It’s that time of the year again. Holiday Parties. Spiked eggnog and lampshades against the backdrop of a legal profession replete with problem drinkers. Along with that, the increased holiday risk of impaired driving, sexual misconduct, and the general, alcohol-fueled stupidity that escalates each holiday season.
It makes sense now, more than ever, to re-evaluate how holiday parties are implemented from Biglaw to small law. Balance is crucial. The good news is that equilibrium can be established in a way that adds to the festivity, rather than “grinching it” with a limited alternative selection of few liters of soft drinks and bottled water. Think hard about ‘Mocktailing’ your upcoming event. To provide a “blueprint” for your new, incredible, mocktail bar, I reached out to Tanya Pitch, a long-time Dallas, event bartender Here is her take with recipes!
“Mocktails, or zero-proof cocktails, are gaining quite the following these days. Many restaurants are finding that their patrons prefer more options than just mundane sodas, juices, and water. Mocktails also are making their way into the private party scene as well. There is a misconception that nondrinkers are such a minority group that it isn’t worth the effort/investment to create viable options for them.
Providing a mocktail bar at your next party is an opportunity to surprise and delight your audience while making you the BEST host this holiday season. The easiest way to build your holiday party bar is to create a cocktail menu with the catering company you’ve hired.
Don’t assume that guests who want a non-alcoholic beverage, have unsophisticated palates. Ask the catering company you hired to help you get creative when it comes to both drink menus. It’s usually best to build the cocktail and mocktail menus off of one another. This will cut down on costs because the ingredients can be used in both the non-alcoholic and alcoholic drink recipes.
If you stock your bar properly, the experienced bartenders will be able to make some unique off-menu drinks as well.
Also, please don’t skimp on glassware. Oftentimes, non-alcoholic drinks are served in flimsy plastic cups, while other guests enjoying their martinis sip out of polished glassware. Without even trying, your holiday party could make the non-drinkers feel like outliers of the crowd. But if you create a full bar just for them, that includes nice glassware, the feeling of inclusion will abound. Holding a drink in a plastic cup may make one feel like a kid at an adult party. But holding a drink in nice stemware that looks different than everyone else’s can give your guests an automatic conversation starter that could help their networking game, as well as lead to interesting discussions about alcohol in general.
A few other additional costs you may possibly incur while providing a separate mocktail bar, besides glassware, are: additional bar staff, extra ice, additional table/bar rentals and, extra linens. The zero-proof/mocktail bar is a great tool to encourage responsible drinking while still participating in the cocktail culture. After all, why should alcohol have all of the fun? Here are a few potential legal themed, recipe, options for your upcoming holiday bash. They are yours to use. Feel free to create your own fun drink names!
Mocktail zero proof cocktails (and of these can have alcohol added to them for those who wish to have an alcoholic version.
20 fresh mint leaves. 3 tablespoons lime juice. 4 ounces cranberry simple syrup. Ice cubes. 4-ounces soda water. Garnish (optional): fresh mint leaves, fresh cranberries, lime slices. For the cranberry simple syrup: 8 ounces fresh cranberries. 1 cup of water. 1 cup granulated sugar
2 oz. cranberry simple syrup 2 oz. vodka 1/4 c. lime juice, plus extra for garnish 3 oz. ginger beer 1 Handful fresh or frozen cranberries for the cranberry simple syrup: 8 ounces fresh cranberries .1 cup water. 1 cup granulated sugar
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1.5 oz. Black Tea .75 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice .5 oz. Simple Syrup .25 oz. Grenadine .25 oz. Raspberry Vinegar Shake ingredients together and then pour into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Middle thumb-sized nub of turmeric 1 oz lime juice 1 oz Agave Syrup Shake and strain into a high ball glass. Top with soda water and a lime garnish
2 ounces blackberry and raspberry puree 2 ounces cinnamon simple syrup 1/4-ounce fresh lemon juice 4 ounces Ale-8-One or Ginger Beer Orange peel garnish Combine all ingredients in a shaker and pour over ice into a highball glass. Garnish with fresh orange peel.
4 ounces orange juice ½ ounce heavy cream ½ ounce honey syrup (1-part honey, 1-part water, mixed well) 3 dashes vanilla extract 3 squirts salt tincture 3 drops orange flower water 6 drops pistachio extract
Combine all drink ingredients in a small cocktail shaker. Fill with crushed ice, then shake for 3 seconds. Pour into a large Collins glass. Top with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange peel rosette and sprinkles of powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.