Hosting for the holidays? It doesn’t have to be difficult, but you should absolutely put some stock into on you bar. Because, let’s face it, one of the easiest ways to spread good tidings and cheer is with a stiff cocktail.
Therefore, a well-planned cocktail menu can really help your party stand out. And we’re here to help spread the merriment with a few clutch holiday tips:
Prepare a premixed, ready-to-serve cocktailed for your guests. Since guests can easily serve themselves, it won’t require much of your attention, leaving you free to mingle. You can always do something simple and seasonal like filling a punch bowl with mulled wine or a spiked cider. But serving a big batch blend is also an opportunity to get creative and present a fun, holiday themed cocktail, like this Grey Goose vodka punch which channels the season with peppermint tea and cranberry sherbet.
One 750 ml bottle of Grey Goose
One 750 ml bottle of Rockey’s Milk Punch
16 ounce cranberry sherbet
24 ounce peppermint tea
Put out one to three choice spirits (rum, vodka and whiskey), a few mixers, bitters and one to two custom simple syrups. Guests will have the option to assemble their own bar creations. Additionally, you can provide some helpful inspiration by printing out a few recipe flashcards that make use of the available bar ingredients. For example, just by swapping the simple syrups and mixers, guests can easily whip up two wholly different whiskey cocktails.
Coffee Hot Toddy
1 ounce cardamom simple syrup
1.50 ounces George Dickel Whisky #12
4 to 5 ounces of hot coffee
2 dashes of bitters
Whipped cream and cinnamon (optional)
Cranberry Rosemary Old Fashioned
1.50 ounces George Dickel Bottled in Bond Whisky
.25 ounce Cranberry Rosemary Simple Syrup
2 dashes of bitters
Sugared cranberries and rosemary (optional)
You know your guests best, and you’ll therefore know the best holiday memories to evoke for a surprising treat. Utilize some of those favorite flavors and nostalgic tastes within a signature cocktail. For example, make a gingerbread cocktail to pair with your grandmother’s infamous gingerbread loaf. Or if your family had a holiday cocktail tradition such as coquitos, eggnog or kremas, make sure you pull it off with your own version to keep the tradition going.
Gingerbread Old Fashioned
1.5 ounces Volcan de mi Tierra Cristalino
.25 ounce Nardini Amaro
1 teaspoon gingerbread syrup*
*Editor’s NOTE: make your own gingerbread syrup with 1 cup water, .25 cup molasses, .25 teaspoon ground ginger, .25 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of allspice.
Need more holiday help? Check out these great recipes from Chef Perez (twice baked seafood potatoes) and Detroit’s own “Queen Shuga” Pinky Shuga Shack (sweet potato muffins).