Making Cocktails for a Crowd

Serve up some Empress 1908 cocktails at your next party!

It’s about that time of year again! Whether you’re prepping for Thanksgiving or getting a jump on planning for the holidays, you’re gonna want a delicious cocktail that you can serve to your guests. Take it easy on yourself this year and follow these tips to make hosting a cinch!

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  1. Batch ahead of time!
  2. Lengthen your cocktail!
  3. Create a self-serve station!
  4. Keep seasonality in mind!

1. Batch ahead of time!

The showmanship of shaking or stirring a cocktail never gets old, but do you really want to deal with that while also making sure your dishes are in order and guests are kept happy? Take a load off and prep it in advance so that it’s ready to go! There are some things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • If you choose a recipe with citrus, you can usually mix all the other ingredients together more than a day in advance, but you’ll want to squeeze the juice at most hours before serving since it can oxidize and affect your end product!
  • Since you won’t be shaking or stirring, remember the dilution! If serving over ice, we’d recommend adding about 15% of the cocktail volume in water. Without ice, take it up to about 20-25% (to taste).
  • If your recipe uses some bubbly like sparkling water or wine, consider leaving it out of the pre-batch and top each cocktail while serving to preserve that lively effervescence! A flat French 75 doesn’t taste that good, right?
Need some recipe inspo? Check out our article on our favourite batched holiday cocktails from last year!

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2. Lengthen your cocktail! ⇩

We’ve talked about adding lengtheners to your cocktails before to stretch out flavours. Unsurprisingly, it also has the benefit of making drinks more sessionable so that everyone can more responsibly enjoy the party all night long! Here are some of our favourites in our Empress 1908 cocktails:

  • Soda water – for something neutral to let the cocktail shine!
  • Tonic water – for an extra touch of bitterness, yet still refreshing!
  • Sparkling wine – for all the celebratory vibes!
  • Fruit juice – for added sweetness and zesty flavours!
  • Tea – for robust and soothing complexity (especially great for pairing with Empress Indigo Gin!)

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3. Create a self-serve station! ⇩

You’re gonna be busy handling all the other components of the evening, so why not add some fun interaction by having the guests help themselves to the featured drink? Have the chilled cocktail in an ornate vessel and set out the glassware, garnish options, and a filled ice bucket for easy serving!

If it requires more than just pouring from the main vessel, get your DIY on with a decorated recipe card so your guest knows how to assemble the cocktail, such as how much of the glass to fill with the pre-batch before topping with bubbly.

Stay tuned for our Holiday 75 Bar feature! (pictured: Roses and Poinsettias)

BONUS TIP: The garnish station is a great opportunity to allow your guests to customize the cocktail to their needs. We’re always fans of seasonal fruits, fresh herbs, and citrus slices and twists, but feel free to get creative!

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4. Keep seasonality in mind! ⇩

We’re all about the festive vibes in our Empress 1908 party sips! What better way to mark the time than by incorporating some of the season’s magic to the cocktail? Take advantage of produce at their prime for even tastier and more innovative drinks that will be sure to wow your guests! This will also inform decisions such as whether you want to serve something more refreshing, the specific types of flavour notes to choose, and if you make it hot or cold.

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When it comes to hosting, it’s all about prep work! There’s something particularly momentous about the cocktail hour during a good holiday party. It’s a time to share some drinks, chat with friends and family old and new, and bond over the finer things in life with great company. The best part is that these tips also work year-round! After all, when is it not time for a party with Empress 1908?

For more cocktail inspiration, you know where to look: check out our Instagram, Cocktail Page, or Blog!

Sip responsibly!

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