My wife and I are throwing a New Year's party and are wondering what to have on hand to drink. Neither of us drinks very much but we have a pretty well stocked bar that we'd like to tap into at the party. What are the best mixes to go with:
Do you have any friends who are drinkers? You might want to have a designated bartender, at least to kick the party into gear. After that let people do their own thing.
What I would add to the list:
- A few bottles of wine. Some people don't drink anything but wine, and you definitely want to keep everyone as lubricated as possible at a New Year's party.
- Lemons and limes. Lots of them. Cut twists from maybe 5 of the lemons ahead of time if you want guests to be able to garnish their drinks. Juice maybe 10-15 lemons and limes (including the 5 lemons you cut twists from). Cut several more lemons and limes into wedges.
- Vermouth. Both sweet and dry, brand new bottles even if you already have some bottles. If you do, throw them out. Vermouth goes off after a while and it's cheap anyway. Go for Martini and Rossi for the sweet and Noilly Prat for the dry if your liquor store carries it. Otherwise, M&R for both.
- Orange juice. Everyone seems to love using this to dull the sting of straight liquor.
- A bottle of Angostura bitters. Available at most grocery stores and virtually every liquor store, and absolutely critical for numerous cocktails.
- On the topic of mixers, you can try W-S as mcel215 mentioned, and you might also check out the Stirrings brand (which is likely what W-S uses for at least some of its mixers, under its own label). Good, high-quality stuff. Not especially cheap... So I guess it depends on your goals for the evening :-)
- A bottle of cocktail olives couldn't hurt
- Make sure you have a cocktail shaker or, better, two of them
- Lots of ice. Much more than you think you'll need. It's easy enough to dispose of if you get too much, and really annoying if you don't have enough.
- Party hats, crackers, and other stuff to entertain drunk people!
I don't do too many mixes, but Williams-Sonoma has good ones. If you go to a store and tell the sales clerk about your party, I am sure they will steer you in the right direction.
When I do a party, I serve wine, beer (good brands) and make a pitcher of Margaritas, etc. New Years Eve, I would also serve Champagne, perhaps prosecco. Have fun!