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  • Writer's pictureOTS Team

How to serve drinks at a socially distanced party!

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Hosting a small party on your own? You’re definitely going to need a self-service bar to keep your guests happy. Self-service bars can lead to a real mess if not set up properly (trust us!). And in a pandemic, you’ll want to take extra precautions to keep you and your guests safe.

Tip #1 : Using an open container for displaying chilled beverages will remove the need to constantly open a lidded storage device like an ice chest or fridge. Also, serving drinks like canned sodas, seltzers or beers with a twist-off cap will turn your bar into a grab-and-go, minimizing the amount of elbow-bumping and jostling you’d regularly do at the bar.

Tip # 2 : Pre-batching cocktails is another effective way to avoid having someone cough into your party juice! Using a dispenser, similar to one you’d use for lemonade, or a number of lidded pitchers, and making your cocktail just a few hours before your party will ensure every drink tastes the same and no one accidentally drops a ladle into your punch bowl. Just make sure you use a food-safe sanitizer to disinfect the nozzle often. A spray bottle of cheap vodka will do nicely for this purpose; don’t waste the good stuff.

(Bonus tip : Be careful not to make any cocktails with citrus juices the night before, as the citrus won’t taste as fresh the next day.)

Tip # 3 : Keeping your drink ice dust-free and safe for consumption is an issue every event organizer runs into. The best way to make sure your ice remains sneeze-free is by portioning ice ahead of time for guests to fill with your pre-batched cocktail of choice. This is easily accomplished by pre-filling disposable cups with lids and having individually wrapped (ideally biodegradable) straws available near the bar. Themed parties might make your drinks easier to serve too. Don’t be afraid to load up sippy cups at a baby shower with wine (not for the mom-to-be) or other color matching cups with lids to serve at your party as well.

Tip # 4 : We recommend providing some hand sanitizer near your beverages and that you encourage everyone to sanitize before and after interacting with your bar. Ultimately, each of your guests will need to be considerate, wash their hands often, and respect everyone’s space for the safest event possible.

Of course, the best way to get great-tasting cocktails into your guests hands fast while keeping service items clean and safe is by having a dedicated bartender mixing, pouring, and refilling your guests’ empty cups. On Tray Services has the industry’s best bartenders ready to go. Let us sling the drinks so you and your friends can knock 'em back with peace of mind.

Disclaimer: This article is not medical advice and is for entertainment purposes only. For official guidance please consult your local laws regarding gatherings and events. Below are links to the CDC, WHO, and NY State Department of Health websites for your convenience.



NY State DOH :


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