A High Bar: Get Ready To Pour – Snowe

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Holiday Handbook for Homebodies

A High Bar

Get Ready To Pour. 

The world is full of great places to drink—but sometimes going to them sounds so incredibly hard. Sometimes you want people to come to you. If you know how to stock a home bar, you can have a holiday party with the very best cocktails in the comfort of your home every night of the week. (OK, maybe not every night, for the sake of your liver). What you’ll want on-hand are the fixings for simple holiday cocktails—drinks that balance ease with elegance. So DIY a bar cart with a mix of booze that you like best and call your friends.

Build A Base

Anything you build needs a solid foundation, and your “bar” is no different. To stock a home bar on a budget, start with the basics. Pick the highest quality versions of the signature spirits (Gin, Bourbon Whiskey, Scotch, Tequila, Rum, Vodka). Of course, your preference reigns.






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If you don’t drink it, you don’t really have to buy it. Yes, it’s nice to provide your guests with all the options, but don’t go out of your way to purchase tons of liquor to round out your bar if you don’t like it. If you feel you must provide a certain spirit, purchase the smallest size. You can also expand into more specific liquors as your recipes and tastes require.


Tools of The Trade

When’s the last time you saw a bartender reach for an olive pitter? You don’t need a host of fancy gadgets. Skip single-use tools in favor of the essentials—a paring knife, a juicer, a shaker, a bar spoon, a jigger. With that arsenal, the only limit is your mind.



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Icy Conditions

Perhaps the most universal party truth is: you can never have enough. Pick up an extra bag or pre-make as much as possible before guests arrive. If you’re leaving a bucket out all night, be sure to offer tongs or a slotted spoon so guests can nab cubes without inadvertently watering down their drinks.


The Golden Rules

Trick your guests into making their own holiday party cocktails. Leave out supplies (and instructions) and encourage them to get on the action. Two festive choose-your-own-adventure options: a Negroni, which is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, or a Boulevardier, which is equal parts bourbon, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It’s the modern way to teach a man to fish.








Keep Tabs

Wine charms aren’t particularly chic, but there is a reason people want them—they let you know which glass you should be glugging from. Skip goofball add-ons and make it easy on yourself if you are truly hosting a crowd—washable glass pens let you mark up any glass, without ruining the aesthetic.


All The Fixins'

Garnishes amp your game up, and for festive holiday cocktails you want to go above and beyond. Think extra long slices of cucumber, infused salts, herbed ice cubes, or handmade maraschino-cherries, which can be prepared prior and really take your drinks to the next level of aristanal. It’s not just the edibles either—square cocktail napkins add a polish worthy of the swankiest joints in town.









Opt For Options

Even if you’ve made the best cocktails on earth, your guests might want something else—stock up on the essential mixers so they can choose their own adventures: soda water, seltzer, ginger ale, a nice juice option. Flat, room-temperature water is an insult to designated driver injury.








Clear A Path

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that you always want to start your party from house zero. Unload the dishwasher so glasses don’t pile up. Take out the recycling. Make room in the fridge for wine. Your party will stay under control a lot longer (well the trash at least).


Mock It Up

A large batch of “holiday mocktails” means no one feels left out. Try a recipe that allows guests to add alcohol if they so choose, but that teetotallers can enjoy solo.


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