Plan The Perfect Party

Who has time to make canapés and polish crystal stemware? Let's keep hosting as easy as possible.

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IF YOU'RE IN THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS SPIRIT...There is no group of guests you know better, so use what you know to tailor the bar. "Show you're a gracious host by stocking up on the exact bourbon or microbrew that a friend drinks. It's a thoughtful gesture," says Jollon. "Think about a theme that unites you," says Page. "If you traveled to France together, re-create the moment by serving a selection of French wines and matched French cheeses." If you're all from the same area, consider serving a selection from that state's winery. "As of 2002, there are now wineries in all 50 states, so you could serve a wine from the state you're from," adds Page. Expecting lots of couples? Try stocking more a variety since women tend to gravitate to wine, champagne, and mixed cocktails, while guys tend prefer beer and single liquor drinks. "If you're making cocktails, stick to ones that everyone will feel comfortable holding," says Jollon. "No pink cosmos, please!"

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Comments on "How to stock a bar for your holiday party"

Reji March 11, 2012 | 1:48 PM

I think this is terribly rude! Akin to going thuorgh your trash. A lot can be learned about a person by their trash and recycled materials. How mortifying if you end up in the supermarket with this person, and they call out, Hello Marsha, I know how much you love those bottles of Jama-Mama-Fire-Me-Up-Strawberry-Beet Juice. Come on over and load up. They're on sale! That said, I would also have trouble confronting a person like this. Is there a place you can drop off the materials, rather than leaving them out? All frustration aside, this sounds like a terrific character to write into a book.

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