It’s been a long week. A mix of a lot of ‘to-do’s’, lack of sleep, only seeing my husband for 20 minutes every late night because he’s in his busy season for accounting, and grief for my dear brother. My tipping point was mid-week, feeling like I was working hard and doing the best that I could and going no where. I hate when my self-doubt, stress, struggle for control, and lack of trust and communication with the Lord gets the best of me in weeks like these. Those things I mentioned are tough. Really tough. And when I need Him the most. I am thankful for the women close to me in my life for reminding me they’re there, that God is there, and I’m not alone in the tough. Simple truths that we so often forget, don’t we. I’m also thankful for a piece of clarity yesterday – a nudge from God to keep going. Keep working hard. Keep being creative – photograph, edit, and compose this blog post. Continue to prep for this party. Keep going after it! It’s week two of this blog of mine, not year two. Oh, how my perfectionism loves to steer me away.
So, you know what? Forget you, perfectionism. It’s FRIDAY! It’s time to soak up that California sunshine we’ve been getting (it’s supposed to hit 70 this weekend! All of the emoji praise hands!), enjoy the blessing of two whole days off from the rise n’ grind routine and…… have a cocktail.
To keep up with that party-preppin’-post flow, I decided to give a few quick tips on how I like to host an at-home bar. As you’ve seen here and here, the party this coming weekend is titled ‘Cocktails & Cupcakes’. So it’s only natural that I share how I’m planning to make that first portion of the title a hit. Here we go:
- Invest in tools. I can’t get enough of this bar tool set we received for our wedding. Not only are they gorgeous, but functional as well! Having a fun tool kit gives you the excuse to really go for it when creating and mixing drinks.
- Chill your glasses. Picked this one up from my husband, who always requests that his glass be chilled and his plate be warmed. Love him. It’s true, though! No one likes a warm drink. Pop your glasses in the freezer for about 20 minutes pre-party so they’re nice and chilled prior to serving. Don’t throw them in there for too long, though! No one also wants frozen hands.
- Have fun with garnishes. A good drink garnish makes it or breaks it for me. It’s a fun little treat amidst some seriously intense flavors. Also do some research on what garnish pairs the best with the booze you’re serving. For example, did you know that Hendricks gin is infused with cucumber? Therefore, if you’re making a gin & tonic and pair it with the traditional lime wedge, you’re doing it a disservice. A Hendricks g&t is absolutely delish with a slice of cucumber. If you didn’t already, now you know!
- Ask your guest for their strength preference. If he or she wants a strong drink, they will say so. However, it’s likely that if someone just wants a splash of something, they’ll feel uncomfortable saying it without prompting. Always ask. You don’t want anyone to feel like they’re getting liquored up or that they were short changed!
- Always have a non-alcoholic option. No one wants to feel like they’re the only one not having a drink. I may love a good cocktail now and then, but the reality is that I don’t drink hard liquor very often! It’s very common for me to ask for the non-boozy option. But if it’s just water, well… that’s kinda sad. Use those fun garnishes to create something with seltzer water, add infused syrups, or simply say – “Shirley Temple?” Who doesn’t love a Shirley Temple?!
- Finish with a great cocktail napkin. I have an obsession with cocktail napkins. Monogramed, printed, textured, cloth, paper… I’ll take them all, please. They’re a perfect way to tie in the colors of the party, to make a fun statement, and to appropriately hand off the beverage you created for your guest. The ones featured above are from Home Goods, who often have some seriously cute paper options.
Any other tips to add to the list? I want ’em! Comment and tell me your best bar keeping secret! And here’s to a wonderful weekend for you all.