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How many times have you arrived at a restaurant, someone’s home or an event and pondered the question…What can I get you to drink?

I was recently at a very nice restaurant with exceptional food, amazing presentation and good service but the missing link was the Craft cocktails I so crave these days. Their wine list was vey nice and so was the selection of beer. By craft cocktails I am speaking of drinks made with the same attention to the culinary arts as the food. For example: a Apple tini made with pureed fuji apple, garnish with fresh apple slices served in a frozen glass. Instead of the typical apple pucker version served in most bars.

Whether you hosting and event or just having a few friends over, It is always nice to offer at least one “special” beverage. In addition to the normal offerings…beer wine, cocktails

Choose one drink that is special. It doesn’t have to be alcoholic. Last weekend I had a little pool party at my house for 6 adults. I made “Watermelon water” I offered it with Vodka and orange liquor with a squeeze of lime over ice or just with a splash of Pellegrino. It was refreshing and different. Everyone tried it. A few went on to beer after one but appreciated something refreshing to start.

Watermelon Water: Use a seedless watermelon. With a sharp knife peel the skin off down to the red flesh. Cut in manageable chunks and puree in the food processor or blender. Pour through a mess strainer into a pitcher and chill.

At weddings and special events I always suggest my clients offer a “Welcome beverage”. A beverage that can be offered right away from a tray or station separate from the bar.

It does no have to be the “Signature” drink but can be. If you have 150 guests all heading to the bar after a ceremony the welcome beverage will cut the line in half initially.

At a recent wedding we offered Arnold palmers and tipsey Arnold palmers as guest arrived from the church. The servers were in the driveway as guest arrived heading to a backyard wedding. The were garnished with lemon wheels and lavender sprigs served in mason jars. The tipsy ones were spiked with Vodka and had the addition of a mint sprig. There was a refill station just inside the cocktail area for those wanting a refill.

Signature Drinks can be offered at the Bar in addition to Beer and Wine. No need to have a full stocked bar if you have one or two interesting cocktails. They can be the Guest of honors favorite drink, or something in the color of the evnt, or something significant to the theme. Such as a Margarita for a Mexican Fiesta or Tropical Punch for a Luau.

Don’t forget the non drinkers there are a lot of people that don’t drink alcohol these days so don’t shortchange them… Offering a non alcoholic option of the Signature drink is thoughtful. And don’t forget the water. A few cucumber slices in a pitcher of spring water is so refreshing.