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.
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.