Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Home for The Holidays

One of the best things about the holidays is entertaining friends and family in your home. However, people often underestimate the amount of pre and post work that this requires. One area of prep-work Jes is often asked about is how to set-up your own home bar correctly for a party. How do you ensure you will have the correct amounts and varieties? What are some of the essential tools you should have on hand? These are all questions Jes answers in her book Party Like a Rock Star but, below are a few of the most key tips for you. These will take the headache out of the set-up but we can't promise to cure a hangover!

1. As a host you should be comfortable not offering the world of alcohols and confident in your edited selections. For a cocktail party, it makes sense to offer one signature cocktail, a few mixers like vodka and gin with juice or tonic, a couple of wine selections, a couple of beer choices, and a scotch or whiskey - that will definitely cover your bases. Be sure to display the selections for guests.

2. Essential Bar Tools:
- Corkscrew
- Ice Bucket
- Ice Scoop
- Cocktail Shaker/Strainer
- Colander
- Wine Bucket
- Wine Stoppers
- Decanters
- Garnishes

3. The most difficult question is often: how much do I buy? Basically, one bottle of wine should provide four to six glasses; for hard alcohol, you should have about twenty-two to twenty-five servings per liter. You usually multiply your guests by four - meaning if you have ten guests, you would have forty bottles of beer.

4. Where should you get the drinks for the party? One of Jes' favorite stores is Astor Wines in New York, they also have a website (www.astorwines.com). If you are buying in bulk, wine.com is a great resource or even your neighborhood Trader Joe's. Often, if you go to your local wine store or liquor retailer most will offer discounts on cases - even mixed cases. Also, if you go to a smaller store, you may have the opportunity to sample your selections first!

5. To add a fall/winter touch look into the seasonal beers that many brands offer. Blue Moon offers Harvest Moon, Buffalo Bills does Pumpkin Ale, and Sam Adams has Holiday Porter among others. These along with your regular selections will give your guests something to feel festive about.

Check out these and many more tips when Jes' home bar segment airs on BetterTV.

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