This topic…is dear to me. I don’t think I have it in me to just…throw out a cracker and some cheese. Entertaining is an Art. It does not have to be difficult if you remember some key tips, stock up, and plan ahead when you have time. Here are some of my key tips for you…to “make it special”…
ALWAYS GARNISH- Use Mint, Other Fresh Herbs, Fresh and Frozen Berries, Special Straws or Stir Sticks. This one tip alone…is a snap.
KEEP FROZEN JUICE CUBES IN BAGGIES OR CONTAINERS IN YOUR FREEZER – I do this year round. Different flavors and colors. They serve multiple purposes – to make drinks pretty, to make them taste more fruity, to give them more color and to keep them cold without diluting the drink. Easy to do!! You can also put a few fresh berries in the ice cube tray when freezing. FESTIVE!!
KEEP YOUR LIQUOR ICE COLD – I always have 2 – 3 different flavors of vodka in my freezer, along with good ‘sippin Tequila and Lemoncillo. It makes a HUGE difference in the end result..
KEEP YOUR MIXERS COLD - or at least on ice. Nothing worse than a watered down drink because your mixer and alcohol were room temp. boo hiss…no like. Once you start doing this, you will be spoiled and feel compelled to share this tip with others…in a loving way…of course. Melty drinks…no good.
PREP AHEAD – No stress people.. Cut fruit and store in plastic containers that are easily accessible in your fridge. Just adding a fruit garnish to a drink..makes it special…Eat the fruit you don’t use in your drinks…and of course, eat the fruit IN your drink…boozilicious.
FOR ENTERTAINING GROUPS - Invest in a great Ice Bucket and Stainless Beverage Vat/Trough – This will keep bottled drinks icy cold and save on fridge space. Having a full ice bucket keeps traffic away from your freezer.
HAVE A SELECTED AREA ON YOUR COUNTER FOR YOUR BAR – If you don’t have an actual “bar”, and most people I know, do not, This will keep things in a central location…will be the life of the party..if you follow my ThirstQuest tips and recipes.
CREATE A “THEME” DRINK -For your party. Something fun and neutral with Vodka is my preference. This will keep things simple so you don’t have to spend your whole night playing mixologist…although that can be fun in small groups. Have a few different beers available, red and white wine, and some sparkling fruit sodas for your guests who do not drink alcohol. Seattle’s “Dry Soda” and “Jones Soda”…have fun special flavors. It’s important to think of the needs of all your guests. They will remember and appreciate your thoughtfulness.
THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE – Have a GREAT time. Don’t stress. Making drinks..there are no rules. Make what you like. Drink what you like. For me, mixing drinks IS an Art Form. Learn along the way…
SELECT BEAUTIFUL GLASSES AND STEMWARE – I have so many glasses that I have collected over the years. You can start with an inexpensive collection and mix and match. You don’t need to have a “set” per se…but that is nice for formal occasions. For a list of “staple” glasses I cannot live without – check out my “tools and ingredients” page…