July 2009 Edition

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July Issue
In this issue
  • July 4th Cocktails
  • The Raven's Caw
  • Dr. Bamboo - Pariah's Punch
  • 100 Anos Tequila and 100 Years of Mexican Music
  • Herradura - Watermelon Burst
  • Without Honey, Your Bar is Incomplete
  • Veev Acai Spirit - Basil Gimlet
  • Bulleit Train
  • G'Vine, Averna, Partida Trio
  • CocktAlien - Brandied Spritzer
  • Sandeman Port - Sangria and Shandy
  • R.U.M. - The Drink of the U.S.A
  • Liberation Libation
  • Party Tips
  • Dear Dan,

    Happy Canada Day on the 1st for us Canadians and happy 4th of July for our American friends! What a great time of year to enjoy a light, refreshing drink.

    I hope you enjoy this month's edition.

    Please be smart, don't drink and drive! Enjoy the following recipes in moderation and take a cab if you need one.

    Cheers!

    Dan Hutchinson

    
    
    


    July 4th Cocktails

    Ah, the 4th of July.

    A day to celebrate independence, patriotism, and the unofficial start of summer.

    This year, turn on some patriotic tunes and impress your friends with cocktails created by today's leading mixologists.

    The Sapphire Collins Cocktail Image During the day, after you've been busy shopping for a big juicy watermelon, cool off with a refreshing cocktail - sure to quench your thirst during even the warmest summer day. A refreshing American Collins is sure to tantalize your taste buds with tangy lemon juice, fresh cherries and blueberries, and Bombay Sapphire. The Sapphire Collins is "hot" this summer, hitting all the beaches, urban roof-decks, and pool parties in full force, and now you can make this patriotic and playful adaptation created by mixologist Jonathan Pogash.

    The Sapphire Collins

    • 1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire
    • 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
    • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
    • 4 Bing Cherries, pitted
    • 8 Blueberries

    In a Collins glass, muddle the blueberries and cherries in the lemon juice and simple syrup. Add Sapphire and ice and stir briefly. Top with club soda. Garnish with 1 Bing Cherry and a Lemon Wheel

    FIRECRACKER Cocktail Image

    Your annual BBQ gets an exciting upgrade with the inspired Firecracker cocktail bringing the pop and pizzazz of a rocket's red glare to this year's July 4th celebration.

    This Flor de Cana rum cocktail has chunks of watermelon and even cayenne pepper to give your mouth a serious flavor explosion. The Flor de Cana 7 year reserve rum adds a smooth and balanced flavor to the cocktail and if your guests like a spicy drink, be sure to adjust the cayenne to add extra heat to your summer night!

    FIRECRACKER

    • 3 oz. Flor de Cana 7 Year Grand Reserve Rum
    • 1 oz. Triple Sec
    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 1 oz. simple syrup
    • 4 watermelon chunks
    • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

    Whirl all ingredients together and pour into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel

    In good ol' 1776 when legend has it, Betsy Ross sewed the first stars and stripes onto the American flag, who would have guessed that today it would serve as an inspiration to a cocktail that contains one of the oldest and most curious spirits around: absinthe. Lucid, the brand responsible for bringing absinthe back to America in over 95 years, is a key ingredient in the Stars and Stripes cocktail, adding a distinctive flavor to this provocative and delicious summer drink. This cocktail is a stand out choice for American summer merriment with muddled blueberries and drizzle of raspberry liquor to represent the stars and stripes on our historic flag.

    Stars and Stripes Stars and Stripes Cocktail Image

    • 1/4 oz. Lucid Absinthe
    • 1 oz. Blueberry Vodka
    • 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
    • Splash of Lemon Juice
    • Drizzle of Raspberry Liqueur
    • Gingerbeer
    • Fresh Blueberries

    Muddle fresh blueberries and add syrup, Lucid juice and vodka. Add ice and shake and pour into highball glass. Drizzle Liqueur and top with Ginger Beer. Garnish with one sugar cube.

    The Raven's Caw

    Raven's Caw Logo Image

    Folks, as some of you may know (those that get my Twitter feed do, #theravenbn) I just got back from a wonderful vacation to Alaska. I took a cruise with my girlfriend's family on the Coral Princess, which picked us up in Vancouver and stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, and dropped us off near Anchorage. The trip witnessed a few firsts for me: my first trip to Canada (Vancouver), my second trip to Canada (a creepy little town in the Yukon called Carcross), my first sighting of a calving glacier (Marjorie was very active that day) and my first introduction to Alaskan Ale. Did the Raven survive the journey through the northern tundra? Read here to find out...

    
    
    
    Tales of the Cocktail 2009 banner

    Visit Dan, Carine and The Raven in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail 2009

    Dr. Bamboo - Pariah's Punch

    Pariah's Punch Cocktail Image Pariah's Punch

    • 1 oz. vodka (Oval and Karlsson's Gold are both excellent choices)
    • 1 oz. Mekhong
    • .5 oz. Zen green tea liqueur
    • .5 oz. Aperol
    • .25 oz. cherry brandy (I recommend Heering)
    • .75 oz. ginger syrup
    • .5 oz. lime juice
    • 2 hearty dashes Fees' grapefruit bitters

    Shake everything with ice and strain into a double old-fashioned glass (or better yet, a tiki mug) filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a cherry skewered to a large mint leaf.

    "But why is the rum gone???"
    - Captain Jack Sparrow

    ~ A Dr. Bamboo original creation

    Yes, it's a tiki drink.

    However, fans of tiki drinks will glance at the above recipe and likely find themselves saying, "Okay...it's got lime juice, a nice flavored syrup, several other interesting ingredients and even citrus-based bitters. BUT WHERE IS THE RUM?

    Don't fret...old Dr. B. isn't deceiving you. Granted, almost all tiki drinks contain rum. Since their inception in the 1930's, tiki drinks have centered on one spirit and one spirit alone: rum. And a fine spirit it is. No other base spirit can claim to have the diversity of styles and flavors that rum does, and that's one of the reasons it's so devilishly fun to mix with...particularly in the case of tiki drinks.

    However, not all tiki drinks contain rum. A quick spin through any of Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's books (the undisputed gospel tomes of authentic tiki recipes) will reveal that the occasional rum-less concoction makes itself known.

    Of course, these are often the very drinks I find so intriguing. Even though I passionately love rum, I'm fascinated by the idea of a rum-less drink that still manages to pull off that nonspecific yet "you-know- it-when-you-taste-it" combination of flavors that is unmistakably tiki. And so I go, experimenting with unorthodox ingredients trying to capture the tiki aspect but without rum as the backbone. Blasphemous? Perhaps. But the fun stuff usually is.

    And if that wasn't heretical enough, I decided to include a few ingredients that would have many liquor snobs recoiling and despairing. I've heard unkind things said about both Zen and Mekhong from those in the booze nerd community, so what better incentive than to try to redeem them? And it's no secret that vodka has been the #1 target of white-hot contempt from the cocktail cognoscenti for years...so in the mix it goes. I love to go against the grain.

    So there you have it: A drink I consider perfectly worthy of the tiki mantle, despite containing no rum*and including three ingredients with less-than-stellar reputations in certain circles.

    Sometimes you just gotta be an outcast. Preferably on a sunny deserted island with a chilly tiki drink nearby.

    Bottoms up!

    ~ Dr. Bamboo

    **Those who can't bear the thought of a tiki drink sans rum can take comfort in the fact that Mekhong is a sugarcane-based spirit, which would technically place it in the rum category. However, its flavor profile is nothing like most rums and much closer to something like a mild whiskey. It's available in the US, though it may take a bit of effort to find. It is well worth seeking out.


    Who is Dr. Bamboo? Some say he is a renegade scientist who renounced his original field of study to dedicate himself to the advancement of cocktail culture. Others claim he is a powerful shaman who practices the forbidden arts of a long-forgotten civilization. Still others maintain he is actually a traveler from a faraway world, sent to our planet as an ambassador of intergalactic fine living. Whatever the truth may be, one thing is certain: He makes a mean Martini. When he's not foraging for obscure drink ingredients and vintage barware, Dr. Bamboo works as a freelance illustrator and is the drinks columnist for Bachelor Pad Magazine.

    100 Anos Tequila and 100 Years of Mexican Music

    100 Anos Tequila Image 100 Anos Tequila, part of the Sauza Tequila family, and Los Rieleros del Norte have launched "100 Years of Mexican Music - Tribute Series" that pays homage to Mexico's vibrant Norteno musical tradition. The concert series, inspired by the 2008 photo exhibit of Mexico's greatest musical artists, will make stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix.

    The tribute bands, Los Herederos del Norte, Los Panchis, Los Lideres de la Sierra and Grupo Mensaje will perform in selected venues during an eight-month period, following the opening events held in Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Houston.

    100 Anos and Los Rieleros del Norte hand-selected the tribute bands to celebrate established artists as well as provide a platform for new local artists. The selection process counted on involvement by renowned group Los Rieleros del Norte, well known producers and promoters in the music industry and 100 Anos executives. Each participating band was carefully evaluated across several categories including originality and performance attributes among others.

    Herradura - Watermelon Burst

    The Herradura Watermelon Burst, combines the sweetness of watermelon with the exotic touch of lychee. It's a refreshing option for cooling the afternoon and enjoying the summer night!

    You could prepare water melon ice cubes and use them to keep the cocktail chilly so it won't dilute the flavor. You just need to pour watermelon puree into ice cube trays and freeze!

    Herradura Watermelon Burst Herradura Watermelon Burst Cocktail Image

    • 1.5 ounces Herradura Blanco
    • 3 ounces Watermelon puree *
    • 1 ounce lychee syrup **
    • 1/2 ounce honey syrup ***

    Shake ingredients vigorously and pour into tall glass with ice. Garnish with spear of watermelon ball, lychee fruit and blueberries

    To decorate the table we suggest an all American touch: cut watermelon, add lychee fruits and blueberries and create an artistic version of the flag!

    * - To make watermelon puree: Scoop seedless watermelon into a blender until 2/3 full. Blend until pureed. Strain puree to remove any pulp. Refrigerate until needed

    ** - For lychee syrup: Drain can of lychee fruit into separate container and refrigerate. Reserve lychee fruit for garnish

    *** - To make honey syrup: Combine two parts honey with one part water. Heat until well combined. Cool and pour into separate container and refrigerate until needed

    Without Honey, Your Bar is Incomplete

    Earlier this year, the National Honey Board hosted an evening of honey-infused cocktails created by the most prominent mixologist in the country: Pablo Moix (Los Angeles), Junior Merino (New York) and Gabriel Orta (Miami). Nine cocktails were created with a honey component to show how honey sweetens naturally without artificial ingredients, favorably highlights the taste and flavor of drinks and makes delicious simple syrup that blends into the drinks texture.

    This is the third and final installment we're doing. This month we'll see those created by Gabriel Orta

    Gabriel Orta has been working in the food and beverage industry for over 12 years. His experience as a chef and as a mixologist has led him to co-found BAR LAB, a beverage consulting service that specializes in cocktail menu creation and cocktail program implementation.

    Gabriel was awarded first place in a Cachaça International Competition, which took place in Brazil against 20 mixologists from around the world. Most recently he was awarded first place in a local competition earning him an invitation to the ''Tales of the Cocktails" national event at which he competed against the 15 top national mixologists.

    Currently, Gabriel is the Master Mixologist for the famed Florida Room at the renowned Delano Hotel mixing well-known cocktails with a molecular twist.

    BLOSSOM RITA Cocktail Image BLOSSOM RITA
    Tequila and champagne... a very refined pair. Blossom Rita is smooth and delicious, adding a new twist to a romantic dinner or a champagne brunch

    • 3/4 oz Honey blossom water (half honey, half water and a splash of orange blossom water)
    • 1 1/2 oz Reposado tequila
    • 3/4 oz Lime juice
    • Splash of champagne
    • Garnish: rose petals or edible flowers

    Put the tequila, lime juice and honey in a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a martini glass, top with champagne and garnish with rose petals or edible flowers.

    
    

    BELLARINHA Cocktail Image BELLARINHA
    Because drinks should be treated as a course in themselves, the experience that Gabriel brings as a chef makes this cocktail a shining example of mixing diverse colors and flavors with palatable results

    • 3/4 oz honey
    • 1 1/2 oz Cachaca
    • 1/2 oz lime juice
    • 5 fresh raspberries
    • 3/4 oz passion fruit juice
    • Dash orange liquor
    • Garnish: lime wheel and 2 raspberries

    Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain and sieve into a martini glass garnished with a lime wheel and a raspberry.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    BASILICO Cocktail Image BASILICO
    The ideal accompaniment to a good cut of meat. Enjoy the first sip and lose yourself in the different hints of fruit mixed with the aroma of pepper and herbs

    • 3/4 oz honey
    • 1 1/2 oz whisky
    • 1/2 oz lemon juice
    • 4 basil leaves
    • 3 strawberries
    • Dash of pepper
    • Garnish: basil leaf and strawberry

    Muddle the strawberries and basil and then add the whiskey, lemon and honey. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Top with fresh cracked pepper and garnish with a strawberry and a basil leaf.

    Veev Acai Spirit - Basil Gimlet

    VeeV Basil Gimlet Cocktail Image VeeV Basil Gimlet

    • 2 ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit
    • 4 fresh basil leaves
    • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
    • 3/4 ounce simple syrup

    Tear 3 basil leaves to release oils and drop into the shaker. Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the remaining basil leaf.

    Bulleit Train

    From Jackie Patterson in San Francisco, CA. Here's an homage to the horses' rival, the Iron Horse. Leave it to a champion bartender and bar chef, from the city known for its individuality, to come up with a simple delicious recipe and name it for another Midwest American icon revered for speed.

    Bulleit Train

    • 1 1/4 oz Bulleit Bourbon
    • 15 oz. Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
    • .10 oz. Peak Spirits Peach Eau de Vie
    • 1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
    • Fever Tree Tonic water
    • Mint

    Build liquid ingredients in a Collins (tall) glass, add ice and top off with tonic water, stir briefly to incorporate ingredients. Garnish with a healthy gathering of fresh mint leaf tips.

    Mixologist's note:"The flavors pay respect to the American South with Peach, Bourbon and Peychaud's Bitters. The mint pays homage to the Julep, while the vermouth and tonic bring balance and add a refreshing element."

    G'Vine, Averna, Partida Trio

    Sicilian Triangle Sicilian Triangleo Image

    • 2 oz. Averna
    • 1 oz. white rum
    • 1 oz. pomegranate juice
    • 1/2 oz. orange juice
    • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
    • Splash of pineapple juice

    Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    Citrus Splash
    by Junior Merino Citrus Splash Cocktail Image

    • 1 1/2 oz. Nouaison
    • 3/4 oz grand marnier
    • 1/4 oz navan
    • 1 oz grapefruit juice

    Pour all the in a mixing glass, add ice, shake, and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with a cherry, orange twist & chervil.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    Yerba Buena Yerba Buena Cocktail Image

    • 2 oz. Partida Reposado Tequila
    • 8 to 10 Mint Sprigs
    • 1/2 oz. Fresh squeezed lime juice
    • 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
    • Ginger Beer

    Muddle Mint, Lime juice & Agave Nectar in a highball glass. Add ice to fill. Add Tequila & top with Ginger Beer. Stir with bar spoon. Garnish with Mint sprig & lime wheel.

    Recipe adapted from Donna Scala of Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa California.

    CocktAlien - Brandied Spritzer

    This month I come bearing a simple yet tasty recipe bestowed upon me by a new friend, Ricky, the chef at Art's Ceviche, a new restaurant in the ol' hometown. As a chef, as you might expect, it is a big part of his job to create new and exciting adventures of the palate. He specializes in South American cuisine, which involves a lot of fish and a lot of spices. On this night, it wasn't the food (though it was amazing) that made a lasting impression. No, on this night it was the drink he made for me that left its mark.

    Ricky didn't name this drink, so I get to exercise some creative freedom here. Though it's likely that this drink existed for a few *decades*, I've never heard of it, and so I get to name it, until someone proves me wrong. Ladies and gents: The Brandied Spritzer.

    The Brandied Spritzer
    • 1 part brandy
    • 1 part Sprite
    • 1 drop of lime juice

    Mix in a shot glass.

    I'm not much of a brandy drinker, so it was with some apprehension that I took the drink, but it really is quite tasty. It has a sweet punch that'll pucker your lips before you ask for another. Though it was served as a shot, the drink could easily graduate to a proper cocktail, with a wee bit of proportional adjustment.

    As I mentioned in last month's article on sake, I have been exploring the avenues of food and drink pairings. The bill of fare at Art's included salsas, raw fish ceviche, seared tuna, and spicy sauces. This dining experience of South American sushi (as the chefs affectionately call it) was paired with a few rounds of cerveza and, of course, the Brandied Spritzer. Until next month, keep a drink in your hand, and look to the stars.

    -CocktAlien

    Sandeman Port - Sangria and Shandy

    Sandeman's Summer Sangria Image When summer heats up, we'll all look for new drinks to cool us down. With home entertaining becoming more popular than ever, pitcher drinks will be in high demand. Cut out extra costs and time by making a delicious version of Sangria with Sandeman Port. Because ruby port is sweet and more potent than wine, you eliminate the need to add sugar or brandy, allowing for an economical and easy Sangria that does not need to chill overnight.

    Or, if you prefer a different twist on a classic summer recipe, try a Sandeman Shandy, which taps into the recent trend of using port as a cocktail mixer.

    Sandeman's Summer Sangria

    • 1 bottle Sandeman Founders Reserve Port
    • 1 liter ginger ale
    • 1 orange squeezed and cut in small chunks
    • 1 green apple cut in small cubes

    Combine all ingredients into a pitcher. Serve over ice.

    
    
    
    

    Sandeman Shandy

    • 1 part Sandeman 10 Years Old Tawny Porto
    • 2 parts ginger ale
    • Squeeze of lime juice

    Mix in a rocks glass over ice.

    R.U.M. - The Drink of the U.S.A

    Toast our Nation's Spirit this 4th of July with the Iconic American Brand, Tommy Bahama

    It is said, Paul Revere had a swallow of the stuff to stiffen his resolve partway through his famous midnight ride. Benjamin Franklin penned a small ode to it. Ernest Hemingway mixed it in tall cocktails. On election night in 1960, John F. Kennedy sipped it over dinner at his house in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts before watching the election returns. In 1778, General George Washington marked July 4th with a double ration of it for his soldiers and an artillery salute. James Beard said "of all the spirits in your home, it is the most romantic." It is RUM.

    Caribbean and European settlers brought their love of rum to the United States. Rum was being distilled in our country by 1664 and by 1770, more than five million gallons of rum were being produced each year. Rum was served during weddings, at wakes and at most taverns across the nation, where community activities were held. Work stopped for "leven o' clock bitters" and planters sipped punch, flips and toddies.

    America was built on rum. Its story is classically American and includes its rise, its fall during prohibition and its comeback. Today, rum still holds an important place in our nation. The rum category has grown for the last fifteen consecutive years and is the second largest spirits category behind vodka. Rum-based cocktails, such as the Mojito, Daiquiri and Mai Tai, continue to grow from innovative twists on the already popular classics and compliment emerging rum cocktails.

    Tommy Bahama - an iconic American brand synonymous with everyday luxury, introduced Tommy Bahama Rum in 2007 with the hopes of bringing paradise to the palate. The Ultra-Premium rum, available in White Sand and Golden Sun, is the perfect complement to the Fourth of July weekend as the nation celebrates independence. Toast history and show patriotism with the following red, white and blue cocktails made with America's true spirit - RUM.

    Bahama Basil Smash Cocktail Image Bahama Basil Smash (red)

    • 2 1/2 parts Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum
    • 2 parts sour mix
    • 3 fresh blackberries
    • 4 basil leaves
    • 4 slices of ginger
    • 1/4 part lemon-lime soda

    Muddle blackberries, basil and ginger in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients, shake well and strain into a mixing glass. Top with a splash of lemon-lime soda. Garnish with an orchid.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    Tommy Bahama's Coconut Cloud Martini Image Tommy Bahama's Coconut Cloud Martini (white)

    • 1 1/2 parts Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum
    • 1 1/2 parts vanilla vodka
    • 1 1/2 parts coconut rum
    • 1/2 part cream of coconut

    Shake in a cocktail shaker and strain. Garnish with toasted coconut.

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

    Tommy's Blue Hawaiian Image Tommy's Blue Hawaiian (blue)

    • 1 part Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum
    • 1 part blue curacao
    • 1 part coconut cream
    • 2 parts pineapple juice

    Pour all ingredients into a blender with a scoop of crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a hurricane glass and garnish with a fresh pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.

    Liberation Libation

    Liberation Libation Cocktail Image Liberation Libation

    • 2 oz. Vermont Spirits Gold Vodka
    • 1/2 oz. Maple Syrup
    • 1 1/2 oz. non alcoholic Sparkling Cider

    Chill over ice, strain and serve up in a cinnamon-sugar rimmed martini glass.

    
    
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    Party Tips

    Par-tay!!

    So, you want to throw a party. That's great, but have you ever done it before? Do you know exactly what planning the perfect party entails?

    For some, hosting a party doesn't mean much more than throwing together a few appetizers and letting the guests bring their own libations. For others, it can be a whole catered shindig that has been planned to the last minute details, like the color of the tablecloths and which crystal is used for which drink.

    Before you start to make yourself crazy trying to hash out all the details, sit down, figure out what kind of party you want to have, and write down everything you'll need.

    Here are some scenarios that might fit the type of party you plan to host:

    Want to have the guys over to watch the game or play a few hands of poker. You won't need to do much more than order a few pizzas, open some bags of chips, and crack open a party ball.

    If you want a more intimate night with the girls, dishing on your love lives and swapping the latest gossip, then a few easy appetizers, bottles of everyone's favorite wine, and some sweets are perfect for the night.

    A BBQ with 20 or so of your closest friends and family is as easy as grilling up enough burgers and dogs to feed the crowd, putting out bowls and chips and dip, hitting up your local bakery for cookies and brownies, and offering up several ice chests filled with beer, wine coolers, and maybe some Mike's Hard Lemonade.

    But, what if what you plan to host is a huge party, with say, 50, 75, 100, or even more people? Then, you have a lot of planning to do. A lot! Because, really, if you want your party to be a success, you need to make sure your guests are well-fed, always have a full glass, and leave thinking you are the party-throwing king or queen!

    The first thing you need to do is decide who you want to invite to your party and then send out the invitations. Make it easy on yourself and send them via the computer if you can. Put a date on the invite that is at least one week before your party so that you give yourself plenty of time for the last minute planning. There, one annoyance is out of the way. Now you have to wait for the RSVPs.

    Once all your RSVPs have come in, you can start planning for food and drinks. Just make sure to plan for at least 10 more people than the final RSVP count to take into consideration anyone who didn't respond and shows up anyway or finds that they can make it after all.

    Now that you have a number to work with you can figure out how much alcohol you'll need to keep everyone's thirst in check. You definitely want to make sure that you have more than enough, because the last thing you want to do is run out of alcohol. Running out of food can easily be remedied by having take-out delivered. But, sending out people who have already been drinking to stock up on more beer is a no-no.

    Keep in mind that you'll need a good variety of alcohol to ensure that everyone has a choice of something they like. It's a good idea to have a selection of beers, wine, and hard alcohols (such as vodka, whiskey, tequila, rum, scotch, etc.) and the ingredients they correspond with to make favorite recipes.

    Oh, and don't forget about those who might be underage or non-drinkers. Pick up a few cases of water and soda for them.

    To figure out just how much you need, here are some calculations that may help:

    Beer:

    One bottle/can is one serving. A keg holds the equivalent of 140 cans or 151 bottles.

    Wine:

    A 750ml bottle contains 5 drinks. A 1000ml bottle contains 7. A 1500ml bottle contains 10. A 4000ml bottle contains 28. And, a 3L cask can easily serve 20 people.

    Spirits:

    A 750ml bottle can serve 41 nips or 17-1.5 ounce glasses. A 1140ml bottle can serve 26-1.5 ounce drinks. And a 1750ml bottle can serve 41-1.5 ounce drinks..

    In order to figure out a ballpark number of how much you should purchase, figure out how many guests you will have and multiply the number by how many drinks you want to allot for each person

    For example, if you'll have 100 guests, and want each guest to be able to have 4 servings of beer, then you'll need at least 400 bottles or 3 kegs. Or, if you will have 50 guests and want to provide each with 2 glasses of wine, then you'll need a minimum of 20-750ml bottles of wine.

    Not sure which hard liquors to choose or which drinks people might want? Keep it simple and serve easy drinks like Jack and Coke, Vodka and Cranberry, or Whiskey Sours that can be created with a pre-made mixer. Or, mix up a crowd pleasing batch of something large, like jungle juice. Many people like it and it can definitely serve a crowd.

    If you have done your calculations but still aren't sure, err on the side of caution and buy more than you really need. Remember, it's better to have too much than not enough.

    The drinks themselves aren't the only things that are important. You'll need something to serve them in, as well as other accessories. Don't bother trying to buy enough wine glasses for 100 people. Plastic throw-away versions are just as good and easy to dispose of when everyone leaves. The same is true with shot glasses and cups for beer. Plastic, disposable versions are best.

    You'll also want to pick up extra corkscrews, bottle openers, straws, swizzle sticks, and coasters to ensure that everyone is happy. And don't forget the ice. Get as many bags as your freezer can hold. And, if need be, fill a few empty coolers with ice so you have plenty to go around.

    You have the drinks figured out, but what about food? If you have the money, have it all catered. Or, save a few bucks and buy pre-made hors d'oeuvres that can easily be heated and served. Not a fancy party? Chips, dips, pizza, sandwiches, and easy desserts will do just fine.

    And remember, if you are serving alcohol, you are responsible for making sure that your guests get home safely. Let everyone have a good time, but don't let anyone's drinking get out of hand.

    Have fun!




     
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