Signatures Matter

How you stock the bar matters.

It’s all about the experience and signature cocktails can be just what your party needs. My husband and I attended a holiday party 2 years ago and we still talk about the signature drink they served – beautiful, refreshing, memorable. That’s the experience you want your clients talking about long after the party is over!

Signature cocktails should complement the event, enhance the theme and be fun! I find that keeping it simple is always best. Recipes with 2-3 ingredients provide plenty of options. I also think adding a simple, and eye-catching garnish gives the drink a ‘wow’ factor.

Right now the Moscow Mule is all the rage. What makes me dream about a perfect Moscow Mule is the super tasty ginger beer, and the feel of the cool, copper cup. We hosted a small leadership meeting at the home of a CEO and asked the caterer to make Moscow Mules. He brought diet Ginger Beer that was tasteless and dull. Needless to say, that caterer will not be our first choice for our next catered event.

So talk with your client ­– take the time to do your homework ­– and offer them several signature cocktail options to serve. Your efforts will make a lasting impact and get you invited back to plan their next event!

Here are a few personal favorites:

The Chambord Kir Royale is elegant and beautiful. A great welcome for any event.

Martinis – Shaken or stirred, a martini provides lots of flexibility, sophistication and eye candy. Gin or vodka? Creative or traditional? Martinis offer it all. I had my first grapefruit basil martini at Marisol (aka The Cliffs) in Shell Beach, CA several years ago. It has an opaque pink color with a vibrant green basil garnish and an oh-so- yummie flavor! My go-to is a dirty Chopin martini with tomolives – yes, tomolives from Old South. Try them out! They are the greatest thing since the olive for a twist on the traditional martini. There are plenty of options when it comes to martinis – cucumber, orange sherbet martini made with lemon infused vodka and orange sherbert, blueberry, watermelon, pomegranate and so many more. You’ll be sure to please the guests and impress your client.

Sangria – Sangria is another personal favorite. It is a simple, pleasing drink that can be dressed up or down depending on the mood. It’s really easy to make, can be made ahead of time and can be tailored to any event at any time of day. Lunch and early afternoon parties tend toward a lighter recipe. Sauvignon Blanc with peaches or apples, watermelon, blueberries, a bit of vodka and flavored simple syrup is a great choice. It offers color and a light and tasty drink. For those that prefer red, you can use any kind of red wine from a lighter Pinot Noir or Syrah to a nice Cabernet Sauvignon or a blend. Using an infused vodka like lemon or pomegranate adds a nice flavor too. I like adding chunks of mango and a mango juice, orange juice, orange slices, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or pomegranate seeds. Adding fresh soda water helps balance all the flavors and adds effervescence. Mix it up and let it blend in the fridge overnight.

I am getting thirsty – gotta go!

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