Holiday Bar Essentials

S tocking and setting up your home bar for the holidays can be a festive and enjoyable experience. It’s exciting to add new bottles to your bar, but your budget will play a big part in your decision-making. Are you hosting a holiday party, or are you expecting people to drop by occasionally throughout the season? Full bar or limited drinks menu? Either way, you will need to establish a budget and stay within your means, including a little buffer for the inevitable impulse purchase when you go shopping. The Menu The first step is to come up with a menu of your holiday cocktails so you can create a shopping list (see the sidebar on page 39 for classic cocktails and TASTE contemporary cocktail inspirations, and scan the QR code for more TASTE recipes). Think about how many people will be coming over—consider their drink preferences, including non‑alcoholic options—and even print out the menu to make your guests feel special. Take stock of what you currently have, and try to incorporate those items if possible. For example, make a fantastic variation of a classic Boulevardier by substituting red vermouth with sherry you already have; adding a dash of sherry to a Manhattan is also delicious. Check out the Madame Boulevardier recipe on page 43. Bar on a Budget Your menu doesn’t have to be extensive, perhaps just two cocktails for smaller groups and up to five cocktails for larger groups. For convenience, batch up cocktails ahead of time that are easy to self-serve and garnish. Or, print off recipe cards so guests can have fun mixing a cocktail for themselves. Something seasonally appropriate would be the Spiced Rum Sour on page 41.


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