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You might not know it by walking through the city streets on a Friday night, but more people in the UK prefer to attend a house party with friends as opposed to going out. A poll by the Ritz cracker brand showed that 52% of people prefer staying at home or visiting a friend’s house with only 23% saying that they like hanging out at their local.
What’s that? You’re not sure how to throw a cocktail party? We’ve got you covered - with several key gin cocktails to boot! Follow these steps and mix these cocktails and you might just have guests over every weekend.
Step 1: Choose your gin cocktails wisely
You’ll need a range of drinks to cater to the many tastes that might be at your party. Fortunately, gin is the most versatile spirit with which to make cocktails. For your first party, we suggest serving the classics, classics that run most of the flavour gamut. Since you’ll be working on a budget, you’ll also have to keep in mind that you won’t want to serve cocktails with too many fancy ingredients. To lower your budget, have your friends bring a bottle or two of the mixers you specify.
Three types of gin will do - one juniper-led, one that emphasizes citrus notes and one that emphasizes floral notes.
Martini: the classic
All you’ll need on top of the gin is a bottle of dry vermouth (maybe two if your friends are thirsty)
Negroni: the bitter
A bottle of Campari and sweet vermouth are necessary to make what is now one of the UK’s and US’s hottest flashback drinks.
Gin & Tonic - the refresher
Simple - have a friend bring a case of premium tonic water! Just be sure to have the garnish that the distiller meant to be drank with their gin.
Gimlet - the citrus
This is just gin, lime juice and a touch of simple syrup which you can make at home. Plus, some of the limes will be used as garnish for your G&Ts.
Bees Knees - the floral
Normally we would go with an Aviation for a classic floral gin cocktail. But then you would have to buy bottles of crème de violette and maraschino liqueur which you won’t use in other cocktails. The Bees Knees is easy to make and although it’s citrus driven, the honey adds sweet floral notes.
Step 2: Get your glasses right
You could have a different glass for each cocktail, but that might get heavy on your wallet. For the five cocktails listed above, you can use a martini glass for the Martini, Gimlet and Bees Knees and an Old Fashioned glass for the Negroni and G&T. If you have some cash to spare, then we suggest spending it on balloon glasses for your G&Ts.
Step 3: Cocktails need Canapés!
You don’t need an exquisite sit-down meal for a cocktail party. But you’d better serve something delectable otherwise your friends will stumble out of your house after all of the cocktails! Some simple canapés will do nicely and can run you from starter to dessert. Here are a few suggestions for the five cocktails.
- Martini - caviar canapés: the dirtier your martini, the better this match gets
- Negroni - cured meat canapés: the saltiness of the meat perfectly complements the bitter, herbal cocktail
- G&T - Sliced cucumber with tzatziki dip: it just makes sense!
- Gimlet - smoked salmon will pair wonderfully with the citrus cocktail
- Bees Knees - keep your dessert canapés for this sweeter cocktail
Step 4: Chill out with some ice
One crucial thing about enjoying cocktails is that you must enjoy them cold! If you’re feeling fancy and a little artsy, you could buy a block of ice and carve out some well-designed chunks. But you’re likely to buy a bag or two at the supermarket, a perfectly fine option for shaking cocktails and splashing them in your G&T.
Step 5: Groom your gear
To really impress, buy yourself a top-notch cocktail set. It just might be the best investment you’ll ever make.
Step 6: Express your ambience
This is a personal decision. We’re not going to tell you what music to play or how to decorate your house - it all depends on how you like to let people know who you are and what your friends enjoy.