3 Ways to Set Up a Beverage Station at Your Next Shindig

Whether you're planning a wedding, milestone birthday party, baby shower or family holiday gathering, a DIY drink station is a fun, no-fail way to keep guests occupied, entertained and deliciously hydrated.

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November 21, 2019

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Clara MacLellan

Photo By: Heather Baird, SprinkleBakes.com

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Sarah Busby

Photo By: Cassidy Garcia

Eat, Drink, Be Merry

Party planning? We put together three crowd-pleasing drink bars perfect for any occasion — a cozy coffee bar, refreshing agua fresca bar and chic mimosa bar.

Cozy Coffee Bar

A gorgeous gourmet coffee station stocked with all the fixings is sure to be a hit at your fall or winter gathering, especially when paired with a DIY donut display. Read on to learn everything you need to style the coziest coffee bar, then snag some of our favorite party favor pairings.

Keep It Warm

For our cold-weather party, we served our favorite hot brew in a 30-cup, insulated electric coffee urn. But if you and your crew are lovers of iced coffee, set up a dispenser of cold brew, an ice bucket and paper straws nearby. Designer tip: Keep extra coffee on hand for when the dispensers run low.

BUY IT: Amazon, $39.99

All the Fixins

Coffee is great, but flavored coffee is even better. Set up a spread of sweet syrups, mocha sauce, cream and milk (including non-dairy varieties) so your guests can customize to their hearts' content.

Makeshift Risers

Designer tip: Keep all supplies accessible and uncluttered by using small square boxes (or whatever you have on hand) to elevate the second row.

Creative Storage

Featuring beautiful antique elements and ample storage space, a vintage dresser effortlessly doubles as a bar. Here, we used a half-open top drawer to hold and display extra coffee cups.

Sugar + Sticks

Don't forget the basics! An empty coffee cup holds stir sticks while sweeteners are stacked simply in a ceramic sugar packet caddy.

Darling Display

An old wooden crate acts a rustic, eye-catching display case for extra coffee cups.

Fall Foliage

Pink and plum dahlias, coral garden roses, blue thistle, veronica and seeded eucalyptus arranged in a birch-wrapped vase add a burst of seasonal color to the tabletop. Designer tip: Check your local grocery store for in-season blooms at the lowest prices.

DIY Signage

An inexpensive framed chalkboard provides a perfect canvas for your favorite quote. Find blank chalkboards at your local craft store, then follow our tutorial below to learn how to hand-letter like a pro.

MAKE IT: Write Like a Lettering Pro With This Faux Calligraphy Hack

Seasonal Style

A rustic bucket filled with natural firewood evokes the warm, cozy look of a crackling fire. If possible, set your bar up next to a fireplace or outdoor firepit for ultimate cozy vibes.

Cozy Underfoot

Protect your floors indoors or soften outdoor surfaces with a simple, oversized jute rug.

Pretty Plants

Designer tip: Fill empty spaces with plants. Here, a large fern perched on a tall plant stand adds a burst of eye-catching green to an otherwise uninteresting corner.

Easy DIY Banner

Finish off the look with a quick DIY pennant banner. We ordered a blank, white banner online, then wrote out the word "coffee" in permanent marker.

Package Them Up

For an extra-sweet (and stylish) touch, attach sticks of peppermint candy to the coffee sleeves using sparkly washi tape.

Candy Apple Favors

Show guests just how much you appreciate them by sending them home with tasty, dipped apple party favors adorned with glittering greenery and kraft paper leaf tags.

GET THE RECIPE: How to Make Dipped Candy Apple Party Favors

DIY Donut Board

Take your coffee bar to the next level with an inexpensive DIY donut board stocked with all your favorite flavors. All you need is a length of pegboard, some wooden dowels and food-safe paint to create this sweet grab-n-go display.

Agua Fresca Bar

Throwing an alfresco summer soiree? Wow your guests with a selection of delicious agua fresca. This sweet Mexican sip is made by blending fresh fruit and water, then straining out the pulp to create a light, refreshing drink that falls somewhere on the scale between pure juice and infused water. Fruit can be mixed with herbs, flowers and more for an endless variety of flavor combinations. Hosting a grown-up fiesta? Take your agua up a tipsy notch with the addition of rum or tequila.

Hydration Station

Because of the amount of water needed to make agua fresca, the recipe lends itself well to big-batch preparation. Here, we hung small chalkboard menu boards from the nozzles of large glass dispensers for easy (and pretty!) self-service.

BUY IT: Amazon, $49.99

Tipsy + Tropical Pineapple

Fruity and refreshing, this agua fresca cocktail is ready to party. Whip up a big batch so you can kick back and relax while your guests help themselves to a taste of the tropics.

GET THE RECIPE: Tipsy Tropical Agua Fresca

Fresh Watermelon + Mint

The quintessential flavor of summer, watermelon mixes seamlessly with mint and hibiscus tea in this oh-so-fresh sip. Snag our recipe, plus two more yummy combos below.

MORE RECIPES: Summer Drinks: The Agua Fresca

Garnish Station

A spread of citrus fruit adds a pop of bright color and flavor.

Garland Hack

Love the look of fresh garland but not the price tag? Cut the cost of greenery garland and the time to make it in half (without compromising style) by tying fresh stems onto a faux boxwood garland using floral wire.

Swizzle Sticks

Because the fruit in agua fresca has a tendency to settle in the bottom of the glass, stylish stir sticks are a must. We dropped these pretty bamboo swizzles down into an extra cup for an effortlessly pretty, easy-to-grab display.

Festive Vessels

Don't forget about drinkware! These handpainted, vintage-style vessels add major fiesta vibes and are just so darn pretty. Stainless steel cups not in the budget? Opt for these disposable Rifle Paper Co. alternatives instead.

Classy Glass

If floral cups aren't your style, pretty glass goblets arranged on an acrylic tray make for another lovely, aesthetically pleasing drinkware choice.

Outdoor Decor

A collection of sparkly, coastal-style glass lanterns and candle holders adds glitz and style to each end of the bar.

Light It Up

A row of brightly colored tea light candle holders fills the space behind the drink containers, adding shimmer and extra color to an area that's normally left empty. Designer tip: Choose candle holders in colors that complement the drink selection.

Mimosa Bar

Mimosas are basically synonymous with bridal and baby showers — and for good reason. The light, refreshing cocktail is a universal crowd-pleaser. A DIY spread of fruit juices, fresh fruit and bubbly champagne options allows guests to play mixologist (we see you "just-a-splash"ers). Add a pretty pink fringe backdrop, extra-large balloons and DIY eucalyptus garland and you've got a drink station that's dressed to impress.

Juice + Fruit

For an extra-pretty and accessible display, take juice out of the store packaging and serve in glass decanters with pretty chalkboard labels. Fill small glass fishbowls (we found ours at the dollar store) with seasonal fruit, pre-sliced for easy garnishing.

Champagne on Ice

Keep extra champagne on-hand and chilled in an inexpensive acrylic ice tub. Designer tip: When buying champagne, choose bottles that are visually interesting or match the theme of your party.

Celebratory Swizzles

Say "cheers" with festive, gold garnish picks arranged neatly in an extra champagne glass.

Mark It

Inexpensive chalkboard tags can be found in bulk at your local craft store and are perfect for stylishly letting guests know which flavor of juice to choose.

Jumbo Balloons

Add a pop of playfulness with extra-large pink and white helium balloons. We tied a dollar store fringe paper tassel onto one string to match the pink fringe backdrop and add an extra layer of fun style.

Greenery Garland

Any backdrop is made instantly prettier with the addition of lush, draping greenery garland. While a garland like this from the florist could set you back a couple hundred dollars, you can easily make your own with grocery store greenery and our step-by-step tutorial below. Once you're finished, gently drape along the top of the backdrop for an ultra-chic look.

MAKE IT: How to Make a Eucalyptus Garland + Easy Greenery Wreath

Statement Plants

Here, we continued the fringe theme with a boho basket filled with a "Kimberly Queen" fern.

Style Underfoot

A lovely Turkish-style rug pulls color from the pink backdrop, drawing the eye down and rounding out the boho look.

Cheers!

Go one step further and give champagne glasses a garden-party upgrade by tying foraged greenery to the stem with twine.

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