Mini Bars for Fall!
The holidays are ringing in soon so here are some savvy suggestions for your holiday hosting this fall! Add these mini bar experiences to your events. They’re sure to please and are the perfect thing to prep ahead of time!
The Wine Bar
A Wine Bar Setup with my new Autumn Bliss wine glass
or Leaves-A-Million stemless wine glass
is the ultimate thanksgiving display. It’s been at least awhile since I’ve had a few harvest-themed glasses in my collection! The colors are gorgeous! Just looking at them now, I get sooo excited for cooler breezes and sweaters…sounds and looks glorious, does it not?
The main thing is to make sure you have a good array of people pleasing options available on your bar cart. I list a few in my essentials below, but it’s really hostess preference. This is your chance to share your favorite vineyard with friends and family if you haven’t already!!
The best place for your bar cart is where everyone will be mingling before the meal. Make sure it’s not in a narrow spot! You don’t want to chance causing a traffic jam in your own house. Especially not around the wine!!
- Bar cart (alternatively a sideboard, credenza, buffet cabinet, ect.)
- Napkins (pick something fabulously fall like orange, yellow, or red. Or all three!)
- Shaker set (for mixing up some signature cocktails)
- Ice bucket
- A crisp rosé or pinot noir
- An everyday white and red wine
- A less-sweet red and white
- Something sweet like Moscato
In addition to the essentials, stock the ingredients for my Autumn Bliss recipe. A tasty fall-themed treat! You could also mix up a large batch of mulled wine or fall-fruit sangria!!
Autumn Bliss Recipe
- 1oz dark rum
- 2oz apple cider
- Juice from a quarter lemon
- Juice from a quarter orange
- Fill with white wine
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick
Fall Sangria Recipe
- Fresh Pears
- Fresh Apples
- Fresh Oranges
- White wine
- Pear liqueur
- Hard apple cider
- Cinnamon sticks
Chop all your fruit and add it to a large pitcher. Add the alcohol and cinnamon sticks and give it a good stir. Then let is sit for at least an hour in the fridge. If you can’t find pear liqueur, try some apple liqueur, apple brandy, or pear brandy. If you use brandy, plan to add some simple syrup for added sweetness.
Add ice to your glasses when serving!! And garnish with apple slices.
The Coffee Bar
I pull this together for Thanksgiving ahead of time, a great resource while meal prepping. And it’s perfect for the host or hostess to partake from. It’s time for pulling out those fancy coffee cups that came with your china pattern that you NEVER use…. Mine are usually on the very top of my cabinet, out of reach. They are so pretty, and I completely forget about them time and time again! Well, I decided to pull them down and make use of them, by preparing a beautiful coffee bar for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday.
You can have this in your kitchen or in a spot with a wall outlet for the coffee pot! Now is the perfect time to also use that sugar bowl and creamer set. If you don’t have these items or never received a china set, it’s a perfect time to go thrifting for something unusual…Mix and match some stylish vintage pieces.
Once your spot is chosen, put clean cups and saucers out for the taking, along with basics for your coffee service.
- Cups and Saucers: 6-8 will do!
- Cocktail Napkins (I collect vintage cloth ones, they are soooo much fun to find at vintage and thrift stores!) Paper will also do
- Demitasse Spoons
- Coffee sweeteners: Basics, like Splenda, Stevia, etc.
- Creamer and sugar bowl
- A serving plate for aperitivos later…
- Filled ice bucket, for those who like their caffeine chilled
Did I mention my new Espresso Martini Glass
? The perfect color to accent my stunning NEW Thanksgiving glasses and great for those iced coffee creations! Any friends or family can get their own favorite coffee started, and it’s as easy as pie (no pun intended!) Having a warm beverage set up never goes out of style! It’s also great to keep freshened up, especially if you have guests staying for a few days.
Spike It Up!! (my ‘Dash of Lolita’ for your coffee bar)
Nothing is better than a sip of something spiked. Time to pull your coffee drink liqueurs out! Set these up to one side, a few will do! Below is my go-to list:
- Espresso Liqueur
- Amaretto Liqueur
- Irish Crème
- Chocolate Liqueur
- Caramel Liqueur
- Triple Sec
- Cordials like Chambord
- Port or Sherry
Also, have a variety of toppings:
- Whipped Cream (homemade if possible!)
- Chocolate Sprinkles
The (Dessert) Fondue Bar
Fondue used to be a huge hit in the 60’s…I believe it is one of the most fun ways to host a variety of tastes. In this case, we are going for sweets! DO invest in a fondue set!!! Especially if you have children! It never fails to delight kids of all ages…including a variety of family members.
Store bought fondue mixtures/syrups are also acceptable, but if you don’t want to sacrifice quality, here are a couple of recipes to whet your whistle:
- 1 cup Evaporated Milk
- 2 cups White Sugar
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 4 tbsp Corn Syrup
In a small saucepan, on low heat, mix all ingredients. Turn heat up to medium until boiling, while stirring constantly. Let the mixture boil and thicken for about 5 minutes. Pour the contents in your warm fondue pot.
Dark Chocolate Fondue
- ¾ cup Whipping Cream
- 12 oz Dark Chocolate
- 1 tsp Vanilla, Kahlua, or liqueur of your choice
In a saucepan over low heat, warm up the whipping cream. Be careful not to let it boil. Let the chocolate melt slowly while stirring constantly. Add the vanilla or liqueur of your choice. Pour the melted mixture into the fondue pot.
Almost anything goes here, but here are a few things that are wonderful with either chocolate or caramel fondue.
- Fruit slices of any kind: Bananas, strawberries, melons, pineapple, apples, kiwi, etc.
- Cake cut into bite sized pieces (I just try to buy good quality store bought pound cake, brownies, donut holes, etc.)
- Popcorn and Nuts (Not as easy to dip, but delish if you can do it!)
So hopefully I’ve given you some unique ways to update your normal thanksgiving repertoire! Something new is always fun. And these mini bars will liven the traditional things up a bit!