As everyone enters the holiday entertaining season, tensions start to rise. Putting aside securing the right date and the perfect venue, the idea of throwing a memorable party for friends and family can be daunting. While the party thrower may become obsessed with the perfect décor or the adorable party favor, guests just want to have an enjoyable time. One way to get the conversation flowing and guests mingling is to stock the party with delicious beverages.
Since everyone’s tastes and preferences vary, creating the perfect mix of beverage options can be a difficult task. From wine drinkers to bourbon afficandos, the beverage list can become an expansive cocktail menu. Putting aside the adult beverages, the multitude of sodas, sparkling water and other mocktails can leave your recycling bins overflowing.
Here are a few suggestions to make your holiday gathering’s beverages a sip to remember.
Variety of sodas with Keurig KOLD
Some soda drinkers are very specific. They will only drink Diet Coke and never a Coke Zero. While any host can understand a friend’s preferences and will want to be accommodating, the piles of cans or counter filled with 2-liter bottles can be overwhelming. A new option for the home is the Keurig KOLD. This carbonated beverage maker can create a variety of beverages without the unwanted waste.
The Keurig KOLD creates 8 ounce, cold beverages in mere minutes. Using the company’s patented Karbonator beads in the pods, each and every beverage is dispensed exactly as the manufactured intended. The host can serve one guest a refreshing cold Diet Coke and the next guest a satisfying craft root beer.
Instead of cleaning up half-drunk two liter bottle or filling the recycling bin with cans, the host has just a few glasses to clean (or throw away disposable glasses). More importantly, one device offers tremendous beverage variety. From sodas to teas, the Keurig KOLD gives the holiday party the beverage options at the touch of a button.
Keurig KOLD is available at select retailers. The machine retails for approximately $369. The KOLD pods 4-packs are sold around $4.50 (depending on brand and flavor). Any 8 ounce cup can be used with this device.
Wine, think outside of the U.S.
Wine can be a very debatable subject. Some people are enthralled with Napa reds while others avoided any oaked chardonnay. When throwing a party, catering to everyone’s preferences can be daunting. Instead of going the traditional route, offer your guests two wines from a totally different region. For example, South Africa has some amazing wines. Why not pick a company that your guests may not know.
One South African wine which would be perfect for a holiday party is Bizoe. This South African wine by winemaker Rikus Neethling offers one red and one white wine. With a small production, these wines showcase the winemaker’s deft hand to create wines that are expertly crafted.
The Henrietta, named after his mother, is a delicate wine blend. Bringing together a Bordeaux white, Semillon and sauvignon blanc, this white wine is equally enjoyable drunk on its own as well as paired with light appetizers. The slight oak nuisances does not overwhelm the citrus and floral notes. With a satisfying finishing, everyone will want to go back and savor another glass.
Named after Neethling’s wife, the Estalet Syrah, an unique shiraz, shows the beauty that this varietal can be. This fruit driven wine has good audience appeal. Balancing fruit, sweet, herbaceous and liquorice flavors, this wine is delightful with a robust short rib, perfectly seared duck or a big Italian beef sandwich.
Bizoe wines can be found at smaller wine shops or online. Prices vary depending on location. For more information on Bizoe wines, please visit the company’s website at www.bizoe.co.za.
Signature cocktail for the event
Providing a fully stocked bar for a party can be an expensive endeavor. Multiple bottles of spirits that only one or two guests drink can leave the host with bottles that won’t be touched till the next party. Creating a signature cocktail for the evening can be a great solution to the liquor problem. While no one is suggesting a random concoction of liquor, a seasonally inspired cocktail cane make the event extremely festive.
When creating a signature cocktail, the host has two options. First, the host can set up a cocktail making area with the recipe and ingredients. Guests can make their own drink throughout the evening. Instead of a pre-made mix, which may lack flavor, a homemade syrup can highlight the spirit and create an amazing cocktail.
Appleton Estate Rum has a few signature cocktail recipes that use homemade syrups. Since the holiday gathering is a special occasion, a unique syrup, like the clove and currant maple syrup in this recipe, makes for the cocktail even more fun. Here is a cocktail recipe from Appleton Estate Rum and mixologist Elizabeth Powell.
Appleton Bittered Sling
By Elizabeth Powell (Liberty, Seattle)
· 2 oz. Appleton® Estate Rare Blend 12 Year Old
· .5 oz. Clove and Currant Maple Syrup
· 3 dashes Bittermen’s Mole Bitters
Preparation: Stirred with a cinnamon stick in a double rocks on a large cube, garnish with a grapefruit zest.
Clove and Currant Maple Syrup (Makes 6 servings)
By Elizabeth Powell (Liberty, Seattle)
· 2 teaspoons whole cloves
· 3 tablespoons fresh or dried currants
· Zest of one grapefruit
· 2 cups grade b maple syrup
· 2 cups water
Preparation: Bring water to boil with currants, add maple syrup and grapefruit zest, bring off heat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Add cloves and let sit for 5 more minutes. Strain with a fine strainer.
These holiday entertaining tips are just suggestions. Holiday gatherings are about connecting with friends and family. Whether you serve the most amazing cocktail or run out of ice, the memories from the party will be the moments that will be talked about for years to come.