The most important part to a cocktail party is the cocktails. If you want to offer guests a full open bar, then hire a bartender for the night. What I prefer to do is make a few large batches of one cocktail and set up a mini bar. When guests ask what to bring tell them to bring one of the ingredients to the punch. Set out vodka, gin, tonic, cranberry juice, lime wedges, ice, and glasses. Guests can make themselves a vodka cran or gin and tonic. Don't forget sparkling and still water and sparkling apple cider.
I also like to serve egg nog along side a festive punch. This year I am eager to try a punch that was recently featured in Bon Appetit. It's a gorgeous pomegranate champagne punch. For the recipe to that and the egg nog I make every year,
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne
1 1/2 cups white rum
1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
1 large lemon, thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves
1 ice block
- Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely.
- Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste. Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves. Add ice block to bowl.
12 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 quart whole milk
1 1/2 quarts heavy cream
3 cups bourbon
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups cognac
Freshly grated nutmeg
- In a very large bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and pale yellow. Gradually add sugar to yolks. With a wire whisk, beat in milk and 1 quart cream. Add bourbon, rum, and cognac, stirring constantly.
- Just before serving, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into mixture. Whip remaining 1/2 quart heavy cream until stiff, and fold in.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.