Today I am excited to join the most fun group to share our own ideas for holiday drink stations.
Some of us are back to entertaining in a small way and some of us are just doing close family with us. Either way, having a drink station is such a smart idea.
Reasons to love drinks stations:
- They take the pressure off you to serve others.
- They add a festive atmosphere and fun.
- They let guests create drinks their way.
- It lets you move people out of the kitchen and to other spots in the home.
I personally get excited when someone has a drinks bar, as I usually am picky about what I drink, and I like making things my own way. I also think it puts guests at ease right away and lets them move about the home when many times gatherings tend to congregate toward the kitchen or another spot. Having a drinks bar on another wall, or in another room, is a great way to get more flow going at your gatherings.
Obviously thanks to Covid, we aren’t having any Christmas party. Our last big party we had was Christmas 2019, our first back in this home. We set up our bar with a special drink and instructions so people could serve themselves. We had other options waters, wines, etc, to the side, but having a drink and the fixings for it, seemed to be a real hit. People like to try a new drink and a holiday cocktail feels festive!
This year, I had the opportunity to try out a Winter Spritz Bar when we hosted a small dinner party for two couples we do dinners with occasionally at each other’s homes. I feel like I have to mention that we are all vaxxed and boosted and are all very careful, so it felt safe to do this indoors
I am a huge fan of Aperol Spritz’s and have been since I first had one in Venice many years before they became popular here. I used to try very hard to find it in shops and now it seems to be THE drink. The Spritz has a bitter orange flavor about it which grows on you. The Winter Spritz is slightly sweeter with the addition of Vermouth which gives it an almost Manhattan taste, but a little brighter. This drink is a little ode to my mom who loved a good Manhattan and I so wish she was still here and could have one of these with me.
The fun part is having a different choice of an herbal Italian liqueur, called amaros, which to change them up. Amaro means bitter in Italian and these are light in alcohol and are considered digestives, which are good before or after dinner. Averna has a chocolate licorice and orange taste and the addition of sweet vermouth changes the Spritz drink to something more deep and wintery. Add a Luxardo Cherry and it’s the perfect winter sip. More about the interesting history of amaro or amaris and what they are here.
Creating a Winter Spritz Bar
Italian herbal amaros like Apero, Averna, Campari, Bruto Americano or others like St Germain
Sweet Vermouth. We like this one.
Prosecco (it’s nice to stay with the Italian theme, but any decent champagne or sparkling wine can work.)
Sliced oranges or clementines
Champagne coupes (similar to mine here) or low cocktail glasses
It helps to have the instructions written on a slate near the glasses and ingrediants in their order of adding, think assembly line if you have the room.
To Make a Winter Spritz
1 Jigger Amaro (herbal liqueur)
1 Jigger Sweet Vermouth
top the glass off with a generous amount of prosecco
add garnish of your choice -Luxardo cherries and/or orange slices
Make it Festive
I like to make a drinks bar festive with holiday music, and some decor. I used battery operated strands of fairy lights, a vintage jewelry Christmas tree from my grandmother and a nutcracker and a few Christmas ornaments here and there. Keep the lighting pretty and low and sparkle factor high. If you have any vintage silver or crystal pieces, this is the time to trot them out! Have a tray of pretty glasses ready and the ice bucket full. It’s nice to have cocktail napkins near and a towel in case someone spills a little. I like toothpicks or wooden forks for the garnish and straws for mixing.
A few photos from our drinks bar at the dinner party..My cute friends Bari and E. The husbands got no photos!
A few things you might need for the bar..
Please visit these brilliant blogs for more drink station ideas..
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