A Well-Stocked Bar and Signature Drinks Key to Party Success
Entertaining the Question
January, 2005 - Issue #4
The Peppermint Patty and Scarletini are two winter-perfect drinks that will earn you serious accolades at your next party.
The Peppermint Patty and Scarletini are two winter-perfect drinks that will earn you serious accolades at your next party.
Q: I'm having a party, but have no idea how to stock my bar. It would be so embarrassing to run out of drinks, but I don't want to go overboard, either. Help!

C & T: This is a very common question, and one that more hosts should ask before throwing a party. There is a simple way to create a perfectly stocked bar for any festivity. First, decide if you want a full bar or just a martini bar. Choosing one cocktail is easier on your sanity than a full bar, but you'll still need to offer wine, beer, soft drinks and sparkling water for variety. Plan on three to four drinks per guest and error on the side of excess for safety's sake. You can always use the leftovers for a different occasion. A 750-milliliter bottle of liquor makes about 25 drinks, so for 20 guests, four bottles is plenty.

For a full bar, buy two bottles of vodka, one bottle each of gin and scotch and several bottles of mixers, like club soda, tonic, orange juice, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. Of course diet and regular cola, along with a lemon-lime soda, will be needed.

A well-stocked bar also includes wine and beer. There are five to six glasses of wine in a standard bottle, so plan on one bottle for every two people who will likely drink wine. Having several brands of beer on hand is a nice touch, and don't forget lemons, limes, olives, cocktail stirrers and ice. One pound of ice per person is a good guide when considering how much of the chilly stuff you'll use in drinks. More ice will be needed if you are chilling wine or beer - at least 10 pounds per case.

Medium sized stemmed glasses are a good choice for barware, unless you are featuring a martini - then they are a must. Have twice as many glasses on hand as the number of guests.

Q: I'm jealous. A friend has a "signature martini" that everyone raves about. I need to show her up at my next shindig, but I don't even know what goes into a Cosmopolitan.

C & T: We feel your pain. Signature martinis are all the rage and are scored on creativity, presentation and all-around deliciousness. We always encourage clients to feature a "signature" drink. This could be a martini, a margarita or any other beverage with a color or garnish that complements the theme of your party. Here are two martinis that will win you major points at winter festivities.

Peppermint Patty

2 ounces Van Gough Chocolate Vodka (available locally at Beverages & More)
1 ounce Creme de Cacao
1/2 ounce Peppermint Schnapps

Put ice in your martini shaker, add ingredients and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with Peppermint Patty miniatures on skewer.

The Scarletini

3 ounces RemyRed Red Berry Infusion
1 ounce vanilla-flavored vodka
Splash of cranberry juice
Splash of lime juice

Place all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with raspberries and a lime twist.

Cindy and Tamara are owners of RSVP Catering. E-mail questions on entertaining, cooking and more to
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