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