The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Twenty Seven

Do your friends expect craft cocktails when you throw a party? Here’s how to give them what they expect without “working” as a bartender all night!

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In today’s Episode…

Since I started working as a bartender, all of my friends expect amazing drinks whenever we throw a party. Problem is, I don’t really want to bartend all night! Here are my tricks to serving great drinks while still getting to enjoy the party.

By the way – some of the links below are “affiliate links”, which means we get a small commission if you buy. It doesn’t cost you anything and it helps us support this site!

1. Pre-Prepare Your Drinks

Why not just prepare your cocktails in advance?  If you do, here are a couple great ways to serve them!

  • The Punch Bowl: Serve drinks in a punch bowl – why not?  Trust me, “Punch” isn’t just made with bright red powder anymore – great craft cocktails can be served this way. (For the record, the punch bowl below is a hand-me-down from my Mom, and the cocktail inside it was awesome!)
  • Bottle Your Cocktails: If you’re making them in advance, why not bottle your cocktails?  You can serve them in single serve bottles or larger ones.  I usually like the flip-top varieties because they are easy to reuse.
  • Self-Serve Drink Dispensers: There are a LOT of different kinds of drink dispensers out there, but in general they are reasonably priced and very easy to use.  Here’s one example. Remember – if you’re using a drink dispenser, try not to serve a cocktail that will separate over time.  (Otherwise, just stop by and give it a stir every once in a while!)
Tips for Pre-Prepped Drinks:
  • The “Punch” book we mentioned: “Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl” by David Wondrich
  • If you’re pre-preparing your drinks, try not to juice fresh citrus more than 4 hours ahead of time.
  • If you don’t have time to juice fresh citrus, you might be able to get away with using the frozen Lemon or Lime juice concentrates that you can find in your Grocery’s freezer section – but be careful to adjust for their sugar content!
  • Last but not least, if you’re serving cocktails without chilling with ice, don’t forget to add ~20% water to account for the dilution that would normally occur.

2. DIY

So your guests want a drink? Have them make it themselves! This is both fun for them and entertaining for professionals to watch.

  • Homemade Syrup 3 Ways: Specialty syrups are very flexible. Offer a couple syrups with sparkling water, sparkling wine and Vodka and your guests will have a lot of options!
  • Chalkboard Specials: Have a simplified bar with limited ingredients and clear instructions. This lets guests “play the bartender” while keeping it simple!
  • Pourspouts: A great addition to the “Chalkboard specials” idea above – using special pourspouts, guests won’t even have to measure. Here’s an example that pours exactly one ounce.

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Thanks for Listening!

Got any great pre-prepped drink recipes, or other ideas for putting your guests to work? Let us know in the comments!

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