Raising the Bar

Wake up your beach bar from its winter slumber.
By Jacquelyne Froeber

At Coastal Living, we know the best way to win friends is to own or rent a beach house for the summer. So to make sure you're prepared for spontaneous entertaining, you'll need the proper refreshments on hand.

Stocking your bar with standard items will prevent you from having to make an emergency run to the store when people drop by. Although fresh is always best, you can substitute with convenience products such as bottled fruit and vegetable juices, and dry mixes. For health-conscious guests, keep nonalcoholic beer, diet soda, and sparkling and mineral water on hand. Vodka, gin, rum, or whiskey can be mixed with any of these beverages or served on the rocks as your guests prefer. Just in case mid-afternoon cocktails turn into dinner, keep a bottle each of red and white wine on the shelf. If you are a novice and would like to try out new drink recipes, buy a guide to help you with proportions and ingredients. In no time you'll be experimenting and making your own novel libations, which you can creatively name and make the official drinks of your particular paradise.

Once the bar is stocked, freshen your hosting image with fun accessories guaranteed to complement any coastal cocktail hour. Now that the winter hibernation has ended, let the festivities begin.