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Jan 23, 2008 02:38 PM

Need 2 signature Drinks for a Party

So I am having a birthday party/coctail party. While the libations are important, the food is more important and thought that limiting the bar to beer/wine and 2 signature drinks would be a good idea. Its my party and I like me some VODKA!!! So I would love your suggestions (and recipes) for drinks...I don't like is vanilla, bananas or mint. All other flavors should be fine. Oh yeah, any recipe that can be made in batches get extra points...with 100+ people I can not have my bartenders making each drink on order.


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  1. Somehow, I knew you were from L.A.!

    1 Reply
    1. re: dogbreath

      Why did you think that...because I like Vodka?

    2. a great berry martini is a blueberry martini. 2oz stoli blueberry flavored vodka, 2 oz white cranberry, 2 oz triple sec and a splash of sprite. I add 2 fresh blueberries into the finished martini. of course shake with ice at least 15-20 seconds first. try it and adapt as needed then just multiply amounts for your size pitcher. if pitcher is pre mixed just shake to cool and pour. its easy. have someone you trust help shake(or 2 people if you have twin shakers). people love to help at a party. plus the get to meet everyone that drinks......see ya :)

      1. Gimlets (vodka or gin and lime juice)
        Moscow Mule (ideally with ginger syrup but OK with ginger beer, NOT ginger ale)
        infused vodkas served up (in iced shot glasses, infuse your own)
        sea breeze (vodka and cranberry juice cocktail)
        greyhound (vodka and, ideally, white grapefruit juice)

        on a sweeter side, work with amber rums, bourbon or even scotch (OK, the scotch won't be sweet, but it will serve as a nice contrast to the vodka). Try
        rum: Dark and Stormy
        bourbon: Manhattan
        scotch: Rob Roy

        1. Even at HUGE cocktail parties, the menu is best kept short like this. Why do you think huge art gallery openings only have white wine and bottled water available to drink? You'll do best with one kind of beer, one kind of wine (or one red and one white if you really want, but I'd stick with just white in warm weather and red in cold weather), just one specialty cocktail, and bottled water. This will keep your bartenders sane, and you will stay saner as a result. Oh, as far as amounts, people will generally have two drinks over the course of a two- to three-hour party. And make sure you have at least half a pound of ice per person, more is always a good thing in that case.

          Oh, and some advice I've found works well from someone who does these kinds of parties for a living... A good cocktail party lasts about three hours. People get there late during the first hour, the party is in full swing for the second hour, and people wind down and get ready to go home for the last hour. People generally eat six bites of food per hour that they're there; combined with late arrivals and early departures, ten bites of food per person is a good average. If you run out in the third hour, that just means you had a good party, don't worry about it. As with the drinks, don't knock yourself out too much with the food, just do one or two different kinds of appetizer. I know it's tempting to do eighty kabillion different things, but it just means you're going to be a slave to the kitchen when you should be out enjoying your party.

          Oh-Kay... with that out of the way... You're being the person at the bar who is indecisive and as a result ends up not having anything to drink. Vodka drink that doesn't involve vanilla, banana, or mint knocks out quite a few things, there are still thousands of possible drinks out there. Gimme some inspiration... is there any flavor that you've been particularly enjoying lately? Is there going to be any theme to the party?

          Something that you can always do is invent your own cocktail. Yes, really. Start out with a basic formula of 3 parts base liquor, 2 parts sweet liqueur, and 1 part sour ingredient. Many classic cocktails follow this formula- the Margarita does it with tequila, triple sec, and lime, the Cosmopolitan with citron vodka, triple sec, lime, and a splash of cranberry for color. How about starting with black currant vodka (a little something unexpected), triple sec, and lemon? Add in a little Pama pomegranate liqueur for extra complexity and its beautiful red color and I think you have a winner! Since the Pama will add extra sweetness, you might want to add a little extra lemon. Or maybe not.

          So, start with:
          1 1/2 ounces black currant vodka
          3/4 ounce triple sec
          1/2 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur
          1/2 ounce lemon juice

          shaken well with ice, strained into a martini glass, and garnished with a lemon twist. Taste. Think it needs to be changed somehow? No problem! I might have done too much triple sec, so if it's too sweet try either taking out a little triple sec or adding a splash more lemon. Just make sure you take notes as to what you do so you can do it again later. Once you have it figured out, multiply the recipe by 25 and that tells you how many bottles of each ingredient you need. for every 25 cocktails you want to make.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            Cosmic Jester you may be my new best friend...wanna do a party in LA in March? My favorite dink is Grey Goose with "a little" cranberry and pineapple with 2 limes...the drink should be the color of a blushing bride...adding 7-up or Sprite is good too.

            1. re: yummyinmytummy

              Well there you go, Bay Breezes (vodka with cranberry and pineapple) all around! I love those too. If you want a little something different, two good ones for branching out from your favorite formula are the Madras (vodka, cranberry, orange) and the Sea Breeze (vodka, cranberry, grapefruit).

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                Vodka, Pineapple Juice, a splash of Chambord shaken over ice and strained into a martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple. I have heard it called a French Martini or a French Kiss. I'm not sure which (or either) is proper, I made one up for my my wife one night and I have been making them ever since. It looks great in the glass due to a thin layer of white froth floating on the top.

                Also, although Christmas has passed, we made a Signature Drink for a party called The White Cosmas. Vodka, Triple Sec, White Cranberry and Key Lime juice shaken and served in a martini glass with a whole fresh cranberry bean and a small lime wedge. It was a HUGE hit especially when shaken in the 2 liter shaker we have.