Jazz Up Your Dinner Party With A Home Bar Cocktail Menu

Having a home bar cocktail menu can make planning a dinner party much easier. For the host, this menu helps solve the problem of who drinks what. When grandma requests a glass of red wine and Uncle Curt wants to drink vodka, your menu can sport a jubilee cocktail or red sangria, as either beverage accommodates both requests. 

A set drinks menu can make things easier for guests, too. If your dinner party members are presented with a physical menu, they have the option to choose between different cocktails. Additionally, they can see what each beverage contains. This is especially beneficial for more reserved guests — who might be too shy to ask what's in anything — as well as guests with allergies.

Incorporating this type of menu can also lower the overall cost of your event. Instead of re-stocking your entire home bar, you can make a few cocktails with what you already have. Plus, you can make a menu that helps express yourself, thus adding a personal touch that may be otherwise missing from your dinner party.

How to craft the perfect cocktail menu

Hosting a dinner party is strenuous. Between keeping your house clean and making that last-minute trip to the grocery store, it's a lot to handle. You don't want to complicate matters with an intricate drink menu. Instead, we recommend keeping things simple, yet personal. Select an assortment of three to five drinks. Begin with options that complement the chosen foods and can be enjoyed by the masses. Consider an Aperol spritz or a classic old fashioned. 

Once you've chosen a few base cocktail recipes, you can then add your own personal touches to them. Try making a basil simple syrup for a gimlet. The basil will add an element of herbaceousness to the simple drink. Or, try adding smoked ice cubes to your classic old fashioned. This will pair well with the smokiness of the whiskey in this drink. Furthermore, you can include one or two non- alcoholic drinks for any non-drinking friends. 

Once you've settled on your cocktails, it's time to focus on the menu layout — if you want to create a physical menu for your event. You can utilize approachable online programs like Canva, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word to do so. You can then either print it at home or take it to a local print shop. With the latter option, you can have your menu printed on waterproof or laminated paper (in case of any spills). If computers aren't your thing, you can place a small chalkboard at the front of the bar that has the cocktail menu hand-written on it. Whichever menu display option you choose, the added touch is sure to personalize any home cocktail party.