Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summer Cocktails: Source List

Whether you want to muddle produce and herbs for specialty cocktails, or feel more comfortable picking up a crowd-pleasing wine or craft beer, there’s no reason to put too much time into trying to create a summer party plan as a holiday weekend approaches. Don’t stress or search aimlessly through random Pinterest boards trying to find the ideal presentation . It’s easy to get buried with too many choices, and it's the season to chill—not obsess.

Just one of the many colorful concoctions found on Sous Style. This Rainier Cherry Muddler was the from another of my favorite recipe-sharing sites, Sprouted Kitchen

Just like stopping at a small market is faster (and less headache) than navigating a superstore, limiting your options to 2-3 trusted sources where ideas/guides are at the ready reduces stress. Copy links to your phone for picking up essentials when at the farm stand or market, and you’re good to go.

A libations list consistently elevates your host/hostess status and boosts your cocktail confidence without wasting precious time. When it’s time to celebrate, you don’t want to be searching for help online or trying to find an ingredient. Shop and stock up in advance—and focus on soaking up the sun with friends, cocktail in hand.

Impress and refresh your guests while using up herbs from the garden with Food & Wine's Basil Slushie


My teachers and trusted advisers for ingredients, serving advice,  mistakes to avoid, saving time/money, and evolving recipe options. I've also outlined my HOSTING TIPS guide of all I’ve collected from others, my own experience and observations from memorable parties.You'll also see a variation of motivational menus to get you on track on Southern Sophisticate, so I'm hoping you'll put it on the list along with these:

Take advantage of unique base ingredients like rhubarb to really impress, just follow simple
mixing tips for drinks like this on Maureen's 10 minute happy hour

A reliable source of recipes by a fun, realistic guru (ps: she’s also founding editor of and author of  Cocktail Club). The10 minute happy hour tab is genius. The Maker Style tab includes appetizer tips, the skinny on buying gin, shopping shortcuts and Maureen’s take on how to set a table… fast! Best choice for novice entertainers.

The raspberry-lemonade smash on Sous Style' happy hour was created by another good go-to,
 A Beautiful Mess. It's also great in big batches for backyard sipping.

If you’re idea of a great read is the latest issue of an upscale food mag, you'll lose hours perusing the site. It’s young, fresh and on trend without being trendy. Think 'grapefruit cucumber cocktails meets fashion shoot'. Keep the Happy Hour tab bookmarked. It's actually my top choice for inspiration.. and guilty pleasure reading. 

On Mouth, they do the shopping for you. I am crazy about their Summer Spirit Gift Set. One click, and done! 

Yes, it’s a shopping site for groceries and gift baskets, but in my opinion, they make sites like Williams Sonoma passé. The blog includes trusted advice on purchases. It’s a great starting point if you are seeking what bitters to buy at your local store and invaluable for online gift ordering for your entertaining friends.

Camille Styles totally hooks me with the regular profiles on top entertainers (and their secrets).

Just love this site. It’s current and full of insight on many things. The cocktails are imaginative without being complicated. Select Bottom's Up-- under the food tab... you won't be sorry. 
PS: It's ideal for the calorie-conscious, lots of lighter choices here.

Several fun watermelon and tequila cocktail blends on F&W

The chef inspired, summer drink pick is on-point, and so easy to follow... and delicious. Throwback- meets-modern recipes like the 'new' daiquiri or their Fourth of July cocktail guide are all smart but simple. It's foodie focused, but the blog often includes cocktail recipes with 3 ingredients, max.

Keep your guests (and yourself) hydrated and happy with these tips
What's your go to site for finding helpful, quick information on cocktail parties. Do hosting help is always something worth toasting!