NH Cocktail Party, 30 June 2012

My friends hosted a cocktail party the other night in New Hampshire where I got to put some recipes (tried and true and a couple new ones) to the test.  Sources for the recipes included Andres Aleman (Dragon’s Kiss), Gina Chersevani (Black White and Tiki, Beety Bastard), and The Passenger (Hot as Girl on Girl, Monk’s Mule, Obamacare Sling, Milton’s Stapler).


The menu isn’t fully correct – we made it up at the last minute – but it’s close.

We whipped up several different types of simple syrups that we hadn’t tested out before, including strawberry syrup (great stuff – see Andres Aleman’s recipe for that one here), mint, cinnamon/nutmeg (really good – I think I used one large stick of cinnamon and a few dashes of nutmeg, then strained through cheese cloth), habanero, ginger (used my recipe from before, minus habaneros, and plus a little more ginger), and beet.  I need to work out a good recipe for the beet syrup…mine was not beety enough for what I was gunning for.


Some simple syrups being prepped.

Most of these cocktails came out pretty well…I wouldn’t do the last item on the menu larger than a shooter though.  Way too sweet.  I’ll also need to tweak future menus a little bit..too little variation in the drinks (e.g. too many gin drinks, and too many with ginger beer – oops).

This was my first time being the bartender for a group this size (15-20).  It was definitely an experience that I’ll need to repeat…I need more opportunities where speed is important and stress exists (I don’t get that mixing drinks at home, obviously).  I’ve certainly got a ways to go to get out of novice status.


My office that evening.

7 comments on “NH Cocktail Party, 30 June 2012

  1. Ryan Testa says:

    Ben made the night.

  2. missgrill says:

    love the sound of that cinnamon and nutmeg syrup. must try it.
    and ginger beer… love that with hendricks. i cut a bit with soda. tasty stuff that hendricks!

    • B says:

      Yeah, that syrup was one of my favorites from the evening. Hendricks is a great gin…everyone should have a bottle of that in their home bar. People who claimed to not like gin found gin drinks they liked that evening.

      • missgrill says:

        I put it on my to do list! I have had a few guests decide ‘they really don’t hate gin’ after trying hendricks.

  3. Joseph Tkach says:

    The first time I held a cocktail party like this, I also had a huge menu. What I found is that it’s way easier to manage the logistics if I cut the number of drinks down to three or four. That way, I can really focus on the quality of the drinks I’m serving. If the guests aren’t well-versed in mixology, a huge menu can be intimidating and confusing, and in the rush to make all the drinks, you won’t necessarily have time to coach them on the finer points of an unfamiliar liqueur or amaro.

    • B says:

      Agreed. Next time will be a smaller specials menu, with, of course, the option to ask for other stuff. It’s tough though when people aren’t as savvy…not a lot of cocktail options up in NH…much easier here in the D.C.-area. I always hate it when people ask for a jack and coke when they could have something better!

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