Holiday Entertaining 101 – Part 3

Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2009 at 11:35 am by Engine Communications


Beautiful glassware presents your holiday cocktails as presents all their own.

Here’s the skinny on setting up the Perfect Bar! 

Very important – make sure your bar is completely set up before your guests arrive

• Ice & lots of it ~ running out of ice isn’t cool!

• Shot glass or jigger for measuring

• Strainer for chilled drinks without the ice

• Pitcher for mixed drinks with long handled spoon for stirring

• Shaker set for those “shaken, not stirred” cocktails

• Small cutting board (bar board) and paring knife for cutting lemons and limes

• Cocktail napkins

• Swizzle sticks

• Bottle opener

• Corkscrew

It’s not always possible but having a designated bartender is a bonus and takes some of the pressure off of the host. 


  1. Don’t stick to lemons and limes for garnishes. Set out bowls of cranberries, raspberries, star fruit, vanilla beans, lavender, lemongrass, chocolate swizzle sticks, flowers, olives, pickles, etc. 
  2. If fridge space is limited use your deck, porch or balcony! 
  3. Offer some low-carb and low-cal beverages, such as light beer or light coolers. 
  4. Serve both plain and sparkling water and lots of non-alcoholic choices. 

Gorgeous glassware is must! I don’t know about you, but my red wine just doesn’t cut it when it’s served to me in a plastic glass (go “green” and use glass not plastic, rent or borrow from family or friends if you have to). Go above and beyond and serve beer in a tall pilsner glass – adds a touch of class (unless your guests specifically request their beer in a bottle).

 Make sure that you have enough glasses for everyone, usually two per guest for each type of drink you will be serving. Why not write the names of guests on holiday gift tags, tie them to the stems of the glasses as you hand out the drinks. OR, as Rachael Ray recommends, use a china marker and write the names directly on the glasses.


Easy Homemade Eggnog

 12 large eggs

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

3/4 tsp salt

12 cups Homogenized milk (for richness, some recipes call for whipping cream so this isn’t so bad!)

3 tbsp Vanilla

2 cups Brandy

1/2 cup rum

Ground nutmeg

 Beat eggs in extra large bowl until light. Continue beating while adding sugar and salt gradually. Beat until sugar is dissolved. Add milk and vanilla. Add brandy and rum. Adjust strength by increasing or decreasing liquor. Stir. Can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before serving, or stored covered for 6 days. To serve, run immersion blender through to foam. Garnish with nutmeg. Makes 28 servings.

curryCurried Nuts ~ so easy, and a great addition to any bar! 

1/4 cup butter

1 tsp medium-hot curry powder (curry flavor is not too strong, adjust as desired)

1 tsp salt

Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce

4 cups of mixed nuts (pecans, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashews etc.)

Melt butter in large saucepan. Stir in curry powder, salt & Worcestershire. Sauté until fragrant. Add nuts. Stir to coat. Turn into ungreased roasting pan and bake in a preheated (325 degrees) oven 10 – 15 minutes. Stir occasionally while baking. Cool then store in an airtight container.

curry1Check out our Facebook Fan Page for more holiday entertaining tips. We have the skinny on all the cocktail trends for 2010, and we’ll be posting more holiday recipes as we head closer to Christmas.

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