party, holiday, and seasonal drinks stir up a sense
of social warmth and togetherness. Most are made in mass quantities
and shared with dear friends, family, co-workers, and new acquaintances.
They are celebratory by nature.
is believed to stem from the word Panch, which is
an ancient East Indian (Hindi) word and recipe meaning five ingredients.
The first American printed mention of punches was in a book named,
Early American Beverages by John Hull in 1682. Here are some other
random punch trivia to enjoy.
a cocktail party is about bringing people together.
If you are the chosen one to host a social gathering and feel
a little weak in the knees about it, then this chapter is for
you. Sit down, take a deep breath and soon you’ll learn
that there’s really nothing to stress over once you learn
the way, I talk about throwing a cocktail party in my 4th published
book, The Everything Cocktail Party & Drinks Book.
In my 2nd book, Miss Charming's Book of Crazy Cocktails,
there is a chapter titled, "Fantabulous Special Occasion
& Party Creations; Festive Libations for Cheerul Celebrations".
are the names of the recipes: Who wants to be a Millionare Punch?,
Mason-Jar Blow Jobs, Fried Copabanana Peanut Butter and Jamma,
Majestically Luscious Ambrosia Fountain, Light up the Night with
Spiced Blacklight Delight, Dew the Witches Brew, Meanwhile, Back
at the Jolly Rancher Punch, Spanish Harlem Night Sangria, Sensational
Peppermint Patty Party Luge, www.DrinkingAroundTheWorld.com, Tropical
Snowball Slushies, Born to be Wildberry Punch, Boston Tea Party
Splash, Wake up and Smell the Roasted Coffee Buzz, Strip and Go
Naked Trash Can Poker Punch, Grandma's Flaming Tree-Trimming Cheer,
Hillybilly Idol Lemonade, Hot-Air Balloon Wine & Cheese Party,
and Tropical Fish Tank Punch.
in my 7th book, The Everything Bartender's Book,
there is a chapter on party punches, holiday and seasonal drinks.
parties are about conversations, connecting, laughing,
and feeling good. All you need to focus on is supplying five
factors to make a five star cocktail party: drink, food,music,
ambiance, and amusement.
The first step is to buy a notebook
to keep all of your thoughts and ideas organized. Don’t
be afraid to jot down anything to get started or insert any
ideas you might find in a magazine. Next, you must seek answers
to the following questions to determine many factors in your
• What or who is this party
• Approximately how people will be invited?
• What is your budget?
the full bar unless you are using a caterer
and remember that the bigger the party, the less drink choices
you should provide. If you ever attend a big art gallery cocktail
party you’ll discover that only white wine and bottled
water are served. The next step would be to add a beer, then
a specialty cocktail. An average home cocktail party will
have a beer, a wine, a specialty cocktail and bottled water.
on a specialty cocktail. You can even change
the name of the drink to suit your party. If you decide not
to hire a bartender then you can supply everything needed
and allow guests to make their own cocktail. Print out the
recipe directions and place in a standing picture frame and
make sure that you provide everything they will need to make
the drink. Keep in mind that a self-service bar can get a
a bartender can really make a party. It’s
always great to know a few good bartenders around your city
in case you need one for a party. If you don’t know
one then ask around. Another idea is to call your local
bartender school and ask about one of their graduates. These
economical bartenders are very anxious and excited for the
chance to tend bar for you. For a Tom Cruise type Flair
Bartender in your area, ask at the Flair Bartenders Association
(FBA) at www.barflair.org.
There are ten thousand Flair Bartender members on that website.
a list of cocktails you will be serving, place it
an 8X10 frame then set on the bar. The idea is to create a fun
menu for guests in any way shape or form you can imagine. Get
creative! When tending bar for someone else ask them for a list
of liquors and mixers that they plan to provide, then make up
some fun drinks with fun names. People love this. You can make
a FREE bar menu at
To save money, buy liquors and mixers in bulk;
however, you’ll need to invest in smaller containers to
transfer the bulk amount into. Mixers can go in store-n-pours
or empty fifth bottles with the labels soaked off then topped
with a fast flowing pourer. Liter liquor bottles are hard on the
hands and wrists so try to get a local bartender to hook you up
with some empty fifth bottles and then pour the liter alcohol
want people to see the bar across the room so decorate
the bar so that it shouts BAR! Try to hang items over your head
to make the bar seem larger. Lights always work. You’ll
discover that when the holidays roll around you’ll find
yourself scouring the shelves for decorations for future party
bars and not holiday trees. Rope lighting is awesome and can be
easily shaped into the word BAR behind
you on the wall. Look for unusual items like the full netting
of a canopy that normally hangs over a bed, huge beach umbrellas
in stands, icicle lights, metallic curtains, hanging beads, etc.
Another stunning effect is to fill empty liquor bottles with highlighter
water then set inexpensive neon black light behind them. They
will glow forever. Highlighter water is when you break open a
highlighter marker then put the ink soaked cottony stick in water.
1694 Commander of the British Mediterranean Fleet threw huge officer’s
party using a garden fountain with over 600 gallons of Sangria.
A man in a small boat actually rowed around adding and stirring
the ingredients as well as filling glasses.
1710 The Elector of Hanover in Germany commissioned a silver buffet
fountain and named it the Hanover Cistern and Fountain. In 1997,
the fountain was valued at $3 million.
1819 Artillery Punch was served to President James Monroe in Savannah,
Peg Leg O’Sullivan breaks into a dairy barn to steal milk
for a whiskey punch party and accidentally kicks over a lantern,
which burns three and a half square miles of the business district
of Chicago. 250 people are killed, 95,000 people are left homeless,
and 17,000 buildings are destroyed.
1946 It’s a Wonderful Life; Clarence the Angel orders a
Flaming Rum Punch and a Mulled Wine.
1955 Guys and Dolls; Marlon Brando orders a Milk Punch ( it was
served in a coconut shell) for Jean Simmons and himself. He tells
her that at night they put a preservative in the milk and when
Jean Simmons asks what they use, Marlon Brando answers, “Bacardi”.
Jean Simmons asks if Bacardi has alcohol in it and Brando says,
“Well, just enough to stop the milk from turning sour”.
They drink six of them.
1965 During the summer water shortage in New York City, Seagram’s
collaborated with Tiffany’s jewelry store window designer,
Gene Moore by filling two water fountains with gin and $203,000
worth of jewelry in store display windows. The fountains used
a case of gin a day to maintain proper liquid levels.
2006 The largest Champagne Pyramid is constructed in Amsterdam.
37, 820 glasses are used and it stands 60 stories high.
Top 5 Home Party Essentials
Sips, nibbles, music, ambiance, and amusements.
First you must decide what you want to serve.
This will depend on the type of party and people invited. If you’re
going to serve liquor, beer and wine then it’s best to set
up a self-serve beer, wine, and bottled water station away from
the bar. Liquor bottle choices and mixers are determined by what
you think your guests will want to drink. Ideally, it’s
best to have 1-2 fun specialty drinks made in mass quantity ahead
of time then kept in the fridge. Then at the party, just pour
them over ice or shake and strain. However, you need to transfer
the mass quantity to a more attractive and manageable container.
Bottles with the labels soaked off, jars with spigots, clear plastic
containers with spigots, and nice pitchers are some ideas.
Don’t just throw stuff on a plate or in
a bowl and set it out. Be creative. People notice these things.
Banquet bartenders know the secrets of stacking a table. All you
do is find sturdy square objects like boxes of different heights
then set them on a table that’s already covered. Then lay
another linen over the boxes and scrunch and adjust the linen
all around here and there to make it look nice. Simply set your
platters of food on top of the hidden boxes and you now have a
beautiful presentation for your food. Embellish the table with
lights under or over the linen or anything else you find. Little
food labels add a nice touch.
Finger foods can be skewered or ka-bobbed with
frilly toothpicks or bamboo sticks. Try cutting a melon or watermelon
in half, turning the two pieces flat side down then stick the
skewers all over. It’s easy yet fun and attractive.
Look for unusual presentation props not normally
used to decorate around your party theme. For a Fiesta, try displaying
chips around the circumference of a sombrero then pushing down
the top center of the hat to hold a bowl of dip (double sided
foam tape recommended), or chips spilling out of a busted-open
piñata. Look at ordinary objects in extraordinary ways;
football helmet, flowerpots, baskets, shovel, and anything with
a flat or concave surface. Always use them new, scrubbed clean,
No way around it, you have to have music.
CDs or your ipod play continuously. It doesn’t have to be
loud, you just need something to fill the air.
Ambiance is about evoking a feeling. It sets the
mood for the party. It can range from something as simple as protected
candles and twinkling white lights to an extravagant theme party.
Move some furniture around to create more room. If the weather
is nice set the furniture in the backyard for the smokers.
This is the #1 thing hosts forget about and yet
it’s the glue that binds all the other elements together.
It’s what makes your party stand out from all the others.
Most people are uncomfortable at parties and the amusement is
what gives everyone a common ground. An amusement can range from
a simple icebreaker to some full-blown entertainment. Your goal
is to make your guests feel surprisingly delighted. It can be
the creative way food or drink is displayed, a door prize, shot
glasses made of ice or chocolate, an ice luge, or maybe you have
an entertainer. An extravagant example is a live lion at the front
door with trainers and a photographer to take your photo. The
amusement is what people talk about for years to come.
Shot Glasses Made of Ice
look on guests' faces alone is worth the extra
effort for ice shot glasses! You can find many molds on
the Internet to make shot glasses made of ice or you can
make your own. All you need is some 3oz Dixie cups, Sno-Cone
cups, and duct tape. Here's
a ice shot glass page. Some people will use 2 different
sizes of the Dixie cups instead of the Sno cone cups.
can also tape down 2 oz portion cups in instead of sno cone
helps if you have a friend working with you in assembly
line fashion. Place them on trays or cookie sheets in the freezer
and when frozen simply tear away all the paper and you’ll
have a shot glass made of ice. Place them all back into the freezer
on a serving tray so that they are ready when you are. Don’t
limit yourself with just water. Why not add some color by adding
orange juice, cranberry
juice, or blue Kool-aid to
another homemade ice shot glass page.
Chocolate Shot Glasses
Ice luge is a big chunk of ice where alcohol
is poured from the top and travels down into someone’s
mouth. Call your local ice company and they can help you.
The ice block can also be carved into something of your choice
for an extra fee. The most important thing is to tell them
to drill a hole for a clear tube to run through the ice because
pouring alcohol straight down the ice melts it. The most popular
spirit to pour is peppermint schnapps. Have some Hershey’s
chocolate syrup to pour in your mouth afterwards.
To make a bowl of ice you need a very large plastic
bowl, one medium sized plastic bowl, a reach-in freezer, some
weights, and water. Place the large bowl in the bottom of the
freezer and fill half way with water. Then place the medium sized
bowl in the water and the weights in the medium bowl. The goal
is to weigh it down enough to get the water level to rise to the
top of the large bowl. You can also use freezer tape. Let it freeze
for at least two days. Take it out when you need it and let it
thaw naturally until the bowls pop off. Running water on it weakens
it. Set the ice bowl on top of a platter that has a couple of
folded towels under linen to absorb the melting ice. It really
doesn’t melt as fast as you’d think.
can decorate around the bowl to camouflage it
even more. You can also insert items in the water during the
freezing process like lemon slices, herbs, roses, and anything
you want.If you use regular tap water then the bowl will freeze
white. To create a clear bowl you must bowl water, let it
cool the boil again to purify it.
Think out of the bowl! I’ve used
big storage containers nested into one another to make a big ice
bowl (allow 3 days for freezing). Look around with new eyes and
I’m sure that you’ll think of lots of containers that
can be used!
Glowing Ice Bowl
can make a glowing ice bowl by following the
same directions as the regular ice bowl; however, you’ll
need a package of high lighter markers. Break open the markers
and get the ink soaked cotton piece inside. Drop these pieces
in water to make high lighter water. Use this water to freeze.
When all set up, all you have to do is set a florescent black
light behind it and it will glow. Also, the medium sized bowl
will have to be clear because it has to stay in the ice bowl
because you don’t want the toxic water getting into
whatever you plane to put in the bowl. NOTE: The yellow
and green work the best!
Chunk of Ice Around a Bottle
freeze a block of ice around a bottle, simply
cut off the top of an empty half-gallon paper milk or orange
juice carton then rinse. Place the bottle inside, fill with
water and freeze. When frozen, tear the paper away and you
have an ice block around the bottle. You don’t have
to fill the water all the way to the top. Experiment with
different levels. Also, as the water is freezing, you can
slip items into the half frozen ice like lemon slices, mint,
candy, coffee beans, or whatever matches your theme or the
flavor of the bottle. Don’t worry, the alcohol won’t
alcohol (24 proof) will freeze at +20 (f)
20% alcohol (40 proof) will freeze at +10 (f)
27% alcohol (54 proof) will freeze at 0 (f)
32% alcohol (64 proof) will freeze at -10 (f)
38% alcohol (76 proof) will freeze at -20 (f)
42% alcohol (83 proof) will freeze at -30 (f)
Displaying the bottle with the ice block around
it can be tricky. You can chip away ice on the bottom so that
it can stand, but then you have to place it where the melt off
can be absorbed or drained away. A great way is in a wine or Champagne
bucket of ice.
fountains make an impression. You
can rent one at a local party store and pour in anything you
want as long as it doesn’t have pulp or seeds. Just
set it up where everyone can reach it from all sides. Even
though the fountain will have a chiller, it’s best to
pour in your chosen mixture when cold. Know that using
a Champagne fountain for Champagne is terrible, because it
pops all the bubbles.
Clear plastic fountains can be bought as well. They cost about
$50. They won't have a chiller so you will have to put something
in the punch to keep it cold. Below, the balloons were filled
with water and frozen and the ducks were filled with water
Dry Ice is frozen carbon dioxide (the stuff you
breathe out). You can get it from your local ice company. The
most common use is to put a chunk of it in a punch to get an eerie
foggy effect. It’s best to keep dry ice chunks as large
as possible because you never want to swallow any small chunks.
Also, you never want to store it in an airtight container or touch
it with your bare hands, especially if they are wet. Follow these
simple precautions and you’ll be fine.
To use for smoking luau drinks, put a large chunk
in the bottom of the thick glass then add ice on top of the chunk.
It’s best to shake and strain a drink into the ice rather
than pour room temperature alcohol straight on the ice, melting
how to make a spiked watermelon here.
Buy a gallon of maraschino cherries at a wholesale store.
out half of the juice and save for something else. Now pour in
a bottle of booze and let sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Great choices of booze are; cherry vodka, raspberry rum, vanilla
rum or anything else you want. When you are ready to present,
pour out the liquid and save for something else and display the
cherries in a big bowl stems up.
Just like the cherry bombs, you are going to pour
out half of the juice and marinate the olives for at least 24
hours in gin or vodka. You can add some dry vermouth too. Serve
with plenty of cocktail picks.
To make Jell-O® shots you simply replace the
cold water portion of the Jell-O® box directions with the
You want to pour the mixture into small plastic portion cups.
1-2 ounce cups can be bought in bulk at restaurant supply stores
in your city or online. You can also buy lids making them portable.
have to make some space in your fridge to set the Jell-O®
shots. The cheapest method is to measure the space in your fridge
and cut out cardboard or foam board squares to create a stacking
system; cardboard, layer of shots, cardboard, layer of shots,
cardboard, layer of shots, and so on. As to what kind of Jell-O®
shots to make, well, it’s unlimited only by your imagination.
Most people start with a real drink and then look for the flavors
of Jell-O® and spirits to make them into miniature bite sized
are other great ideas with Jell-O® you can try below. Just
click on the image to go to the Jell-O Lounge.
* Asian Party
* Awards-Hollywood Movie
* Baby Shower
* Beach Party
* Bridal Shower
* Casino Night
* Chinese New Year
In July Party
* Cinco de Mayo
* Clambake-Lobster Boil
* Divorce Party/Break-Up
* Elvis Presley
* Havana Nights
* July 4th
* Kentucky Derby
* Mardi Gras
* Mother's Day
* Movie-TV-Music Awards
* New Year's Eve
* St. Patrick's Day
* Super Bowl-Football
* Wine Party
* Yoga Serenity
Some of these ideas might scream "college frat
party", but keep in mind that often you can
take a cool party idea and transform it into something more on
your level by subtracting and adding certain elements.
Dress Up Parties
You will be known as the hippest party host or hostess
for a long time after this party! Yes, people will think that
they are just supposed to wear the color black, and they will,
but the real fun is when they show up and all the lights are off.
Everyone gets a flashlight or other portable light at the door.
Food stations are dimly lit and the bar works best if it glows
under minimal black lights. The drinks can be garnished with glow
sticks, or if your budget allows, use glowing glassware. The most
important part is to keep the secret until they reach the party.
• Make black drinks with Blavod black vodka. Go to their
website for recipes. Names to bounce around: Dark Side of the
Moonshine Martini, Black Beauty, Black Velvet, and Shot in the
Invitations should be black with black envelopes.
Heaven & Hell Party
People love the dynamics of being naughty or nice,
so give your guests the chance to decide if they’d like
to be a little angel or a little devil for the evening. Your attire?
God of course.
• Drink names for Hell can be: The Devil Made
Me Do It, Lucifer Lemonade, Some Like It Hot, and For the Hell
Of It. Make black Jell-O shots with black vodka and grape
Freeze a block of ice around a bottle of red cinnamon schnapps
then call the shots, When Hell Freezes Over. You can
also make shots of tequila with dashes of Tabasco in them. Call
them Satan Shots.
• Food for Hell can be: Anything hot and nasty
like a bowl of jalapenos, Hot Tamales candy, a gallon of pigs
feet, a gallon of pickled eggs, red hots, etc.
Songs to play for Hell can be: Running with the Devil
from Van Halen, Devil Without A Cause from Kid Rock, Hells Bells
and Highway to Hell from AC-DC, Bat out of Hell from Meatloaf,
Pay the Devil from Van Morrison, Don’t Cha Wish your Girlfriend
was Hot Like Me from Pussycat Dolls, Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot from
Buster Poindexter, etc. Just do a search and you’ll
• Drink names for Heaven can be: Heavenly White
Chocolatini, Touched By An Angel, and Wing Spreader. Maybe
fill a water cooler of White Sangria or rent a Champagne fountain
filled with Ambrosia of sorts. Make Skyy of Clouds Jell-O shots
with Skyy Melon Vodka and Berry Blue Jell-O then top with whipped
cream for the clouds. Freeze a block of ice around a bottle of
Sambuca (first pour out some of the Sambuca and add a little water
and it will turn white). Call the shots, Wings of an Angel
because it will give you wings!
• Food for Heaven can be mini-angel food
cupcakes, whip cream, fresh fruit, Brie, and angel hair pasta
with white sauce.
• Songs to play for Heaven can be: Stairway
to Heaven from Led Zeppelin, Heaven Must be Missing an Angel from
Tavares, Knocking on Heaven’s Door from Guns and Roses,
Playing the Angel from Depeche Mode, Heaven from Jamie Foxx,
etc. Do a search to find hundreds more.
Invitations can be photocopied images of you with
an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Get a friend
with graphic abilities to help. Let your guests know on the invitation
that a full blown out costume is not necessary. Just wearing all
red, all white or something like little devil ears is fine.
If you have a two-level place for the party
then make the first floor Hell and the second Heaven. Basements
work well for Hell too. If you have 3 levels then make the middle
level purgatory. Make a sign for the bottom of the Hell stairway
that says, Stairway to Heaven and one for the top stairway that
says, To Hell and Back. Heaven should twinkle with white lights,
candles, gold and silver. Hell should be mainly black and red.
White Trash Trailer Park Bash
The name says it all and is probably the funniest party around.
You may be a redneck if you blend in with this party and you’re
not wearing a costume!
• Drink names can be: Hillybilly Lemonade,
Shotgun Weddin’Shooters, and Moonpie Martini.
Serve drinks in mason jars, clean mayo jars, sterilized whiskey
bottles, or moonshine jugs. You’ll probably want lots of
• Food can be: cocktail weenies, Moon Pies,
cheese puffs, beef jerky, jar of pickled eggs, and a jar
of pigs feet for reaction.
Run a clothes line outside and inside
the party and attach clothes from the thrift store with clothespins.
If you can, put a car on blocks in the front yard. Pile some bricks
with three holes at the door with a sign that says, Redneck Bowling
Balls. Make a redneck wind chime from beer cans, play country-drinking
songs, and put aluminum foil on your windows. In the backyard
have a fire burning in a 55-gallon drum with hay bales all around.
I Love Party
Invite only people you love. Seriously, when do
you ever get to have all the people you love all together at once
besides a wedding or funeral? At a wedding you are in a high emotional
state and at a funeral you are in a low emotional state. This
can be a great valentine party, but works anytime of the year.
• Drink names can be: Crush on You, Addicted
to Love, Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, and Love
on the Rocks. Pour Tequila Rose in chocolate shot glasses
and set them in the shape of a heart. Make Rose Garden White Sangria
with rose petals as well as the fruit.
Buy half price Valentine stuff after Valentines Day
and save for this party. Have a lipstick kiss contest. Give people
nametags to wear and write what you love about them below their
name to create fun mingling. Put out a box so that people can
write what they love about you and put it in the box. Hire some
actors or comedians to be Aphrodite and Cupid to greet guests
at the door and mingle.
ideas in this Newsletter!
Spin The Night With Us And You Just Might Get Lucky!
• Rent a prize wheel for around $25 at a party
rental store and stick little prizes on it like scratch off tickets,
gift certificates, lotto tickets, etc. and let your guests spin
the wheel to win the prizes! This party is flexible enough to
range from G-rated and above. The wheel can have a truth or dare
edge to it too. It all depends on how tame or wild you want your
• Drink names can be: Between the
Sheets, Silk Panties, Midsummer Night Dreamcicles, Get Lucky,
and Wet Dream. Make Life is Bed of Roses Sangria
and decorate as well as float roses and rose petals in and around
• Serve popcorn and other late night sleep-over
If you can, switch the main room furniture
with beds. If the weather permits, rent more beds for the night
and put them in the backyard and sprinkle them with rose petals
to make them beds of roses.
Maybe have a professional storyteller tell
a story or two. Maybe hire a circus act that lies on a bed of
nails. Hire an actress to play Little Bo Peep to constantly look
for her sheep so she can count them. Butcher paper a Dream
Wall and have people write their dreams. Paper another wall
and call it a Nightmare Wall and let people write what
would be a nightmare for them. Take the lipstick kiss idea from
the People I Love Party and call it a Goodnight Kiss
a color and build a party around it. The most popular are white,
pink, red, and black.
& Ho Party:
Hand out fake money to the guys and the Ho with the most money
at the end of the party wins a prize. This party is rated from
PG to X.
& Tart Party:
Priests, Tarts, Monks and Catholic Schoolgirls.
Invite your guests to make each piece of clothing that they wear
a different color. The goal at the end of the night is to be wearing
all one color from exchanging all night.
Single and available people wear green, yellow; means maybe, and
red means you're taken.
Surf Pros and Beach Bunnies, Jocks &
Cheerleaders, Golf Pros & Tennis Ho’s, CEO’s &
Office Ho’s, G.I. Joe’s & Patriotic Ho’s.