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Cocktail Recipes Information

Article by Carolyn Donohue

You’re planning a cocktail party. Maybe it’s to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary or a significant achievement, such as that terrific job you’ve been working towards. Whatever the reason (and you don’t really need a reason, do you) it’s always a pleasant occasion where friends can get together and enjoy a cocktail or two; and having unique and great tasting cocktail recipes for your guests only enhances the party.

It’s not difficult to plan a successful cocktail party. Perhaps it will be an outdoors gathering, on your deck or patio. Some background music, soft lighting, comfortable patio furniture and a few basic bar supplies is all you’ll need. And you don’t have to be a professional bartender to create and serve a memorable cocktail – but there are a few basics which will make your party a roaring success.

What kind of glassware will you need? Mixing your cocktails and serving them in the correct glass is important – the drink should look attractive and in order to serve a variety of different cocktails, you’ll need a variety of different glasses. Champagne glasses or flutes, martini glasses, liqueur glasses and perhaps some taller glasses in which to serve Collins cocktails, slings or soft drinks should be sufficient. And you’ll need some shorter glasses known as “rock” glasses or “shot”. A good bar will have all these to hand and when a guest asks you for a particular cocktail, how cool is it to be able to serve it in the right glass.

You’re going to need a blender to create some of the most popular drinks. Just a simple one will do the job as long as it has a motor which is powerful enough to crush ice which is an essential ingredient in most cocktails. And you might consider investing in a proper cocktail shaker. It doesn’t have to be a sterling silver one – stainless steel will do fine, but it must have a strainer in it as many cocktail recipes should be shaken and strained before decanting them into a glass.

Now – we’re moving right along. What bar supplies do we need? Vodka is an essential part of many cocktails because it is clear, virtually tasteless and goes with practically every ingredient known to a bartender, so make sure that you have sufficient. Rum – white and dark is another favorite as it forms the basis of many tropical drinks; perfect for your patio cocktail party. Bourbon is a good one to have on hand because it blends well with lemon slices or mint leaves. And if you’re planning to mix a pitcher of margaritas, you must have tequila. You can serve tequila in a shot or rock glass too with a salt-rimed edge and lemon wedges. What else – gin? Yes, gin! It’s the basis of many cocktails with its unusual juniper-berry taste – or you can serve it straight on the rocks with a twist of lemon. Have a couple of bottles of different liqueurs on hand too, such as grenadine, cherry brandy, Curacao and don’t forget a bottle of Irish cream!

Have some soft drinks in your fridge too – some guests enjoy a non-alcoholic cocktail and you’ll need a variety of juices on hand, such as tomato, pineapple, orange juices. Add some soda drinks and you are good to go.

One more thing – as we’re making and creating cocktails, we’ll need some garnishes for them. Those little umbrellas are de rigueur – everyone smiles at them – and everyone loves them. Some lime and lemon wedges, sliced strawberries, pineapple chunks and fresh orange slices to dress up the glasses. And you’ll definitely need three small plates, one to hold salt for margaritas, a second one holding a thick fruit syrup and the third with sugar. You dip the rim of the glass in the liquid and then into the salt or sugar, depending on which cocktail you’re making.

And finally – consider serving a punch. You’ll need a punchbowl – any large glass bowl will be just right. You don’t really need those little punch glasses because your guests can sip punch from whatever kind of glass you have on hand as long as you garnish it – and your punch can be a non-alcoholic one for those guests who are driving home that evening.

There are those who love parties of all kinds, but who choose not to drink alcohol for several reasons. That’s never a problem if you have a punch to serve them – and remember that people really don’t care what you have in your glass as long as they have what they want in theirs!

Good luck with your cocktail party – I’m looking forward to it already!

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