Entertaining Hacks for the Bar

December 11, 2019

Let’s admit it—for many of us, one of the exciting things about the holidays is the opportunity to share fun and festive drinks with friends. From hot hard cider to Peppermint Schnapps, there’s a festive cocktail favourite for everyone and so many new cocktail ideas to try. 

Getting caught up with friends and colleagues is the reason you’ve committed to hosting a holiday party, but in the back of your mind you’re aware that between shopping for gifts, getting decorations up, going to other get-togethers with family and friends and still going to work or school, of course, that you’ve got a lot to do!

These holiday hacks will save you time while also adding some opportunities for additional fun to the party. 

Pick up a 6-pack… of wine: Try Discovery Wine Packs
discovery wine packsEvery month, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer sommeliers put together a package of six specially curated wines for you to try, complete with food pairing suggestions. They come together as a package, making them excellent for a month of special occasions or as an awesome gift.

Each month the packs are different, so you can pick up a selection for November and another for December, and have a dozen bottles on hand for holiday partygoing and gift-giving. 

Choose a Red Bag, White Bag or a Blended Wine Bag and you’ll see a substantial savings too. Ask for the Discovery Wine Packs at your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. We can also personally curate a gift pack or box of wine too.

Use Cocktail Mixes & Juices
Who needs to know you used piña colada mix for your famous holiday piña colada punch? Or daiquiri mix to make red and green mint strawberry daiquiris? You can also save time by buying fruit juices (like squeezed lemon or lime) instead of buying fresh fruit and cutting and juicing them yourself. 

diy drink barBuild a DIY Cocktail Bar
Instead of playing bartender at home, let your guests mix drinks—with a little help and guidance from you, naturally. 

Buy all the ingredients for a special cocktail or two and set them on a table. Print out the recipes so guests can follow along. But keep these simple! You don’t want guests trying to measure quarter teaspoons of crème de violette syrup or eyedroppers of specialty bitters.

This is also a great ice breaker for parties where people won’t know each other. 

Use Maple Syrup As a Sweetener for a Simple Cocktail
No time to make specialty syryps for holiday libations? Use nature’s sweetener! For an easy aperitif, mix together half an ounce of maple syrup with brandy, bourbon, or your spirit of choice. Use a cinnamon stick as a stirrer to add a special seasonal kick. 

Make Sangria a Snap with Pre-Made Ingredients
Sangria is a great holiday (or anytime) drink. The deep red color and brightness make it perfect to accompany a holiday lunch or lighter meal. You can save tons of time by buying boxed wine, sparkling water (or Sprite for a sweeter taste), and a box of the cut-up fruit medley in the produce department. 

Ideally, you can make it the night before and let all of the ingredients (except for the sparkling water or Sprite) soak in the fridge. 

Use Mason Jars as Glasses
Don’t have the right type of glasses for the cocktails you’re serving? Don’t go out and buy all new glassware. Try using unexpected vessels as glassware. Mason jars are a stylish way to serve drinks that gives a rustic touch to your bar. Mason jars are also super sturdy, which allows for easy washing and storing—and best of all you can pick the grocery store!

herb stir sticksUse Herbs As Stir Sticks!
To keep cleanup to a minimum, use sticks of fresh herbs like rosemary (or the aforementioned cinnamon stick!) as stir sticks. Poke a branch through a fresh cranberry and you’ve got a red and green swizzle that screams Christmas. Plus it infuses a bit of delicate herbal flavor too.

The holidays are a great time to share stories and well-wishes over cocktails. Making cocktails can be time-consuming and require lots of ingredients, but these holiday bar hacks will save you time, effort and money.

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