How to Set Up a DIY Martini Bar

by | Nov 30, 2015 | All, Tips

Entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful. Set up a DIY Martini Bar at your next party and spend time with your guests, not tending bar! 

Image of DIY martini bar with cocktail being poured into martini glass.

The holidays are my favorite time of year to host gatherings. The house is already decorated, and I love to celebrate the season with family and friends. But when we host people, I don’t want to be a slave to bartending. I’d much rather spend my time talking with my guests. So we always set up a DIY Martini Bar when we entertain large groups. It’s less work for me plus it’s a fantastic icebreaker for guests who don’t know each other. Check out our simple steps for how to set up a DIY Martini Bar at your next holiday party.

How do I set up a DIY Martini Bar?

  1. Create drink stations around a table. We set out the recipe, shaker, shot glasses and ingredients, just like you see in the image above. Let the guests make their own. It’s a great way to make the party interactive.
  2. Offer variety. We set out several different kinds of martinis to please all palates. This one is always a favorite because who doesn’t like bubbles?
  3. Don’t forget the ice. You will always go through more ice than you think, so make sure you have a large stash of ice on hand. Let me repeat: Never. Too. Much. Ice.
  4. Set out a sweet martini later in the evening. We always serve this chocolate martini at our holiday parties but wait until the tail end of the festivities to bring out the ingredients. That sip of sweet is the perfect nightcap.
  5. Stay hydrated. We always buy little 8-ounce bottles of water and set them out in a beverage tub on ice next to the martini bar (Remember tip number 3 about needing a lot of ice?) These little bottles are the perfect size for hydrating throughout the evening. (Please remember to drink responsibly.)
  6. Munchies are non-negotiable. Granted the martinis are the star of the party but don’t forget to set out some little bites for guests to snack on throughout the evening. These Parmesan Pinwheels, Greek Salad Skewers and Saucy Asian Meatballs always disappear!
Setting up a DIY Martini Bar is a fun way to add an unexpected, special touch to the holidays. It’s so easy to do and guests love it. Cheers to enjoying the holidays and entertaining, too!


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Follow these tips for how to set up a DIY Martini Bar at your next party & spend time with your guests, not tending bar!

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

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About Lisa

Hi, I’m Lisa! Looking for the party? It’s probably at my house. Nothing brings me more joy than sharing good food with friends and family. That and a seriously good cocktail.


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