During the holidays, it seems like the idea of “cocktail hour” is extended to “it’s five o’clock somewhere.” Fair enough. To be in the spirit of the season, it’s always a good idea to keep a stocked bar for friends dropping by, thirsty carolers, neighbors and FAMILY. Here are some essentials to have on hand that will ensure there’s something for everyone at every occasion. These are 5 Key bottles to include: 1. Rum, Puerto Rico-made or dark. 2. Whiskey, “Old Overholt” won’t blow your budget and can stand tall for a lot of different cocktails. 3. Gin, Greenhook is clean, herbaceous and plenty dry. 4. Tequila, Excellia or Tequila Ocho. 5. Prosecco, even your biggest teetotaler will sip a glass of champagne, plus, it provides the wonderful opportunity to get out those flutes.
Now for the 5 must have mixers. 1. Pomegranate Juice, it’s sweet, tart and adds a fun splash of color. 2. Eggnog, spike according to your level of holiday stress 🙂 3. Ginger beer or ginger syrup, balances the kick of the booze. 4. Pineapple juice, winter fruit that feels tropical. 5. Grapefruit juice, mixes well with gin and tequila and citrus-ey enough for puckering up under the mistletoe. Garnishes… so many good ones to add character to your cocktail: Mint, rosemary, orange and lemon zest, simple syrup and pomegranate seeds. Some other accoutrements to consider are orange bitters, soda water, and lime juice. The cherry on top? A bourbon soaked maraschino.
Don’t forget to style your bar. Whether you have a built-in, a bar cart or a big tray on a credenza, accessorize it with pretty barware, festive napkins, and a small bowl for olives or cocktail nuts. Tools include a cocktail shaker, drink stirs and an ice bucket. An organic element is a must. A rosemary topiary, sprigs, and evergreen branches are not only beautiful bits of green, but also fill your home with the scents of the season. Style a pretty ornament in the mix or a nostalgic holiday heirloom to keep the ghosts of Christmas past happy. Cheers, make it merry!