Nothing brings friends and family together quite like a fully stocked bar, amiright? Here’s a short guide to styling yours this holiday season. Cheers!
Setting the Scene: Unless you have a bonafide built-in bar at home (and if you do, let’s party?), the best spot to set up your booze station is a sideboard or counter. Define the space with a mirrored or acrylic tray backed by a large print or mirror. Add decorative accents like gilded lamps, candles and vases brimming with holiday foliage (maybe don’t light the candle…just a thought). Store cocktail napkins and toothpicks in wooden bowls or mercury glasses. Spring a couple of extra bucks for the aesthetically pleasing bottles of booze. Play around. Have fun with it. If all else fails, copy a photo you see on Pinterest.
The Stars of the Show: Liquor! Huzzah! No need to stock your bar with a dozen different spirits – vodka, tequila, whiskey and gin will keep guests happy and turn out most classic cocktail recipes. If you feel like including a specialty spirit, apple brandy is a seasonal favorite.
The Supporting Players: Dry vermouth is a must for martinis, bitters enhances the flavor of a variety of cocktails, and Cointreau, an orange-flavored liqueur, is an essential ingredient for cosmopolitans (I’m looking at you, Mom).
Mixing it Up: Tonic, ginger ale, club soda and cranberry juice are my go-to mixers. 7Up and Coca-Cola are good to have on hand as well.
Finishing Touches: A couple of years ago at a charity auction, I fell in love with extra dirty martinis, so a jar of olives is essential in my home bar. Don’t forget lemons, limes and a whole lot of ice!
Equipment and Glassware: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hardware – a cocktail shaker, tongs, jigger and ice bucket, along with rocks and martini glasses, should suffice. A cocktail strainer, bar spoon and muddler are nice to have on hand, but not required in my opinion.
Show me your bar! Take a pic and tag @twelfthavenue on Instagram. I’d love to see how you guys are imbibing this holiday season.