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A Cocktail Party, on a Stick

A Cocktail Party, on a Stick



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What’s one of the easiest ways to dress up the standard cocktail party? Putting traditional party foods on a stick. It sounds simple enough, but this thin, wooden serving utensil will force you to flex you culinary chops, especially if you’re willing to get creative. Foods on a stick allow your guests to graze, whether that means trying new dishes or eating only a single bite or two of a guilty pleasure. Using a toothpick also reduces paper plate and napkin waste, and often means no serving dishes to wash later on.

Click here for the A Cocktail Party, on a Stick Slideshow.

Need menu inspiration? Follow the lead of restaurants and lounges across the country who are taking yesterday's skewer or kebab to new heights. For example, instead of a lobster roll, try a Lobsicle, Lobsicle (deep-fried lobster tail on a stick), like at Lobster ME in Las Vegas. Besides kicking off your party with a roomful of wry smiles, it will inevitably create a talking point: You did what with the lobster? And, since you’ll need a refreshment to wash it down, there is the option to make a Sauvignon Blancsicle like they do at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel. Or, if you’re in the mood for something harder, experiment with a margarita popsicle like they do at SnoBar in Arizona.

But what if you’re hosting a more casual affair than wine and lobster? You can travel to the other end of the culinary spectrum and roll up your sleeves for state fair food. The midway hot-out-of-the-fryer bites are the original foods on a stick. One modern interpretation of the corn dog is mini andouille sausages dunked in batter and fried. Or perhaps, as Matt Armendariz, blogger at Matt Bites, and author of On a Stick! has dones, dip sausages into pancake batter for a special brunch party surprise. Whichever you choose, the skewer allows for a greaseless bite and the personal-sized portions stave off heartburn. Try serving all of these items vertically by slicing a citrus fruit in half and placing it cut side down on a tray. Stick the skewer into the peel on the upper side to create a showpiece.

To wind down your party, look to New York Cake Pops for inspiration. The aptly named Manhattan bakery serves an assortment of flavors — red velvet, chocolate peanut butter, and cookies and cream — by the dozen. Use a piece of foam on the tray for instant wow.

Or do as New York caterer Peter Callahan does and serve up one bite ice cream sandwiches on lollipop sticks. (He'll serve pigs in a blanket in a similar way, served atop a bed of grass). They are the perfect way to satisfy one’s sweet tooth without overdoing it. Plus the whimsical nature of the pops is the perfect fairytale way to send your guests on their way.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


How to Throw a Cocktail Party on a Budget

You can throw a cocktail party that breaks the bank or one that leaves you able to pay the rent and the bills (and happy to wake up in your own skin in the morning).

It isn’t a matter of buying cheap booze, adding mass-market mixers, or using your SodaStream for a river of never-ending highballs. The trick is knowing how to make good drinks that will keep people smiling and conversations flowing, without getting everybody plastered in half an hour, and without having anybody leave a disliked, half-full glass.

Option 1: Go Low (ABV, That Is)

Low & Slow Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking The “not getting everybody plastered fast” trick is an obvious one: Don’t make your drinks high-proof. The bonus to this—apart from not having to clean up a mess or let your cousin sleep it off on your sofa bed again—is that it will save you money. Here’s knowledge professional bartenders use: Excellent modifiers are less pricey than excellent spirits. It’s easier to empty your pockets on a case of bourbon than vermouth.

There are plenty of cocktails that use nothing but so-called modifiers. Created in the nineteenth century, the Adonis is made of sherry, vermouth, and bitters. Add ice, stir, strain, and you’ll have a party of happy Negroni and Manhattan lovers asking for your recipe. Another little-known classic, the Country Club Cooler is made with soda, grenadine (pomegranate juice is a nice substitute), and two ounces of dry vermouth. Serve it in a tall glass, over ice. Add a lemon twist, and you’re done.

White port and tonic is every bit as satisfying as gin and tonic, and markedly less expensive. Where tonic and gin bring out a wealth of botanicals, port gives the drink a smoother, rounder feeling. Garnish it with a sprig of fresh basil, instead of lime. Of course, you can also offer at least one mocktail option for those who don’t drink any alcohol.

Option 2: Serve Sangria

Enjoy your affordable party. Make sangria in red, white, and pink. To create your own sangria, mix wine, sugar, juice if you want it, chopped fruit (a terrific way to use up excess you don’t want spoiled), and a dollop of liquor. Feel like using pineapple in the red sangria? Cucumber in the white? That last bit of peach juice in the rosé? If it tastes good to you, then do it. Sangria is a forgiving liquid. Make as much as you need and stick it in the fridge overnight, so the flavors can get to know each other and settle down. For the party, set up pitchers, ice, glasses, and soda (lemon soda, seltzer, wherever your fancy leads you), and let your guests have at it.

Option 3: Pick a Punch

Punch is an affable option. It’s familiar, fun, and pretty, and your guests can serve themselves. It’s also helpful for clearing out: Get rid of that half-bottle of brandy that’s gathering dust on the shelf, use up those last three tea bags, put those nearly overripe strawberries to good use. Punches come in hot and cold, so they’re drinks for all seasons. Clean-up is a matter of washing a bowl, a ladle or two, and some glasses, so the after-party needn’t be a drag.

Buddeez Party Beverage Dispenser, $14.88 on Amazon

This BPA-free acrylic drink dispenser has an ice reservoir to cool things down without diluting them, plus an optional diffuser for adding extra flavor.

Option 4: Fix Boozy Floats

If it’s hot outside or you live in one of those buildings that’s sizzling in mid-winter, play up the cold side. There are a few bring-out-the-inner-child ways to do this. Make boozy ice cream floats. You can cut back on the liquor for this one. Nobody’s going to notice that there’s only an ounce of rum in that cola with dulce de leche ice cream, or just a dollop of rye in that root beer with a vanilla-flecked scoop on top.


Watch the video: Cocktail Party Appetizer For 25 People For $20. By Neetu Suresh (August 2022).