Several ways to entertain groups of 12 or more:
1. Servers provide drinks and all drinks are filled in a private area (unseen area)
2. Drinks are passed on silver trays
3. Bar area with servers (guest come to the bar area)
4. Bar area that is self -serve (servers clean up only)
When I usually have a large party, regardless if there is a beverage helper or not, I like to have my beverage area look nice. I purchase soft drinks, sparkling and non-sparkling water in glass bottles. Coke, Diet Coke, Spirte and french lemonade, etc. all come in glass bottles. In terms of water, I definitely provide sparkling water in glass bottles and I go back and forth on crystal pitchers of still water or still water in glass bottles. For a dinner party, I definitely serve water in a pitcher.
These Evian bottles are really incredible. I think they are mostly for commerical use but lovely non the less.
If you have any other thoughts to share on your beverage area, please let me know.