Cocktail veteran Julie Reiner, author of The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion, shares her secrets for easy summer sips
Offer Wine and Beer
- Luau beverage tub, $100
You’ll need lighter drinks than usual for summer. Greek whites pair well with summer food. For beer, choose a variety with an alcohol content of 4 to 5 percent--it will quench thirst and is good for day drinking. Add a bucket of trendy canned sparkling wines--no glasses to clean.
Keep Tools in Clear View
Empower guests by having these: a wine opener, a bottle opener, straws, a strainer, a shaker, a bar spoon, a jigger, beverage napkins, an ice bucket with scoop, a bar towel for the inevitable spill, and a nearby trash can. Plastic cups are fine for casual gatherings.
Batch Your Drinks
- Cold drink dispenser, $60
Recuse yourself from bar duty with make-ahead, big-batch drinks (stirred ones, like margaritas, negronis, and sangria, are easiest). For simplest batching, change the ounce amount in your cocktails to cups to increase the servings from one to eight.
Build a DIY Station
Don’t feel obligated to stock a full bar of liquor or make drinks to order. Put out standby spirits like vodka and gin with basic mixers (club soda, ginger ale, tonic) and garnishes (slices of lemons, limes, oranges) and let guests whip up their own cocktails.