Christmas is a time for parties and get togethers and the one thing you do need if you will be entertaining at all (even if it is just the neighbours stopping by for a few hours) is a well stocked bar. But what does that consist of these days. Here are some bar essentials we think that you should not be without this season:

The Core Spirits – You do not have to stock every spirit in the world but you should keep the core items on hand as they usually form the basis of any strange cocktail your guest might request. Whiskey, gin, vodka, rum and tequila are all musts and don’t forget the bottle of vermouth for the martini set.

Plenty of Mixers – You should also keep plenty of mixers on hand including just good old fashioned water. Given that quite a few people are drinking less these days, especially if they are the ones driving you should also keep a good selection of soft drinks (regular and diet) on hand as well.

The Extras – If you are serious about playing bartender for the night and wowing your guests with your cocktail expertise you will have to make sure that you have all the right accessories: a corkscrew, a cocktail shaker, ice, a blender, a fresh selection of garnishes and cleaning materials (for the inevitable spills) should all be behind the bar with you.

Disposable Glasses – If you really don’t want to deal with the hassle of the washing up the morning after, or of trying to find sets of all different kinds of bar glasses then you can opt for disposable bar glasses. If you want to go fancier than just the basic plastic beer cup a number of home stores carry plastic bar glasses at reasonable prices in lots of different shapes and sizes.

A Few Signature Cocktail Recipes – Every good bartender has a few tricks up their sleeve. Here are a few cocktail recipes that you can try out to find your “signature drinks”

Christmas Red Corvette:

30 ml Midori
30 ml Frangelico
4 fresh strawberries

To make this fruit and nut surprise blend both liquors together with ice and then serve with a strawberry fan garnish.

The Grinch

60ml Midori
5ml rose water

Combine the ingredients in your cocktail shaker then serve in a martini glass garnished with a rose petal

Christmas Cracker

60 ml Campari
60 ml Martini Rosso
Lemon soda

Build your cocktail in the order of ingredients above
Serve in a rock glass with ice cubes.
Garnish with an orange slice, lemon zest and maybe a berry or two

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