Hosting Hack: Tend Bar in Absentia

When it comes to party-time tipples, no one expects you to be Sammy Ross or Jim Meehan behind the counter—but that doesn’t mean you can fall back on serving PBR and Jäger shots for your next soirée (unless, you know, it’s that kind of night). We tapped David Staples and Corey Mason, the founders of White Whale cocktail mixers, for their tips on how to impress your guests with your mixology skills—and keep them well supplied—without spending your whole night behind the bar.

Upgrade your Mixers

Most just-add-alcohol mixers are a recipe for too-sugary drinks, college flashbacks, and a hangover the morning after. Sub in some quality artisanal mixers. White Whale Bold Mixers, which use quirky, mostly organic ingredients like lychee, Siberian fir, and youngberry and have witty names like Auntie’s Old Fashioned and The Filthy Liar. We also like Royal Rose’s line of flavored simple syrups.

Outsource the Bartending

To free yourself up for socializing (and knocking a few back yourself), set up cocktail stations, one each for gin, bourbon, and vodka, with ingredients, shakers, and recipe cards—and let your guests play bartender.

Batch Up

Looking for another way to avoid manning the shaker for three hours? Make a pitcher of a great cocktail—minus the ice. Keep the ice in a separate bowl to avoid melt-off. Your guests fill their glasses with ice, add the cocktail from the pitcher, and stir. The result: An ice-cold cocktail with minimal dilution and very little effort on your part.

Bonus Recipe: The Buffalo Hunter
• 1 oz. White Whale Auntie's Old Fashioned
• 2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
• A dash tonic water
• A dash soda water
• A dash Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
• Rosemary sprig

Fill an old fashioned glass with ice. Add White Whale and bourbon, stir for 30 seconds. Top with the tonic, soda water, and bitters. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

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