Everyone loves a little tipple now and then and having a big glass of red is always chic, but what about when you're looking for something a little more out of the box or sophisticated than your typical Merlot? Well, as a dinner party stylist and pretty dang good hostess (if I do say so myself!) here are a few of my go-to cocktails to make every client's event a success or just to sip after a long day!
Being raised in the South, I'm a little partial to Bourbon and a Mint Julep makes Bourbon about as Southern Chic as you can get... I mean can you say Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil? This is one of my easiest go-to cocktails. It's perfect for the summer and the mint makes it zippy and fresh.
handful of fresh mint (5-8 leaves)
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp water
3 oz. bourbon (I used rye, but Kentucky bourbon is the tradition)
crushed (or shaved) ice
mint leaves for garnish
Place several mint leaves in the bottom of a julep cup and muddle a little to start releasing the oils (5 leaves is a moderate amount; use more if you like your drink really minty). Add the sugar and water and muddle a bit more. Fill julep cup with crushed ice. Add the bourbon. Add some more crushed ice to fill the glass and garnish with a fresh mint sprig.
I mean is an explanation really needed as to why you should serve this cocktail? It has the word French in it (instant cool points) It also involves both Champagne and Gin... one word, ok two.. YES PLEASE!
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) gin
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) simple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup (2 ounces) dry sparkling wine, such as brut Champagne, chilled
Using zester or paring knife, slice peel from lemon in long, thin spiral. Reserve lemon for another use and set peel aside.
In cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain into chilled Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
Curl lemon peel around finger to create twist at least 6 inches long. Garnish drink with twist and serve immediately.
Ok, so I have a confession to make... I have a serious weakness for White Russians. They are really waaaay too delicious and since my transplant to the Great White North, I've found a new obsession, maple syrup! This for me is the best of both worlds or maybe the deadliest combination known to man...
1/2 oz maple syrup
1 1/2 oz heavy cream
1 oz chocolate liquer (Kahlua is my favorite)
1 oz vodka
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake hard for 10 seconds.
Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with freshly grated chocolate or cinnamon.
Well, I think that covers my top must-have cocktails for your next party! Stay tuned for the next blog post on 5 quick place setting ideas and as always I'm always available for a quick chat on your next get together, PR event, gallery opening, dinner party, event, wedding or your "honey I love you" event ;)
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