Cocktail Party



Signature cocktails can elevate the mood and carry a party theme.


 

Hosting a great cocktail party doesn't have to be difficult. A little planning and creativity and you'll have an Istagram-worthy event your guests will be talking about for years.


THE THEME

Start by considering a theme. Theme parties add a layer of fun and help guide your decision-making with regard to what to serve and how you'll dress your space. Theme-related decor is easy to come by at local retailers like Target, Hobby Lobby and Michaels. 

Consider a Great Gatsby theme party

 

Or, for a spicier evening try a Mexican Fiesta complete with a variety of Margaritas. For a more laid back concept, how about a Las Vegas Casino party or for a more glamorous event, why not go old Hollywood? The ideas are endless and with just a little more effort and thought, can take your party from ordinary to extraordinary.


THE BAR CART

Entertain your guests in style by displaying your favorite spirits on a glamorous bar cart.

Your bar cart is a hospitality statement

 

The “drinks trolley” as the English so charmingly call it is having a revival. The wheeled beverage table dates all the way back to Victorian times when, alas, it wasn’t used for cocktails, but tea. 

When prohibition ended, the quaint tea table was enthusiastically transformed into a mini tavern on wheels. But, the 1970’s sent the bar cart packing when the well-appointed home of that decade had three “must-haves”– wall to wall shag carpeting, avocado appliances and a wet bar - thus making a bar cart obsolete.

Thankfully, decades later, good taste has prevailed and the bar cart is once again a hospitality statement piece.


Styling the perfect bar cart

• Spirits

J. Rieger Whiskey

 

Your cart should stock the basics. We suggest going local with J Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey, Restless Spirits Botanical Gin and Lifted Spirits Vodka.  

• Mixers

Lime wedges and fresh cut mint

 

You’ll want a bottle of dry vermouth for martinis, tonic water, and a quality citrus soda. Also, make sure you have fresh cut lemons, limes and mint on hand. 

• Accessories

The bar cart should have all the right tools

 

A sterling silver cocktail shaker is timeless as are linen cocktail napkins. You’ll also want bar spoons, a jigger and strainer.

The jewelry on the bar cart should be your glassware 


THEMED COCKTAIL RECIPES

SPICY PUMPKIN SANGRIA

Directions

»  In a small bowl, combine sugar and the pumpkin pie spice and mix until well combined. Transfer to a saucer. Add the maple syrup to a second saucer. Lightly dip the rims of 6 punch glasses into the maple syrup. Then dip the rims of the glasses into the spiced sugar.

»  In a pitcher, combine the wine, juice and pumpkin spice liqueur. Stir and pour into the rimmed glasses. Garnish with the pumpkin candy
cinnamon sticks.

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Six 4 to 5-inch long cinnamon sticks, for garnish
  • 1 bottle white wine, chilled
  • 3 cups mango peach juice blend or tropical juice blend, chilled, such as V-8 Splash
  • 1 cup pumpkin spice liqueur, chilled

PEARFECT FLIP

SD Strong Gin infused with Pear | St Elizabeth | Allspice Dram | Lemon Juice | Mango Black Tea | Simple Syrup | Aquafaba

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in the cocktail shaker. Seal, then shake vigorously for at least 2 minutes to whip air into the drink. Do not under-shake: The aeration is key to getting a good, fluffy head. Add ice to the shaker; seal and shake for 15 seconds, until chilled. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass misted with St Elizabeth Allspice Dram.

  • 2 oz SD Strong Gin infused with Pear
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Mango Black Tea Simple Syrup
  • 1 oz Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine)

Mist of St Elizabeth Allspice Dram

  • Mango Black Tea Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup of Mango peeled & chopped
  • 4 English Breakfast Tea Bags
  • 2 cup of Sugar
  • 1 cup Water

>> Bring the water to the usual steeping temperature, place tea bags in the water and let the tea steep 4-5 minutes and remove the tea bags. Place mango and water in blender and blend until smooth. Combine blended black tea, mango puree with sugar in a pot over medium heat. Simmer for 1 minute to melt the sugar.


151 AVENUE B SOUR

Vanilla infused SD Strong Rye | Caramelized Lemon Simple Syrup  Lemon Juice | Egg White | Parker Holiday Spice |Thyme Infused Red Wine Blend

Directions

Add all the ingredients except the wine to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Carefully pour the wine over the back of a spoon so it floats on top of the drink.

Ingredients
  • 2 oz Vanilla SD Strong Rye
  • .75 oz Caramelized Lemon Simple Syrup
  • .5 oz Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of Parker Holiday Spice
  • .5 oz Float of Thyme Infused Red Wine Blend
  • 1 Egg white (optional)

Caramelized Lemon Simple Syrup

  • 16 Meyer (or regular) lemons, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (1/4 cup for dipping lemons)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • pinch of salt

»  Dip the cut sides of 8 halved lemons in sugar and grill on pan until marked, about 5 minutes; let cool. Simmer 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1 3/4 cups water and a pinch of salt until dissolved; let cool. Squeeze the grilled and regular lemons through a strainer into a pitcher; stir in the sugar syrup.

Vanilla SD Strong Rye

  • 1 bottle of SD Strong Rye
  • 1 Vanilla Beans Spilt

»   In a sous vide pouch, combine bourbon and vanilla. Seal and cook at 150F for 2 hours. Prepare an ice bath. Submerge pouch in ice bath for 20 minutes or until chilled. Strain and reserve bourbon can be infused up to two weeks ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Parker Holiday Spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Place all the ingredients together and mix.
  • Thyme Infused Red Wine Blend
  • A bottle Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Two large sprigs of thyme

»   Combine ingredients in a glass bowl or container. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for one day. Strain wine, transfer to a bottle, and serve.


SCRAPPLE FROM THE APPLE

Four Roses infused with Apple and Cinnamon | Smashed Apple | Lemon Juice | Maple Simple Syrup

Directions

»   Place all the ingredients in the cocktail Shaker. Shake until very cold and strain into a Nick and Nora and garnish with an apple chip.

Ingredients
  • 1.5 oz Four Roses infused with Apple and Cinnamon
  • 1 oz Smashed Apple
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Maple Simple Syrup

Smashed Apple

  • 6 medium Fuji Apples Quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoon Apple Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves

»   Place apples and all the other ingredients in the blender. Puree in a food processor until smooth.

Maple Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup of Maple Syrup
  • 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Water

»   Add the maple syrup, sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Strain into a jar and seal tightly with a lid. Simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about one month.


ELLA'S WHIP

SD Strong Vodka infused Vanilla | Godiva White Chocolate | Brown Sugar Simple | Pumpkin Whipped Cream | Sugar Spiced Rim

Directions

»   Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake until very cold and strain into a martini glass rimmed with Spiced Sugar and spoon pumpkin whipped cream on top.

Ingredients
  • 2 oz. SD Strong Vodka infused Vanilla
  • .50 oz Godiva White Chocolate
  • 1 oz Brown Sugar Simple
  • .50 Half & Half
  • Pumpkin Whipped Cream to garnish

»   Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice. Shake until very cold and strain into a martini glass rimmed with Spiced Sugar and spoon pumpkin whipped cream on top.

Pumpkin Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream, Chilled
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Canned or Homemade Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves

»   Add the heavy cream to a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until it just beings to thicken, and then sprinkle the powdered sugar over the top. Continue beating until soft peaks appear, and then add the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and cloves and continue to beat until stiff peaks appear.

Spiced Sugar Rim

  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1⁄2 cup of Sugar

»    Mix all ingredients together


CRAFTING YOUR OWN SIGNATURE COCKTAIL

Your signature drink can be the hashtag for your soiree.

 

If you want to up your entertaining game, there’s no easier way than to concoct a signature drink. Master mixologist Jeremy Brim from Redrock Canyon Grill says the key is figuring out how to put your spin on a classic cocktail.

“You can substitute rum for bourbon in an Old Fashioned and it takes on a life of its own. Also, colored drinks to match the theme of the party are always fun too.”

A punchbowl lets you stay on theme and is a lot less labor intensive

 

Cocktail connoisseur Matt Kobernus from Charleston’s adds that a fun themed name and unique glassware helps ramp up the excitement.

If creating individual themed cocktails sounds like way too much work Brim says you need to make your way over to the punch bowl. The mixologist says a “signature” punch can give your party a more casual feel! 

Kobernus also suggests that before you start getting creative you need to first know your guests and event.

“For example,” he says, “if you’re throwing a bunko party a light and fizzy vodka cocktail would go over well. If you are hosting an event with a more laid-back, hipster feel, bourbon would be the right choice.”