If you're throwing a holiday fête or just having a few friends over for drinks, you need not invent a new candy cane martini to offer a festive beverage to your guests.
Here are my tips for a classy, simple holiday bar:
- Champagne or Prosecco cocktails. Create a bar of champagne additions like Cassis for a Kir Royale or puréed raspberries or blood orange juice. Place each ingredient in a separate small glass pitcher and allow your guests to mix their own champagne concoctions with the "stir-ins" of their choosing. Then, the bartender may mingle with the merry visitors and indulge in some champagne herself.
- The Classics. Mulled wine smells and tastes like Christmas concentrate. You have the whole year to drink martinis, why not warm up with a nice mug of spicy mulled wine? Spiked egg nog is also a classic choice, and one that is easy on the hostess. Glass of nog, shot of bourbon, dash of nutmeg and voilà, cocktails are served.
- It's all in the details. Offer the standard cocktail selections, but include holiday garnishes. Set up your bar to include the usual vodka, gin, bourbon and mixers. Then offer pomegranate arils or cranberries as a festive floating garnish.
- Accessorize. If you haven't had time to change up your usual bar offerings, even if you simply cork a bottle of your favorite Malbec, presenting the cocktails in holiday glasses or with seasonal cocktail napkins adds just the right touch of festivity to your imbibing.