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Plan the perfect drink menu for your holiday party

As a responsible host, you want to ensure your guests have a safe and enjoyable time. Planning ahead and serving a variety of beverages and healthy foods will help create a memorable experience.

party drinks

Start with the basics

You can be sure of a few things regarding the demographics of your party attendees:



  • Some people will want diet drinks.
  • Some people will want non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Some people will want spirits.
  • Some people will want beer, wine or coolers.

Stock a variety of alcoholic, low-alcohol and alcohol-free drink options to keep all your guests happy. Brian Zachau, winner of T.G.I.Friday’s 2009 World Bartender Championship, recommends variety and balance. “Definitely include soda (don’t forget a diet option), milk/cream, juices like orange, cranberry and pineapple, and a club soda. You should also have several options for liquor, like vodka, rum, coffee liqueur and whiskey,” he says. “A good rule of thumb is to consider your drink options in percentages, such as 40 percent liquor, 35 percent wine and 25 percent beer.”

The great thing about mixers such as sodas and juice is that non-drinkers can enjoy them without alcohol, while drinkers can mix as they please.

Finally, don’t forget to measure your drinks with a jigger. This helps ensure you’re serving standard pours. Your drinks will taste better, too.

Add a house cocktail

coco snowball

You probably don’t want to become the mix-master at your own party, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to whip up a signature house cocktail to impress your guests. These drinks should be as festive and fun to look at as they are delicious to taste. Beverly Hills party planners JOWY Productions suggest a peppermint martini as one option for a signature house cocktail, but we also like this recipe put together by the mixologists at the Seafood Bar at the Breakers Palm Beach:

Coco Snowball


  • 2 ounces Stolichnaya Vanilla Vodka
  • 2 ounces Malibu Rum
  • 2 ounces Coco Lopez
  • 1/4 ounce Blue Curacao


  1. Rim martini glasses with honey and fresh shredded coconut.
  2. Shake ingredients in a martini shaker and serve.

Offer a house mocktail

Delicious alcohol-free mocktails are great for designated drivers and others who choose not to drink alcohol — as well as guests who want to try something different.

Lots of easy-to-make mocktail recipes are available; just choose whether you want to serve something fruity, creamy, spicy or sweet. For more than 50 alcohol-free mocktail recipes, visit Deflate the Elephant.

Don’t forget hot drinks

If you’re hosting a dinner party or if the weather is particularly cold, offer a few hot drink options. Basic coffee, tea and hot chocolate are good starting points. Also consider serving warm cider — a delicious way to take the chill off.

End with a sparkle


Cap off a great party with a festive, sparkling beverage. Traditional sparkling wine or sparkling cider works perfectly, but if you’re looking to end on a high note, try the Currency recipe offered by Simply pour two ounces Exclusiv Berry and one ounce Chambord into a champagne glass before topping it off with Exclusiv’s Rose Moscato, a sparkling red wine.




Read more

Our favourite holiday party drinks
How much wine do I need for a party?
Perfect your pour: Secrets of great home bartenders

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