Party Tips - Think Drinks!
Drink Tips ·
• No friends will thank you the next day for pouring
overly strong drinks.
• Consider using double Old-fashioned glasses for everything
but wine. If you're pouring Martinis, or cocktails "up"
(with the ice strained), which you prefer to serve in stemmed
cocktail glasses, beware: they tip over easily.
• Guests mislay their glasses, so have plenty to spare.
• Chill your juices and mixers.
• If you lack refrigerator space, use an iced tub (the
kitchen sink or even a bathtub, in a pinch) for chilling ingredients.
• Got lousy tap water? Make ice cubes (and plenty, in
advance) with bottled water.
• Consider ordering ice through a delivery service (check
the yellow pages under "ice"). It's less hassle
and much less expensive than you think.
• Keep extra ice cubes in a cooler.
• For all-spirits cocktails, such as Negrones or Manhattans,
consider mixing in advance (no ice!) and chilling them in
pitchers — heresy, perhaps, but handy.
• If you set up a bar, invest in an ice bucket (because
it looks great) and some inexpensive ice tongs. Remember,
guests will be eating with their hands, and tongs will keep
those fingers out of everyone's ice!
• Use a plastic sheet under a cloth one to really protect
your bar table.
• Buy a red wine (such as Pinot Noir) and a white one
(such as Sauvignon Blanc) that are good, but will not overpower
the food. Consult our list of Best Wine Producers for recommendations.
• Open about half of the wine bottles beforehand and
then reinsert the corks partway. You won't have to struggle
to keep the wine flowing, and guests can easily uncork bottles
when you're busy.
• Stock some beers from quality brewers (look for labels
like Catamount, Celis, or Sam Adams).
• Have nonalcoholic alternatives available, including
• Set up your coffee maker in advance. You might also
have a sugar bowl, a creamer, and some cups ready, just in
case guests want to change gears.