Jul 212010

So you’re having a party and want to serve a signature cocktail, but you can’t bear the idea of being locked at the bar all night mixing and pouring.  What to do……Hire a bartender?  Why yes, that’s a fantastic idea (especially if he’s hot and wearing a bow tie), but perhaps not so practical in these budget conscious times.  The more clever and frugal alternative?

Why, make your ‘tini base up ahead of time!  Simply select a signature  drink (or two), and pre-mix all the alcohol and juice ingredients in large pitchers the night before.  At party time, pop them out of the fridge, pour them over ice in a shaker, give them a quick shake and strain and into the glasses they go.  Of course, be sure to save any carbonated ingredients to add at the last minute.    Does this take a bit more time than pouring glasses of wine? Certainly.  But a signature drink can really make your party special.

What about the hostesses who aren’t such a whiz at math? *Shaker One raises her hand here*

I actually sit down with a pencil and paper and convert the ounces in each ingredient to cup measurements on my pyrex measuring cup.  First, pick a drink recipe.  Next, multiply each ingredients’ ounce volume by the number of martini servings you want to have available for your guests.  Convert the total ounces of each ingredient to the corresponding cup volume (my measuring cups have them all printed on the sides).   I suggest you do a taste test and make any adjustments necessary……..it might need a little extra lemon juice or simple syrup for example.  And I wouldn’t make them up too far ahead of time-the day before at the earliest.  You don’t want your ingredients to taste stale or flat from sitting.

As for glassware- I do not recommend those plastic martini glasses you see at party supply stores.  They are flimsy and cheap and tend to tip over from the weight of the liquid.  You can purchase simple glass martini glasses cheaply at Target or Bed Bath and Beyond type places.  A restaurant supply even has heavy duty acrylic martini glasses which would be perfect for an outdoor or poolside party.  If you don’t want to invest in reusable glassware, go for basic clear plastic disposable cups.  And don’t forget to garnish (make these up ahead of time,too).

With just a little planning and preparation, you can be a relaxed host(ess) while still making your guests feel special.  Now go send those evites!


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