Holiday Entertaining; The DIY Cocktail Bar!
At Picán, we have lots of counter space, prep areas, a massive back bar and krewe on hand to pamper and take care of our guests. The holidays especially should be about friends and family gathering and celebrating special moments together. So, for the times you’re not here with us, we’ve pulled together some ideas for setting up time-saving, guest-pleasing and host/hostess sanity-sparing “DIY” cocktail bars you can do at home! Free yourself up from mixing cocktails and let guests create their own concoctions.
Start with a theme and set up an eye-catching, self-serve libations center that is both functional and a focal point! A few great ideas:
- “Sparkling Wine/Champagne Bar” – use a large container or tub to hold several bottles of bubbly (from rustic metal garden tub to an elegant silver champagne/wine cooler; add lots of ice, a few sprigs of greenery and it’s also instant holiday decor!); set out champagne flutes, white wine tulips or go retro with champagne coupes; bowls with fun garnishes (pomegranate seeds, cranberries; raspberries; specialty cherries); for added fun, set out the makings for classic Champagne Cocktails (sugar cubes; bitters; cognac) and print or write out a recipe card on how to make. Idea: Add a little holiday color to your bar setup by rimming the tops of your cocktail stems using raw sugar or red, green, gold colored sugar (pre-made sugar sprinkles from the cake decorating area in the grocery store, or add a few drops of food coloring to a cup of table sugar)
- “Wine Bar” – your selections of Reds, Whites, Bubbly, Rosé, etc. Chill the whites, bubbly and rosés and display on ice; decant the reds or serve from the bottles; set out a variety of stemware and instant guest gathering point!
- “Cocktail Bar” – Pick one or more specialty cocktails and set out menu card(s), stems (add to the elegance by having stems chilling on ice in a large container), ice, mixers, juices, spirits and garnishes needed to create them. A festive favorite: Cranberry Martini
- Ice cubes
- 1 cup vodka
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice
- 8 cranberries, frozen
- 4 lemon zest twists
Directions:Chill 4 martini glasses at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, fill cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour in vodka, vermouth and cranberry juice. Cover with lid, shake vigorously 10 – 15 seconds. Strain into chilled glasses, dividing evenly. Garnish each glass with fresh cranberries. Serve immediately. Makes 4.
Here are some of our favorite “DIY” home holiday bar setups for inspiration; we’ve also provided a link to “Cocktail Party Math” (how much of everything do you need?) from Williams-Sonoma.