One of my favorite ways to entertain outdoors is to set up different food and beverage stations for guest to enjoy. Putting together a big bar cart or beverage table away from the food set-up gives your guests plenty of drink options and the ability to customize their own drinks, while also freeing up space for food on your counter-tops or buffet! I love having designated areas for food, drink, and desserts when entertaining as it helps spread guests out and gives them somewhat of an activity to do as they go from station to station.
I put this 4th of July inspired beverage station together using all Kroger ingredients and decor that I had around the house. I made 3 different drinks for the station including summer berry lemonade; berry, watermelon, and basil sparkler; and fruit infused waters. All these drinks were super easy and quick to make and only took about 10-15 minutes total for all 3. I also added bottled cokes on ice, fresh fruit for garnish, straws, and cups to the station so guests have everything they need within reach.
To style your beverage station like a pro, start with a fun and bright tablecloth first. Next add some trays, baskets, or crates so that you can have a few different heights on the table to display things so they are all easily visible (I used a picnic basket in one corner to prop up a couple of pitchers). Be sure everything on your table is contained whether it be in a pretty bowl, jar, or tub. For example- my straws are displays in an old vintage jar, bottled cokes are put on ice inside a brass metal tub, and sparklers are inside of a cute, colorful bowl.
Keep in mind your overall tables-cape when choosing your pitchers and containers for your beverages. I used all glass pitchers and dispensers (some with designs but they still fit the red, white, and blue theme) and I chose glasses that also matched my color-scheme too! You can definitely use plastic or disposable cups too, but just keep in mind your color-scheme as well when picking those out. Variation in spacing/height is key: try to spread the tallest objects out evenly across the table and intersperse with the smaller items in between. Also keep in mind color balance and try to disperse the colors of items evenly too. Fill in any holes with items like a vase of flowers, fresh fruit, or decor.
After you've put together and decorated your station, you can start making your drinks! You can find all the recipes + directions for the summer drinks I've included in my beverage bar below, but feel free to add your own favorites as well too! Happy 4th of July!
This lemonade tastes as good as it looks! The fruit adds the perfect color for 4th of July and tints the lemonade red too! It also adds a little bit of tartness to the lemonade as well. Using frozen lemonade + berries makes this recipes super easy to throw together! Add a ladle to your dispenser for serving so guests can also scoop some of the fruit into their cups for garnish!
Summer Berry Lemonade
makes 2 gallons
4- 12 oz cans frozen lemonade
32 ounces mixed frozen berries
1.5 gallons of water (add more or less depending on how sweet you want it)
2-3 lemons, sliced
Directions: Add all ingredients to a large jug or dispenser- adding berries + lemon slices last; stir well to combine; you can cut recipe in half to make a smaller amount if needed
Basil + watermelon are the perfect summer combination! This recipe is also super quick + easy to put together and not too sweet but just fresh + bright tasting! You can use any kind of sparkling water or flavored seltzer water but mixed berry is my favorite for this recipe!
Berry, Watermelon, + Basil Sparkler
makes approximately 1 gallon
4-5 cans of mixed berry seltzer water or berry flavored sparkling water (I used Kroger brand)
4-5 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
1/3 cups coarsely chopped basil
Directions: In the bottom of your pitcher, muddle half the watermelon with half the basil; Next pour in your seltzer water; Stir to combine then add the remaining watermelon + basil on top for garnish
Fruit infused waters are not only delicious and refreshing but also look so pretty! You can make these waters with fresh fruit or make the process even easier by using pre-sliced frozen fruit. You can customize this beverage with whatever combination of fruits you like!
makes 1 gallon
1 gallon water
assorted sliced/chopped fruit of your choice or use a bag of frozen fruit
Directions: Add the fruit to the bottom of a pitcher then pour the water over it; Stir to combine then allow to sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight