There are lots of things to take into consideration when you host a party. There are the appetizers, music, games, and of course, the beverages. For me, this is one of the hardest parts to put together. Everyone has a different “favorite drink,” so how are you supposed to please everyone?
My rule of thumb: Have enough variety to keep everyone happy, but not too much that you are buying a specific drink for each person in attendance.
Here are some ways to make this possible: You should always have a really nice bubbly, white and red wine available; these are staples. Beer is a kicker. Now, every crowd is different so some people might like IPA or a craft beer. Others may be happy with a Miller Lite. You know your crowd better than I do. I personally would have a “light” beer available and then something the avid beer connoisseur would like. Lastly, my favorite element of the bar is a signature cocktail! The signature cocktail should be the one item on the bar that can keep the “picky” people happy! The best thing to do is to find a nice base that can be mixed with a few different kinds of liquor, that way people can make their own decision on what spirit they would like to sip on for the evening (or daytime, no judgement here).
Below is one of my favorite beverages to offer at a summer gathering. The best part about this drink is that you can serve it without any alcohol and let everyone add their own!
Strawberry Basil Agua Fresca
1 pound strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sugar
4 large basil leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups cold water
Ice, for serving
Basil sprigs, optional as garnish
In the pitcher of a blender, add the strawberries, sugar, basil leaves and lemon juice. Puree on high for 1 minute. Add half of the cold water and puree again for an additional minute. Pour into a large serving pitcher and stir in the remaining water. Serve the Agua Fresca over ice.
For more refreshing summer cocktails ideal for entertaining, download The Chopping Block's free guide: The Perfect Cocktail.