Self-Serve Lemonade Bar
Self-Serve Lemonade Bar

Self-Serve Lemonade Bar

Don’t spend your next party toting drinks back and forth.

The next time your kids clamor for a lemonade stand or you want to throw a party for both children and adults, consider this interesting, affordable option—an interactive lemonade bar! We checked in with author and expert party planner Debi Lilly, owner of A Perfect Event in Chicago, who relayed how it’s done:

A refreshing trio

Serve three different lemonades. Choose between your traditional lemonade (using frozen concentrate is just fine), a fruit-infused lemonade (made with raspberry or pomegranate juice, puree or fruit to taste), a sparkling lemonade (using sparkling water instead of tap water) or frozen lemonade. Here's a refreshing recipe for frozen strawberry lemonade to get you started.

Great garnishes

For a delicious, sophisticated twist, place fresh herbs such as rosemary or mint on the side and offer bowls full of strawberries, raspberries or blackberries that guests can pop in their glass or muddle at the bottom. As a time saver, store your berries in Ziploc® brand containers before the party, then pop open the lid to serve at party time.

A conversation starter

Not only is creating a lemonade bar easy on the hostess (it’s self-serve for both adults and children), but it’s a great icebreaker for guests, providing them an opportunity to chat, relax and get to know one another. Lilly recommends stationing the bar near the party entrance to provide an easy gathering point. And if you’re looking to serve cocktails, consider including a bottle of vodka for adults to mix. Just keep it out of kids’ reach.

Get the party started

For extra impact, pre-pour some glasses with lemonade, adding fruit and a sprig of mint. Then guests will understand how to use the lemonade bar, and you’ve created a beautiful and enticing tabletop at the same time.

It’s a gorgeous, jaw-dropping focal point as guests arrive—making a dramatic first impression

-Debi Lilly