Cook, waiter, entertainer-if you've ever hosted a party before, you know how many roles a host or hostess must play. One way to free up your time is by setting up a do-it-yourself (or DIY) bar. Lay out the spirits, mixers and utensils (including a jigger) your guests will need to make drinks. Your invitees will have fun playing bartender, and it will free you up to boogie down.
Spirits and Sodas
Tequila, gin, vodka, whiskey and rum all can be mixed with soda to make crowd-pleasing cocktails. Generally speaking, lemon-lime soda pairs best with clear spirits, such as gin and vodka. Cola mixes well with brown spirits such as rum, whiskey and tequila. Ginger ale can go both ways-it mixes very well with bourbon, scotch, gin or vodka. Soda water, with no flavor whatsoever, can mellow the flavor of whisky and vodka. Finally, tonic water, with the bitter taste of quinine, is best mixed with gin or vodka.
Orange juice, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice allow your guests to make all sorts of drinks, especially vodka-based drinks. You may also want to offer lemonade, which mixes well with bourbon. How about apple cider? Set out a warm carafe of cider for your guests to mix with rum.
Sometimes you don't need a mixer to make a great drink. Presentation counts with cocktails, and your guests can still make a great drink with a spirit and garnishes. Lemons, limes, oranges or maraschino cherries can be a nice finishing touch to just about any spirit.