PLAN AHEAD: Determine the
number of guests you plan to invite and the likely number of
those who will attend. This is the key to deciding how
much of each spirit and/or wine you will need. Cocktail
parties are generally the easiest type to give, as they are
casual and friendly. There can also be a well defined
beginning and end.
EQUIPMENT FOR THE
LIQUORS/WINES: A well-stocked
bar should satisfy most guests' flavor preferences. You should
plan to serve at least one brand of Scotch, whisky (Canadian
and Irish would be ideal!), vodka,
gin, rum, and tequila. In the wine category, have a dry white
and red on hand as well as a sherry. It is common today for
people to consume a wine or sherry instead of the traditional
"cocktail." Cordials have become popular as well and should be
considered on your buying list.
SERVING: It is always a
cordial gesture to ask you guest if they would like a drink and
then mix or pour their preference. Never insist. We would also
recommend that you ask them to help themselves to refills; a
good host or hostess always exercises moderation toward guests.
Traffic jams can be avoided by locating the bar away from the
hors d'oeuvres serving area and kitchen (as the latter is
usually the food preparation and clean-up area).
Line up your supplies
beforehand and mixing will be a lot simpler...and a lot faster
Always use a jigger to
measure your liquor or pour directly from the premixed cocktail
bottle. Too much liquor spoils a good drink - and a good party!
To make glassware
really sparkle, wash in warm water, dry with a towel, polish
with a fresh dry towel.
should never be stirred vigorously. This releases the gas and
makes the drink go flat quicker. Always hold the soda bottle at
an angle when opening. This preserves the sparkle and minimizes
When sugar is called
for in a drink, use granulated sugar.
When adding an olive
to a drink, always pierce it with a toothpick and use maraschino
cherries with stems. Your guests will appreciate the extra
A melted ice cube
makes 2 to 2.5 ounces of water. Never re-use cubes. They can
spoil your next drink. Use hard frozen ice.
Rub the lip of your
bottle with waxed paper before pouring. This prevents dripping.
Premixed drinks (with
the liquor already added) lend convenience to any party (at home
To "frost" a cocktail
glass, rub the rim of the glass with a wedge of lemon, then
granulated sugar. Pour cocktail to just below the sugar line.
If the recipe says
shake... don't stir. If is says stir...don't shake.
HOW FAR YOUR REFRESHMENTS WILL GO:
One fifth of liquor will make about 17 - 1.5 ounce drinks; a
quart about 21 drinks; a bottle of table wine contains about
five to six servings. Remember, moderation should be the
keynote; you wouldn't want your guests not to enjoy your home
and carefully-prepared food. The following is merely a guide.
There's no need to be socially embarrassed should you decide to
eliminate or reduce some of the liquid spirits offered.
DANCE PARTY: 2 drinks per
person per hour for the first two hours, 1.5 drinks per person
per hour thereafter.
DINNER: 2 cocktails per
person, 1 or 2 glasses of wine per person, 1 liqueur per person,
1 drink per person per hour thereafter.
BUFFET SUPPER: 2 to 3
cocktails per person, 1 or 2 glasses of wine per person, 1
liqueur per person, 1 drink per person per hour thereafter.