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Party Drink Ideas

By an Award-Winning Professional Party Planner

Easy drinks styling and presentation tips to wow your party guests

Matt's Tip

Always create a signature drink for your party—it’s one of the easiest things you can do to make your party unique. If your party has a theme, think about what flavors you can use in your signature drink that will convey it. Don’t forget about styling and presentation too. You could serve drinks in individual bottles or jars, add your own labels, use themed ice cubes, straws, drinks picks, or add a simple garnish. A sprig of berries or a single flower head on the rim of a glass can make even a simple cocktail look really stylish.

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matt james

Party Drink Ideas to Wow Your Guests

The reason all those photos of wedding and party drinks on Pinterest look so chic and stylish is because they've usually be styled by a professional party planner or catering company. But you know what? It's dead simple to achieve the same look and feel for you own parties at home.

Just follow my simple party drinks styling and presentation tips below to give your next birthday bash or celebration all the creative flair of a professionally-catered event.

Party Drink Recipes & Ideas

For actual drinks recipes, what to serve, and other party drink ideas, check out my Pinterest board of Party Drink Ideas.

lavender lemonade party drink ideas
party drink ideas popsicle spritzers
party drink ideas blueberry mojito
party drink ideas guava rum cocktail

Mason Jar Cocktails

The trend for serving cocktails and party drinks in mason jars might have reached fever pitch a few years ago—and if you browse Pintest often, you might think there's no other acceptable way to serve drinks at a wedding! But this isn't just a passing fad. The reality is party drinks just look great served this way—especially when arranged en-masse on a bar, they're easy for guests to handle, and you can personalize them for your event by adding a sticker or tag (see further down the page for ideas). You can pick up cheap mason jars here.

The other big advantage is that by utilizing the lids, you can batch-make a bunch of drinks in advance, such as these frozen daiquiries (below center right, see recipe here) or these fruit teas (below right, see recipe here), and keep them frozen or on ice until guests arrive.

mason jar cocktails adult party drinks
mason jar non alcoholic party drinks
mason jar frozen daiquiri party drinks
mason jar fruit tea party drinks

Milk Bottles

If you prefer a more sleek and modern look, with less wedding connotations, a great alternative to mason jars is to serve party drinks in these milk bottles with straws (available here). You don't have to portion up each of these individually if you're dealing with larger numbers. Just batch make a signature drink and line the empty bottles up alongside on a bar, as per the photo below center right, for guests to pour themselves. I particularly like these elegant Nantucket drinks dispensers, below right, as they have a classic feel. You can pick them up here.

party drinks styling

Whether you're using mason jars or milk bottles, the trick to giving party drinks a professionally-styled look is to personalized the containers. Either tie a custom favor tag around the neck of each bottle / jar (below left, check out various designs here), add a personalized sticker (below center, check out various options here), or use these stylish transparent mason jar stickers (below right, other designs available, see here).

adult birthday favor tags
40th birthday party favor tag
mason jar wedding labels

custom straws

Another simple party drinks styling tip is to add a special drinking straw to each glass / bottle / jar. Check out the full range here. I particularly like these custom wedding straws (below center right) were the couple were drawn from a photo and then attached to each straw. Although this example is from a wedding, I think they'd be just as cute for other special occasions, such as a adult milestone birthday party. Similarly, these photo straws (below right, from a Seinfeld party) could be made using photos of the birthday boy / girl from different stages of their life. Both options are available here.

custom drinking straws 40th birthday
custom name party straws
custom wedding straws
custom photo straws

drinks stirrers

You can also personalize your party drinks with drinks stirrers. There are generic ones such as 'Cheers', 'Enjoy', or 'OMG', below left, or you can have these made for particular names. Alternatively, there are other personalized ones available, including these fun photo ones, below center, which would be fun for a milestone birthday as you could use old photos of the birthday boy / girl. Check out the full range here.

party drinks stirrers
custom photo party drinks stirrers
personalized party drinks stirrers

ice cubes

There are lots of things you can do with ice cubes to theme and style your party drinks, such as freezing fruits, flowers, and herbs into them or using quirky molds. There are lots of fun ice cube molds available, ranging from simple numbers for milestone birthday parties, to moustaches, grenades, shark fins, Pac Man, marijuana leaves, and even 'My Water Broke' babies in ice cubes for baby showers. Check out the full range here. Alternatively, use these flashing LED ice cubes to light up drinks—there are lots of different colors available here.

fruit in ice cubes
40th birthday ice cube molds
my water broke babies in ice cubes
LED ice cubes

fruit word stirrers

Use these letter cookie cutters on fruit then thread them onto skewers to use as personalized drinks stirrers like the examples below by Jessy at Instructables. (remember to soak in lemon juice to stop them turning brown). You can use them to create guest's names or spell out words and phrases such as 'Cheers', 'Drink Me', or 'Jen's 40th'. You can pick up the alphabet cookie cutters here.

fruit name drinks stirrers
fruit name drinks stirrers

personalized drinks labels

If you're hosting a birthday party at home, it's often the little touches and attention to detail that help turn it into a special occasion and differentiate it from any other get together you might host throughout the year. A really easy way to theme party drinks for a special occasion is to have personalized beer, wine, water, or spirits labels printed. There are lots of different designs available, many which allow you to upload a photo, and some are available as printable files so you can run off as many as you like at home. Identical bottles will look great lined up on a bar or drinks table and it's a really simple touch you can add to make everything feel a little more special. Check out the full range here.

A cute way to use personalized liquor labels, is to tie them to individual bottles of mixers, such as this Jack Daniels & Coke example below right. See here for a range of personalized liquor labels.

DIY Cocktail Bar

Another fun way to use mason jars and personalized liquor labels is to set up a DIY cocktail bar. Just put individual cans of mixers inside mason jars and tie on the liquor miniatures, then set these up in ice baths with instructions for people to empty the jar, add ice, then mix their own drink. You can pick up cheap mason jars here.

Personalized Cocktail Napkins

At a crowded party with lots going on, it's often the smaller details that people tend to remember; things they touch, handle, or interact with. These personalized paper napkins can be a fun way to include fun facts about the birthday boy/girl (below left) or communcate an event-specific hashtag for guests to share photos and tweets (below center). There are lots of different designs available here and you can change the text to whatever you want. Alternatively, this supplier has some different designs, especially for milestone birthdays.

personalized paper cocktail napkins fun facts
personalized paper cocktail napkins hashtag
personalized paper cocktail napkins 40th birthday
personalized paper cocktail napkins

personalized drinks coasters

Similarly, you can also get personalized drinks coasters such as the ones below printed here, or check out this site for some other designs.

personalized drinks coasters 30th birthday
personalized drinks coasters 30th birthday
personalized drinks coasters birthday party
personalized drinks coasters birthday party

Personalized Party Cups

if you're catering for larger numbers and need to use plastic cups you can still make them look and feel special by personalizing them. For the 40th birthday cups below left (available for all ages) see here. Otherwise, check out lots of other designs here, like the ones below center and right.

personalized party cups
personalized party cups
personalized party cups

Food Styling & Presentation

Head over to my other page of buffet table ideas for food styling and presentation tips to go with these party drink ideas.

buffet table food display
dessert table food display
buffet table food presentation
buffet table food presentation

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Alternatively follow the "Enjoy this page?" link under the logos below to get the address for this page of party drink ideas so you can paste directly into your own blog, website, or any forum that you contribute to.

Many thanks


party drink ideas

About Matt James

Matt James is a professional event planner and owner of event agency Left Field Productions, which has produced events for Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Spacey, Stella McCartney, David LaChapelle, John Waters, and Elvis Costello & Diana Krall. Since 2004, Left Field Productions has won 30 industry awards for excellence including Production Company of the Year.

matt james


  • Party Drink Ideas

    by an award-winning professional party planner