulous for mixing fun, fruity drinks.

While I am not a fan of the Red Plastic Cup, I do think the inevitable heartbreak of broken wine glasses (always from your favorite set) is avoidable. Make sure to get yourself some nice quality unbreakable glasses. You’ll feel better and think of the embarrassment you’ll save your guests if they drop their glass.

Here’s one of my favorite drink recipes from the Food Network to get your outdoor bar going!

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