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Fun With Friends

  • How to Throw a Cocktail Party

    As a current trend, people are embracing the age-old tradition of throwing classic cocktail parties! There is something quintessentially glamorous about dressing up, clinking glasses, and catching up with friends. Pulling off a cocktail party can happen a number of ways; here are some different approaches that will help you get started:

    Stock up and offering a full bar with different types of spirits, liqueurs and Stirrings® Mixers.

    Create a themed bar that puts one spirit in the spotlight, but offers a variety of mixers. (Stirrings® makes this especially easy)

    Devise a signature cocktail bar that features two types of cocktails and beer and wine.

    So, how does one choose an approach? Obviously, budget and time play a huge part in determining which way is right for your cocktail night. Let’s break down the pros and cons associated with each method.

    Full Bar

    A full bar allows each of your guests to concoct their favorite cocktail. It also gives them a chance to experiment with different mixers, liqueurs, spirits, and garnishes. Stirrings® makes this easy to execute. With all our great mixers, your guests can experiment with a variety of cocktail ideas. We have hundreds of recipes on the website to provide inspiration for your partygoers.

    If you want to go the full bar route, make sure that you have plenty of base spirits like rum, vodka, gin, and bourbon. Group your liqueurs by flavor to make it easier for people to find their favorite. To help partygoers, leave a Stirrings® cocktail recipe book out for them to peruse. Be sure to include all the appropriate bartending essentials such as bar spoons shakers, strainers, muddlers, jiggers, and ice. For fun, leave a tip jar out in case one of your guests turns out to be the party’s favorite bartender!

    Themed Bar

    A themed bar cuts down on all of the costs associated with providing a fully stocked bar. All you need to do is to select one or two base spirits to feature, and then provide different mixers. For instance, you can set out vodka and assorted Stirrings® mixers so people can create apple martinis, lemon drops, cosmopolitans and Bloody Marys.

    Signature Cocktail Bar

    A signature cocktail bar reduces party costs, showcases two types of cocktails, and gives people other options like beer and wine. As an additional benefit, you can play mixologist for the night by coming up with your own signature cocktail to show off. Signature cocktails may consist of a base spirit, Stirrings® Mixer, liqueur and garnish. Have fun coming up with your own by putting a spin on a classic recipe or personalizing your own favorite cocktail. You may also get some inspiration by using seasonal herbs to spice up the cocktails. If you want to share the ingredient list, create recipe cards for people to take home! Hosting your own cocktail party is not only fun, but it allows you to tap into your creative side with your friends.

    Don’t forget – a fabulous hostess has food available, always offers non-alcoholic choices for the guests, (Stirrings® has you covered with tasty non-alcoholic mocktails) and makes sure everyone gets home safely.


    COCKTAIL Stella-tini

    • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Pomegranate Raspberry Sorbet Light
    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Cosmopolitan Mixer

    Rim a martini glass with Stirrings® Cosmopolitan Rimmer. Shake over ice and pour into martini glass.

    MOCKTAIL Pomegranate Spritzer

    • 4 oz. Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer
    • Splash of Soda Water

    Serve over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.

  • New Year’s Eve

    We've adapted a few cultural traditions around the world (featuring food that symbolizes luck in the New Year) and brought them to life in our cocktails! Start your year on the right foot by planning a party in which all food and drink is designed to bring good luck to all your guests.

    COCKTAILS

    Incorporating some of the foods that traditionally bring good luck in the New Year into your cocktail bar is a great way to tie your New Year’s theme into every aspect of your event! Your guests will appreciate the good wishes for the entire year to come.

    FOOD

    Greens: It's no coincidence that this good-luck food is the color of money. Greens such as kale, collards, and cabbage are traditionally eaten on New Year's Day because of their association with wealth and economic prosperity.

    Pomegranate: Long associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries for luck in the New Year.

    Citrus: When the Chinese celebrate New Year's Day, they often set out bowls of oranges and tangerines to promote prosperity. This tradition developed from a play on words: "tangerine" and "orange" sound much like "luck" and "wealth," respectively, in the Chinese language.

    DECOR

    When you prepare a menu with some or all of these foods, be sure to share these tidbits with your guests. You could also use some of these as table decorations, for example, beautiful citrus baskets accented with bright green kale leaves will add a touch of whimsy – and, of course, bring all sorts of good luck!


    COCKTAIL Cash on the Books

    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Apple Martini Mixer
    • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Pear Vodka
    • 2 oz. Bitter Lemon Soda
    • Garnish Slice of Apple

    Fill a tall glass with ice, and layer in the ingredients, stirring gently.
    Garnish with an apple slice

    Lemon Delight

    • 3 oz. Stellina Di Notte Prosecco
    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Lemon Drop Martini Mixer
    • Garnish with Fresh Raspberries

    Place fresh raspberries into a champagne flute, layer in all ingredients, and stir gently

    MOCKTAIL Double Pomegranate Soda

    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer
    • 1 oz. Stirrings® Authentic Grenadine (Made from Pomegranates)
    • Splash of Lemon-Flavored Soda Water

    Layer all ingredients into a tall glass filled with ice and pomegranate seeds, stir gently, garnish with lemon wedge.

  • Watching the Game

    Football season is another way to say “party every weekend.” When friends and family drop by to catch the action, it hardly matters who wins or who loses. There’s a reason it’s called the national pastime. Try this for a solid game plan:

    COCKTAILS

    Every game will surely have beer, but watch their surprise when they see you’re actually serving cocktails! Cocktails like a tasty Bloody Mary are great, because they match well with spicy and salty foods (we’re talking nachos and buffalo wings). Don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic options, like the Stirrings® Sparkling Red Pomegranate Spritzer. You can prepare pitchers ahead of time so nobody’s mixing cocktails during a touchdown.

    FOOD

    Nothing says BIG GAME like buffalo wings, brats, and other favorites off the grill. There are many healthy and delicious options for each of these, but also remember to have something for your vegetarian friends; they deserve a tasty game day as well!

    DECORATION

    Pre-Game
    Anyone can show up so make sure whoever does know whose side you're on. Use plates and decorations that reflect your team colors like team pennants, or even a simple custom banner – it won’t cost much and you’ll be surprised how much it pumps up team spirit.

    The Playing Field
    If you’re hosting, do a kitchen buffet set-up that lets you enjoy the game with your guests. If you think everyone might hang out in the kitchen, put dishes where people will see them and a small television on the counter that’s tuned into the game so nobody misses a single down.


    COCKTAIL Bloody Mary

    • 1.5 oz. Ketel One Vodka
    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Bloody Mary Mixer

    Rim a tall glass with Stirrings® Bloody Mary Rimmer.
    Stir all ingredients over ice and pour into glass.
    Garnish with celery sticks, pickled beans, pickled cucumbers, and olives

    MOCKTAIL Pomegranate Spritzer

    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer
    • ½ oz. Stirrings® Authentic Grenadine
    • Splash of Soda Water

    Rim a tall glass with Stirrings® Pomegranate Rimmer.
    Pour Stirrings® Mixer into glass over ice and top with soda and Stirrings® Authentic Grenadine.

  • Summer Fun

    “Summertime and the living is easy;” the famous song lyric reminds us that entertaining this season should be relaxed and effortless. Whether you are lounging poolside or hosting a party at the beach, get inspired by the freshness of the local farm stand and the spectacular colors of the great outdoors. We’ve gathered some simple recipes and bright ideas to help you host some fun in the summer sun!

    COCKTAILS

    Watermelon is undoubtedly the iconic fruit of summer, so why not add it to the season’s most popular cocktail, the margarita? Stirrings® created the Spicy Watermelon Margarita by combining the sweet cooling notes of watermelon with a little heat – in this case tequila and a dash of cayenne. For some added fizz, top with tonic water.

    Always have a non-alcoholic option for the designated drivers and younger guests in the group. For a chilly mocktail, blend frozen chunks of fresh watermelon with Stirrings® Watermelon Mixer. In the summer heat, it’s important to stay hydrated, so keep cold bottles of water handy so guests can help themselves throughout the day.

    FOOD

    At a party where your guests are likely to be dressed in bikinis, shorts and sarongs, it’s best to keep your summer menu filled with recipes that are light on calories, yet full of flavor. While the heat might curb some appetites, our guess is that all of the frolicking on the beach and games in the pool will make guests reach for a savory snack.

    For a summer fun feast, friends Claudine Revere and Chef Arvin Dhansew at Relish Caterers, known for their one-of-a-kind events and seasonally inspired cuisine, created a menu that would work for all types of outdoor gatherings. Using affordable and easy-to-find ingredients, often from the local farmers market, their menu includes: organic chicken sandwiches with grilled onions, tomato chutney, and crisp iceberg lettuce on toasted brioche; skewered watermelon, feta cheese and tomato salad with mint and raspberry emulsion; and olive oil steamed baby potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

    For something sweet, they recommend serving honey grilled summer peaches with sweetened yogurt and crumbled lady fingers. This super simple recipe can be prepared with mascarpone and granola for some variety.

    DECOR

    To make your pool party look like a chic cabana at a boutique hotel, find plush towels in one or two shades that compliment each other, and alternate them on deck chairs. Roll up extra towels and place them in galvanized bins around the pool. Bring out a large wicker hamper so used towels are kept out of sight. For some simple pool décor, buy blow-up beach balls in various sizes and throw them all in the pool for some color and instant fun!

    Any outdoor event calls for non-breakable tableware, so stick to acrylic glasses for your cocktails and melamine dishes in pretty patterns. Serving trays with covers are helpful in keeping out pesky bugs or sand from your delicious dishes.


    COCKTAIL Spicy Watermelon Margarita

    • 1.5 oz. Don Julio Tequila
    • 2 oz. Stirrings® Watermelon Mixer
    • 1 oz. Stirrings® Margarita Mixer
    • Dash Cayenne

    Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a rocks glass packed with ice.
    Garnish with a slice of watermelon or lime.

    MOCKTAIL Blended Watermelon Slushie

    • 1 Large slice of watermelon cut into cubes
    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Watermelon Mixer

    Place ingredients in a blender and add ½ cup of ice.
    Blend till smooth; pour into a tall glass, and drizzle Stirrings® Authentic Grenadine on the top.

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