Excerpted from Death & Co Welcome Home, available here.
Drinks for a Crowd
Let’s get something out of the way: In almost every home-entertaining scenario, making every cocktail from scratch each time is a terrible idea. Even if you’re motivated to show off your drink-making skills, for any group larger than a couple of people, measuring each ingredient will cause you enormous stress and leave you guests with long, painful gaps between cocktails – a lethal combination of sobriety and awkward small talk, kryptonite for any gathering. We strongly advise you not to treat your home bar as an actual bar, with a limitless menu of options. You don’t hand dinner party guests a food menu, do you?
Minimally Batched Cocktails: To Each His/Her/Their Own
If you’re not sure about your guests’ cocktail preferences, or want to let them craft their own drinks, a choose-your-adventure approach adds an engaging dynamic to hosting. The idea is simple: prepare a base that each guest can combine with their favorite spirit. This base can be anything that helps speed up the process of making a drink, but keeps some element of assembly involved: if a recipe calls for multiple juices and small measurements of modifiers, combining these allows guests to feel engaged in the process while not expecting too much of them. The following are four examples of base mixes that work well here: a boozy Old-Fashioned, a refreshing aperitif, a bubbly brunch staple, and the mighty Bloody Mary.
If you want to leave the drink making to your guests, draw up a little “how-to” guide that coaches them through the process. For example, a Bloody Mary bar should include the following instructions:
- Choose your booze and add 2 ounces to a glass
- Fill the glass all the way with ice (don’t skimp!).
- Top with Bloody Mary mix and stir with a straw for a few seconds.
- Select your garnishes (follow your heart).
We love to encourage a hand made cocktail, but there are times when you want a great cocktail without the effort - we made our canned cocktail line for that purpose. It's as easy as chilling beer while being as satisfying as a bespoke cocktail. We have three different flavors that appeal to different types of drinkers, ensuring that no one's palate is neglected: the Ranger Buck with Woody Creek bourbon and birch for your whiskey snob friends, the Aurora Highball with Woody Creek potato vodka, pear, mint and green tea for the White Claw drinker in your life, and the Moonsail Fizz, with gin and passionfruit - a bright, fruity concoction that's fantastic for pool parties, brunches and soirées. Check out the cans here to stock up for your next party.