By Matthew Breen
Entertaining properly requires some flair. For your next gathering, consider dispensing with the full bar (beer, wine, liquor, mixers, garnishes, etc.), and prepare a signature drink instead. This will do several things for your party-throwing cred. First, your drink helps set the tone for your affair: casual, formal, or themed. Secondly, a novel beverage establishes you as an ahead-of-the-curve host who curates cocktails as carefully as you curate a guest list. And finally, especially if you give one of these gorgeous fall cocktails a whirl, you'll be known as an entertaining innovator who introduced new flavor combinations to your guests.
2 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
1/2 oz. fresh cucumber puree
Splash fresh limejuice
Build ingredients over ice and fill with tonic water. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and a lime wheel.
Mixologist Holly Roberts at Highbar, 251 W. 48th St., New York City
2 oz. 10 Cane rum
1 oz. Agave Syrup
1 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
8 mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Fresh pineapple, strawberry or raspberry (or all three)
Place mint leaves in the bottom of a tall glass and gently muddle the mint and fruit. Add limejuice, agave syrup and rum. Fill with cracked ice and stir gently.
Available at Minibar, 3331 N Halsted Street, Chicago
1 bottle Jose Cuervo's Authentic Margarita Minis
1/3 cup Jose Cuervo Clasico
3 cups of tomato juice
2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
Add all the ingredients in a large pitcher and stir. Pour into a large highball glass filled with ice and garnish with celery stick and one large cooked shrimp. Serves four.
Mixologist Sandra Lee, Semi-Homemade
1 oz. Sandeman 20 Years Old Tawny Port
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. ginger beer
' oz. simple syrup
' oz. fresh lime
dash of bitters
Shake well and serve in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Created by Philip Ward, Death + Co
' oz. oregat syrup
' oz. pineapple juice
1 oz. cognac
Moet & Chandon White Star champagne
Add all ingredients to shaker, muddle, shake and strain into a champagne coupe. Top with champagne.
Mixologist Don Lee at PDT, 113 St. Marks Place, New York City
12 fresh rosemary needles
' oz. simple syrup
1 ' ' oz. Martini & Rossi Rosso vermouth
2 oz. cranberry juice
Muddle the rosemary, raspberries, and simple syrup in a mixing glass. Fill halfway with ice and add vermouth and cranberry juice ingredients. Shake with ice and double strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with 3 raspberries speared by a rosemary sprig.
Mixologist Brian Loukmas