Host Budget Conscious Cocktail Party

The lowdown on highballs...on a budget

Host Budget Conscious Cocktail Party

Parties hosted by moi are usually come-as-you-are, no muss, little fuss, casual affairs. But every once in a while I like to class up the joint and host a swanky cocktail party. I trade in my jeans for a dress, actually style my hair and apply that coloured stuff to my lips. You know, not Chapstick...actual lipstick. Really, I go all out.  

People sometimes shy away from hosting a cocktail party. The task can seem complicated and stuffy, not to mention expensive. But it doesn’t have to be that way...

Here’s How To Serve Cocktails On A Budget:

  • Choose three cocktails. A great place to start looking for the perfect cocktail trio is on the LCBO website.  Recipes include a photo and the cost of the alcohol, which is helpful when you're trying to stay within a budget. You could serve three wildly different cocktails, but if you’d like to keep costs down, choose drinks that have a similar alcohol base and not too many ingredients.
  • To make things even easier, select cocktails that can be made by the pitcher and do so ahead of time. Have garnishes ready and bring out your fancy glasses. If you don’t have enough glasses, you can rent them. I simply ask people to rinse and reuse the same glass. They don’t seem to mind. *Glass charms/rings/tags/stickers help guests keep track of their glass. Most important point (I'm gonna bold and underline this) - Make sure you have plenty of ice.
  • Set up your bar area, arrange finger food around the room, light some candles, turn on your fave mixed CD, and have fun!

Here are three easy cocktails to serve for $100 (based on 10-12 guests at 3-4 drinks each).

1 750 ml bottle of gin = $25
1 750 ml bottle of vodka = $25
1 750 ml bottle of Absolut Berri Acai Flavoured Vodka = $25
Juices, soda, garnishes $25

Ginger Lemonade: Add 1 ½ oz. vodka, ¼ tsp. ginger juice and 4 oz. lemonade to a glass with ice and garnish with a lemon twist.

Cranberry Martini: Add 1 ½ oz. Absolut Berri Acai Flavoured Vodka and top with 4 oz. cranberry juice and 1 oz. pineapple juice to a glass with ice and garnish with a lime wedge and a cherry.

Here’s an example of an ENTERTAINING SIZED RECIPE (Pitcher)

Cranberry Gimlet:

3 cups gin (24 oz.)
1 cup lime cordial (8 oz.)
2 cups cranberry juice (16 oz.)
Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir to mix. Pour into cocktail glasses filled with crushed ice and garnish each with a lime wheel and a frozen cranberry.

Makes 12 Servings

* Have cans of soda and/or tonic available for those who prefer less “fruity” cocktails.

Recipes and photo courtesy of www.lcbo.com


Dissing Discomfort

Have you every been asked to do something waaaaaay outside your comfort zone?

Dissing Discomfort

I'm sick. I napped most of the day, but I finally succumbed to the numbing boredom and brought my laptop to bed with me. As I sorted through some old computer files, lo and behold there in my "PartyMummy" folder was an unpublished post!  So here it is, WAY out of date and irrelevant but what the hell, I'm sick and can barely string three coherent words together so I'm posting it. Thank you Blog Gods for sending me this gift. 

I don't think anyone has ever died from discomfort, but still we go to great lengths to avoid it. Have you ever hidden behind a clothing rack at the mall so you wouldn't have to talk to an old high school friend who you never liked much anyway, but who you'd rather not come face to face with without make-up? No? Just me then.

Why do we care about what other people think of us? Life is too short to waste a moment worrying about being less than perfect or about falling on our asses or looking silly. A little discomfort is good for us. It gets the adrenaline flowing and the blood pumping, so go for it!

When I was asked to represent the YummyMummyClub on live television, my discomfort alarm sounded, and my first instinct was to flee. However, I took a breath (ok, several deep breaths, into a paper bag) and agreed.  Then I found out I would be doing a radio show as well and...back to the paper bag.  

The CHCH Morning Live show loomed.  Though I practised, I still didn’t feel fully prepared.  It’s that whole “unknown” element.  We control freaks detest the unknown.  I whined and bitched and fretted and moaned and my poor pal Sharon took the brunt of it.  She offered to accompany me and promised if I fainted, she would wave smelling salts under my nose. I felt better knowing she had my back (and if I ended up lying ON my back, she would slap me across the face or douse me with ice water).   

I was concerned about filling twenty minutes of air time on the radio show all by myself, so I asked (begged) Sharon to do it with me.  She didn’t want to.  She REALLY didn’t want to.  But because she’s the kind of person she is, she agreed to do it...for me.  

Sharon claims she was nervous before the show, but I don’t believe it.  When she sat down at the microphone, she left me in her dust.  They could’ve easily called it the “Sharon Show.”  I was a mere sidekick, “Quippy The Clown”, offering up the occasional giggle, bah dum dum comment or clever (not really) quip in between her facts and insightful remarks.  

Thank you Sharon for putting your own fears aside to help out a friend in need (insert awkward hug here). I’ve made a note to suggest to Erica that YOU handle all future media appearances.

As for Erica, she makes it seem easy and effortless.  Being on live T.V. is NOT easy. As far as I’m concerned, it’s anything but effortless.  I spent an entire day in my basement practising with props, talking to myself.  Funny enough, my children didn’t once question the fact that mummy was alone in the basement, talking to herself.  The morning of the show, I would’ve easily paid Kathy Buckworth $500 to take my place.  She’s another woman who makes it look/sound so natural.  Phooey. I’m so done with the two of them.

This is the spot  --> ___ where I would, if I could, paste the link to watch the T.V. spot.  However, I don’t have it. In fact, I haven’t even seen it myself.  Maybe that’s a good thing.  I stumbled at the beginning, over a question I didn’t expect (I hadn’t practiced this one!!) and I also stammered over a word.  Specifically, the word sp-sp-sp-specifically.  It was embarrassing.  I’ve dreamt about it even.  In slow motion! Oh well, once I got over my Elmer Fud moment, the rest of the segment went well.  

So, yes there was some level of discomfort that day, but I didn't die.

If you’re ever asked to do something scary, there is one thing guaranteed to make it easier; (no, not a mouthful of Valium) FRIENDS. Bring a good friend along for support/a distraction and if that isn’t possible, draw upon the support from the friends who are rooting you on from the wings.  My Twitter friends really got me through.  As the clock counted down to show time, they emailed, texted and tweeted their support.

Look at what @TheresaAlbert wrote before and after the show:

@PartyMummy Be big! Don't hold back. The camera prefers big. Bust a gut like u do with us! Deep breaths and swan dive in! Xoxo

U hit it @PartyMummy! I have tears in my eyes, u hit your stride when you went to the demo. Find that spot over and over and u r gold!

I know right?  She’s awesome.  

Thanks everybody for your su-su-su-suport!  ;)


Hostess Trifecta - Hawt Valentine's Cocktail

A Cherry Martini For The One You Love

Hostess Trifecta - Hawt Valentine's Cocktail

I’m Cocktail Deeva, a high heel shoe walkin’, George Clooney stalkin’ mom of four. Author of Libations of Life, A Girls Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time, humor Writer and the final 1/3 of this Hostess Trifecta. Come visit me every other Friday on Steven And Chris where I'll be mixing up some fun and fabulous cocktails. Cheers! 

What screams Valentine's Day more than Martinis? Well maybe diamonds… but those don't keep your cocktail cold! Nothing says I love you like a good stiff drink! Well maybe a…

Oh who am I kidding, a cocktail really says nothing about love, no matter how many babies they are responsible for. But you can't have a FAB, romantic dinner without them. So here is my pick to start off your amorous evening on the right foot, while you're wearing fabulous shoes of course…

Cherries The One You Love...Martini

1 ounce Vodka
2/3 ounce Cherry Brandy
1/2 ounce Cointreau
3 ounces white cranberry juice
squeeze of fresh lime

Shake all ingredients well with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with some fresh cherries.