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This summer, why not encourage your guests to serve their own drinks through your very own drink dispenser… an essential for every outdoor party! The beverage jar is the newest trend in entertaining, putting a fun twist on the classic punch bowl.

Above are photos of a few types of beverage jars, which I like, but there is a wide range of shapes and sizes to choose from. The ones above can be found on potterybarn.com, along with matching stands. Although beverage jars may get a little pricey, they are definitely worth the investment. Think of it like buying more time to actually talk to your guests and less time mixing drinks. You could justify the cost by giving it to yourself as an upcoming birthday present**.

These jars are perfect for large parties or gatherings not only because they’re self-serve option but also because they look great filled with fruit and whatever liquid you mix. It also allows guests to grab as much or as little fruit to add to their drinks. In my experience, my guests can’t resist and end up eating most of the fruit, which is great because that way it doesn’t go to waste, and I don’t have to deal with sangria leftovers.

You can also have fun with decorating the outside of your beverage jars using different dispenser tags such as the round chalkboard dispenser tag shown in the second photo above, mixing complimentary fruits and herbs into the drink, or using various drink dispenser stands.

If you don’t have a lot of space or money to buy multiple drink dispenser stands, a good option is the “Decorator’s Drink Dispenser with Stand” shown in the first image above, under the title “Unique Stands.” What I like about this stand is the options you have when it comes to decorating the lower glass chamber. In the photo above, the lemons in the stand give your guests a clue to what type of drink is inside the dispenser.

You can also decorate the stand based on the theme of your party. For example, if I were having a beach themed party I could fill sand and seashells in the lower chamber, or if I were having a sweets themed party, I could put candy in the stand…the possibilities are there to be really creative!

Check out Pottery Barn’s website for more summer beverage jars at http://www.potterybarn.com.