When preparing for your holiday party, you’ll want to have a well-stocked bar to help make your festivities merry and bright! Here are some basic tips to get your bar set.
While you want to give people options, too many choices can be overwhelming for your guests, and can cause a back-up at the bar. For wine, cover your basics and get one red varietal and one white varietal to keep things simple. Find wines with descriptions such as “smooth” and “medium or light-bodied”—these generally appeal to most palates. Your caterer or a representative at your local Total Wine can definitely point you in the right direction for taste and price point. We recommend:
Low Hanging Fruit Merlot: medium bodied wine with tastes of sweet berry and black cherry with a smooth finish (best of all, a 1.5L bottle of this gem is under $10 at your local Total Wine! Talk about holiday cheer!)
Hugues Beauvignac Picpoul: a dry, light-bodied white wine with citrus flavors (a 750mL bottle is under $10 at most retail stores)
Take advantage of the recent popularity of craft beers and have fun with their seasonal offerings. Many micro-breweries offer seasonal variety packs, or you could mix and match between breweries. Again, we recommend providing a small variety (3-4 options) so as not to overwhelm your guests. You may consider having one of those options include a generic light beer such as Bud Light or Miller Light, for your Uncle Roger who “isn’t into the new-fangled stuff.” Some festive favorites include:
SmuttyNose Winter Ale
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
Victory Monkey Winter Cheers
Blue Mountain Lights Out
Leinenkugel’s Snow Drift Vanilla Porter
Woodchuck Winter Cider
If you plan on including hard spirits for your holiday bar, cover the basics so guests can easily request their go-to drinks. Make sure you have bourbon or whiskey, vodka, gin, and rum and some basic mixers such as club soda, tonic water, coke, sprite, ginger ale, orange juice and cranberry juice.
To add an extra dose of ho-ho-ho, consider also having the ingredients for a festive, signature cocktail to set your evening apart!
Cinnamon Whiskey Spiked Apple Cider:
8 oz hot apple cider
1 oz fireball cinnamon whiskey
½ oz apple brandy
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice