Stock the bar party
My friend is celebrating his new house with a "stock the bar/drink the bar" party. Everyone will bring a bottle as a gift, but we will open some of them to serve. I would like to bring something unique and am looking for ideas.
This is not a fancy crowd...I imagine lots of bottles of Mondavi wines, Absolute, Jose Cuervo, and Bacardi. The food served will be pizza- albeit gourmet pizza. So, I don't want to bring anything too pricey or that needs to be sipped slowly to be appreciated. (Unless I give it directly to him to stash for another time.)
Ideas? I though about bringing the ingredients to make an intersting mixed drink, along with recipe cards so folks can make their own? Or what about bringing a bottle of something and a homemade condiment or bar snack (stuffed olives, seasoned nuts, etc...)
Has anyone ever tried to infuse their own spirits?
I have done homemade cordials and it's great stuff. You'd have to start them a few months in advance, though. Infused spirits are even easier... add whatever you want to infuse, and let it sit as long as you like, tasting every day or so until it tastes the way you want it to.
Ooo, even better... Drunken Pineapple! Get a pineapple (a good, fresh one that smells like a pineapple), peel, core, slice into rings, then slice the rings into wedges. Then, put the pineapple wedges into a jar about as big as the pineapple, and cover with the spirit of your choice (vodka and rum are both excellent choices). Let it sit for at least a couple of days. Your friend will then have a double gift of pineapple infused vodka and spiked pineapple slices!
Or you can go the fancy route with a tequila infusion from Bradley Ogden. Start by cutting off the top and tip of a serrano chili, then slice the chili lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut a pineapple into 1-inch chunks. Put the pineapple and serrano in a large glass jar along with a sprig of tarragon, then cover with 1 bottle of reposado tequila. Cover and let sit in a cool dark place for 48 hours. After 48 hours, taste it frequently until you think the chili flavor might be about to overpower the other ingredients. Strain out the solids through a double layer of dampened cheesecloth. Return the tequila to the bottle, and store in the freezer for at least twelve hours. It's best as a well-chilled shooter, don't let it get too warm.
I think your idea of bringing all the stuff to make a particular drink is a great one....all the stuff for cosmopolitans (vodka, rimming sugar, etc), martinis (vodka, good olives, vermouth), bloody marys (rum/vodka, dimitris bloody mary mix, tomato juice, veggies). Or make the leap to something a little fancier so he will have that for some future date - a good bottle of vodka, tequila, whiskey....what is his favorite libation?