Hang out on the beach in style with The Summertime Anytime Cookbook by Dana Slatkin, featuring Beach Bar Essentials; Sunset Cocktails; White Asparagus Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette; and Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms, Rosemary, and Light Tomato Sauce.
All you need to know to become a great domestic bartender is how to master a few impressive drinks. There is no need to stock your bar with a bonanza of alcohol. When I entertain, usually my guests will politely ask, "What are you drinking?" or "What's open?" leaving me the opportunity to offer them whatever is on tap. For dinner parties, I usually make a "house cocktail"—something colorful with a tantalizing name—and present it as guests arrive. Invariably, guests will opt for the enticing drink or else choose something tamer like wine or water. Here are some more tricks of the beach-bar trade:
The pieces needn't be costly or crystal, or even form a large matching set. Your collection should include champagne flutes, highballs (tall with straight sides), rocks (old-fashioned) glasses, and a few large tumblers for blended drinks.
Most name-brand (expensive) alcohol is available in large jugs at Costco and other discount superstores. Premix your cocktail du jour and pour it into an attractive pitcher. Your guests will never know your thrifty bar secrets!
Small cubes or shavings water down drinks.
Some of my favorite garnishes are slices of grapefruit and blood orange, fresh mint sprigs, pomegranate seeds, olives on jeweled cocktail sticks, and frozen cranberries, raspberries, or peach slices, which help keep cocktails cold.
See recipes for Sunset Cocktails.
This page created August 2008
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