Bar talk: Holiday open house |

Bar talk: Holiday open house

This November 2015 photo provided by Katie Workman shows a temporary bar for a party being set up in a bookcase in New York. Making the most of different areas of your home is very helpful when you have a big group over. (Laura Agra/Katie Workman via AP)
AP | Katie Workman

There are many ways to entertain, but during the busy holiday season, it’s the open house party that I gravitate to. Not a big, sit-down meal. Not a frenetic, crowded, two-hour cocktail party. Rather, a gentle stretch of time with people coming and going as they please. With a serve-yourself bar and an array of (mostly) room-temperature food, you can create a relaxed atmosphere that says the whole point was to connect for a little while, and share a drink and something good to eat. Here’s how to put together your own bar for the open house:

• Set up the bar ahead of time. Put out glasses, a bucket for ice, and small bowls for citrus wedges and olives.

• Consider filling a large container or bucket with drinks and ice so that everything stays cold and people can help themselves.

• Don’t feel obligated to offer every beverage under the sun. Pick a few alcoholic and a few non-alcoholic ones, and just make sure you have enough of them.

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