Throwing a Party? Here are Some Easy Party Cocktails
You’ve all been working hard, and it’s definitely “party time.” But even the simplest get-together requires some planning and preparation. You don’t want your guests to spend the night planning their escape, right? So, that means taking care of the menu, whether tasty take-out or a full course feast. And don’t forget the tunes – a loud and lively playlist can take a slow-paced situation to the next level.
Wait, what about the drinks? You want happy and refreshed guests, right? But the clock is ticking, and you’re missing some key alcoholic elements. And there’s no time (or money) to run out and restock …
A cocktail to remember
The good news is that with just a few essentials, you can quickly mix up a cocktail that puts the big-name bars to shame. And while a “cocktail” is any alcoholic drink made from at least two ingredients, they typically have four parts:
Bases – these are the alcoholic components, such as bourbon, brandy, gin, rum, tequila or vodka (alone or mixed)
Mixers – also known as modifiers, these add subtle flavors, and include: fruit juices, soft drinks or sparkling wines
Accents – these provide stronger flavors, with common choices including: bitters, lemons and limes, grenadine and more complex liqueurs
Garnishes – finally, certain ingredients add last-minute complements of color, flair and flavor, such as cherries, citrus fruits or olives
Ingredients, directions and some tasty trivia
Below, we’ve provided a brief list of some popular options, along with the necessary ingredients and the (few) steps to make them correctly. And don’t think these have to be sky-high in alcohol; you’re not throwing a college kegger, after all. Enjoy this list, as you boost your bartending skills!
1. Sidecar – This sweet and sassy cocktail was thought to be created around the end of WWI at Paris’ Ritz Hotel. Named for the motorcycle attachment, the French-inspired sidecar’s since been adopted by New Orleans natives.
2 oz brandy, and specifically Cognac
3/4 oz orange liqueur, like triple sec or Cointreau
3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Directions: Twist the rim of glass into a plate of sugar, ensuring the sugar sticks. Pour all ingredients into
a cocktail shaker with ice, and then shake until chilled. Next, strain it into the sugary glass and garnish
with an orange peel.
2.) Gin and tonic – Just two ingredients (or three, if you prefer), but what a combination! And what’s really weird is that separately, they’re both pretty bitter. But together, they complement each other, resulting in a warming, sweet cocktail. As for how much of each, ratios of 1:3(gin to tonic) to 1:1are advised, but we’ll leave it up to you.
Ingredients and Directions:
Pour over ice
Garnish with lime or lemon wedge (again, this is optional)
3.) Daquiri – For tropical tastes, this rum-based delight is at home in any bar or social gathering. A favorite of Ernest Hemingway, true fans avoid the super-sweet, frozen concoctions found in theme parks. Instead, here’s the parts list for a delectable daiquiri:
2 oz white rum
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
¾ oz simple syrup (this is a water/sugar mix)
Directions: Combine these ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake well. Then, strain and pour.
4.) Margarita – Another classic cocktail that can be served frozen, this Mexican mixture even boasts its own glass (the Margarita glass, but any will do). And like the others, it has several different origin stories, including being first blended to honor actress Rita Hayworth, a Ziegfeld dancer and even the daughter of Germany’s ambassador in the 1940s.
2 oz silver tequila
1 oz triple sec (Cointreau)
1 oz fresh-squeezed lime (or lemon) juice
Directions: Combine these ingredients in a mixing glass (any type). Ice is optional, whether shaken or blended. Once mixed, it’s common and to rim the glass with salt or sugar.
5.) Champagne cocktail – You don’t have to save the bubbly for New Year’s Eve, as this cocktail is ideal for any occasion. Classy yet comfortable, it was first mixed up in 1862 by Jerry Thomas, a world famous bartender, and was originally called “Chorus Girl's Milk.”
3 oz Champagne (chilled)
⅓ oz Cognac
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
Directions: In a champagne flute, place a sugar cube and two dashes of Angostura bitters. Next, add the
Cognac, and then gently pour chilled champagne. Finally, you can place a lemon twist on top.