25 Cool Drink Stations For Outdoor Parties

Throwing an outdoor party this summer? One of the most important elements to make your backyard bash a hit is having a self-serve drink station. This allows your guests to easily help themselves to refreshments without you having to play bartender all night. Setting up a DIY drink bar for your party is also a great way to save money compared to stocking a full open bar. Plus, it’s an opportunity to add some fun, unique touches that match your party’s theme.

Cool Drink Stations For Outdoor Parties

Functional and Festive Drink Station Ideas

When designing your outdoor drink station, you’ll want to include functional elements to dispense beverages easily, as well as decorative aspects to set the mood. The ideas below incorporate both form and function.

1. Tropical Bar in a Wheelbarrow

Give your drink station island vibes by using a wheelbarrow as the base. Fill with bags of ice to chill drinks, tropical flowers and foliage for decoration. Top with a grass umbrella for shade.

Tropical Bar in a Wheelbarrow

2. Old-Fashioned Lemonade Stand

For a nostalgic treat, set up a lemonade stand similar to one you might have operated as a kid. Use an actual stand or table painted bright yellow. Display lemons and limes around a glass dispenser full of fresh lemonade.

Old-Fashioned Lemonade Stand

3. Boho Bar Cart

Bar carts aren’t just for indoors! Find one with an ornate metal frame and distressed wood shelves to complement any bohemian decor. Stock with all kinds of glassware, flowers in mason jars, and your choice of beverages.

Boho Bar Cart

4. Beverage Tub on a Stand

For large-scale parties, keep tons of drinks ice-cold in a plastic drink tub on a sturdy stand. Surround with matching cups so guests can easily scoop their own drinks. Dress it up with nautical ropes, nets, and buoys.

Beverage Tub on a Stand

5. Backyard Barrel Bar

For an down-home country look, repurpose large wooden barrels or galvanized steel tubs as your makeshift bar. Display them in a row and fill with bottles of beer, soda, and water on ice.

Backyard Barrel Bar

Non-Alcoholic Drink Ideas

If you’re hosting an alcohol-free event, no need to fret! You can still mix up delicious drinks to delight your guests.

6. Homemade Iced Tea

Brew up a gallon or two of fresh iced tea sweetened just right. Set out the drink dispenser with arrays of fruity garnishes like orange slices, mint, berries, and pineapple.

Homemade Iced Tea

7. Infused Water Station

Slice up fruits and herbs like citrus, cucumber, strawberries and basil to infuse large dispensers of ice water. Serve in colorful tumblers garnished with fruit.

Infused Water Station

8. Old-Fashioned Lemonade

As mentioned above, a lemonade stand with mint sprig garnish is a nostalgic and refreshing option for backyard parties. You can also experiment with unique flavors like strawberry, peach, or watermelon lemonade.

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

9. Arnold Palmers

For the non-alcoholic cocktail lover, mix up batches of Arnold Palmers – half iced tea, half lemonade. Adjust sweetness to taste and serve over ice with lemon wheels.

10. Custom Sodas

DIY soda bars are all the rage. Set up jars of flavored syrups like cherry, vanilla, orange, lime, and combine with soda water so guests can mix and match flavors.

Custom Sodas

Cocktail & Mocktail Ideas

If you do plan to serve alcohol, be sure to also offer festive mocktail (non-alcoholic cocktail) options so all your guests can partake.

11. Sangria Station

A self-serve sangria station is perfect for summer parties! Allow guests to ladle their own sangria over ice and garnish with sliced fruit like oranges, apples, berries, and peaches.

Sangria Station

12. Backyard Margarita Bar

Similar to sangria, let guests build their own margaritas for a tex-mex fiesta! Offer traditional lime as well as fun flavors like mango, strawberry, peach, and pomegranate. Display margarita salt, limes, and fruit slices.

Backyard Margarita Bar

13. Moscow Mule Bar

Moscow mules are refreshing and summery drinks typically made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime. Provide copper mugs and all the ingredients for a DIY mule bar. Top off with mint and lime garnish.

Moscow Mule Bar

14. Mojito Bar

Another classic warm-weather cocktail, mojitos contain rum, soda water, sugar, mint and lime. Set up the makings for DIY mojitos and watch your guests get creative with their concoctions!

Mojito Bar

15. Backyard Bloody Mary Bar

For weekend brunch parties, a build-your-own bloody mary bar is sure to be a hit! Offer vodka and tomato juice along with fun garnishes like celery, olives, lemon and lime wedges, pickled veggies and bacon.

Backyard Bloody Mary Bar

16. Mocktail Station

Be sure to include mocktail options like sparkling lemonade with fruit, mint and flowers. You can also premix pitchers of fun non-alcoholic cocktails like blueberry basil smashes, ginger peach fizzes, and strawberry lime spritzers.

Mocktail Station

Display Ideas

The way you display and serve drinks can be just as important as the beverages themselves when it comes to ambiance.

17. Beverage Tub with Chalkboard

Label your drink tubs by chalking the beverage type right onto the plastic bin or tub. This way guests know exactly what they’re scooping up.

Beverage Tub with Chalkboard

18. Glass Drink Dispensers

Serve up large batches of drinks in glass beverage dispensers, which keep drinks chilled while allowing guests to see the vibrant colors of your refreshing beverages.

Glass Drink Dispensers

19. Drink Tickets

Consider handing out drink tickets, especially for cocktails containing alcohol. This allows you to monitor and limit consumption per guest.

Drink Tickets

20. Mini Chalkboard Menu

Create cute mini chalkboard signs that label the name and ingredients of each drink option. Prop up near the corresponding drink dispenser.

Mini Chalkboard Menu

21. Tiered Display Stand

Show off your drinkware and garnishes on a tiered display stand. Place flowers, fruits, herbs, and napkins on various levels for an aesthetically pleasing presentation.

Tiered Display Stand

22. Beverage Tub with Ice Ring

Keep large tubs extra cold by freezing juice, fruit slices, and edible flowers in a ring mold before filling the tub with drinks and ice. The frozen ring will help regulate temperature.

Beverage Tub with Ice Ring

Serving & Display Essentials

In addition to the drinks themselves, you’ll need vessels for sipping and stirring. Think beyond basic cups with these fun stirring sticks and straws.

23. Recycled Glassware

Use recycled glasses, mugs, jars, and pitchers for budget-friendly drinkware that adds to the casual backyard vibe. Mix and match shapes, sizes and colors.

Recycled Glassware

24. Paper Straws

Eco-friendly paper straws are festive and functional for outdoor drink stations. Stock a variety of patterns and colors.

Paper Straws

25. Cocktail Parasols

No tropical drink station is complete without tiny paper umbrellas! Place these petite parasols in drinks to up the whimsy factor.

Cocktail Parasols


With so many ways to craft a creative outdoor drink bar, you’re sure to find a setup that fits your party style and guest list. Just remember to include functional elements for easily serving beverages as well as decorative aspects to enhance your theme. Most importantly, make sure there are refreshing drinks for guests of all ages to enjoy. Cheers!

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