Unexpected, Last Minute Guests Coming Over? This has happened to me many times so a few months ago, I vowed to be mostly prepared and stock up on my hosting essentials. What are they? Well, for starters, snacks and bites are a must have, bottled water, sparkling if I find a good deal on them, La Croix’s work great as well, fruit juices, sodas, wine, beer, and at least 2 different types of hard liquor on hand. I try to always have a dark and a light option on hand to cater to each pallet, vodka usually wins the light and whisky the dark. I came up with my hosting essentials by studying my friends and family and paying attention to their overall likes. I would suggest you do the same so you don’t buy things that aren’t going to get eaten, or end up with half opened drinks and half sipped cocktails….I dislike people who waste cocktails by the way, disrespectful! LOL
I Don’t Always Have Time To Prepare A Cadillac Margarita On The Fly so I simplified my cocktail prepping process for my unexpected guests and narrowed my ingredients down to mixers I would already have on hand. I knew this would make my life easier and I know that it will make yours easier as well. Before we get started however, I do want to note that with all of these mixers, I recommend using one to one ounce and a half of vodka per cocktail, just depends on how strong you like it. Let’s jump right into the list…
#1. Perrier or La Croix
Super easy to prepare and you get to kill two birds with one stone: buzz and hydrate. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Perrier or La Croix, they are sparkling waters. Both brands have flavored sparking waters which gives the perfect twist to your vodka mixer. Simply add 1 ounce of vodka on hand into a medium sized glass tumbler, add Perrier and fill the glass to the top. gently stir and squeeze in a quarter of a lime and serve. I also have used flavored La Croix instead of Perrier and it gives it a perfect and subtle hint of flavor. (My favorite is the kiwi watermelon flavor, hold the lime).
I’m talking about cold teas, Iced teas, peach tea, berry tea, mint tea, the teas are endless! My favorite is a cold mint tea with a teaspoon of agave nectar, and half a lemon….yummm! Not only is it refreshing, but it’s low cal as well so your friends and fam can drink it guilt free. I recommend these teas unsweetened though or teas that are naturally sweet; That’s just my personal preference but feel free to drink it as you would like. If the tea is already sweet though, hold the agave nectar. This will make it overly sweet you won’t like it, and your guests won’t like it. Trust me.
I know what you’re thinking, vodka cranberry? Boring right? Well wrong! I add a splash of strawberry flavored Perrier to it and trust me, it will change your life! Try it and you will see. You will have everyone guessing and wondering what you put in their drink.
#4. Aloe Juice
I have had an obsession lately with Aloe water and juices and one day, I decided to add Vodka and it was an Aloe cocktail match made in heaven. Depending on the flavor of Aloe juice I have on hand, I sometimes use a martini glass, sugar the rim of my glass which really gives it a fancy touch; makes it seem like I tried a little harder and really put in the work. Not only does the presentation of the cocktail looks better, but it tastes good as well. Peach aloe is a good one that a sugared rim compliments well. If I don’t sugar the rim, I opt for a skinny highball glass.
#5. Ginger Ale
I have tried mixing Vodka with ginger ale that actually has ginger in it (not all ginger ales do FYI) and it’s crisp and refreshing. If you have berries on hand, I recommend muddling them at the bottom of the glass, add vodka, top glass with ginger ale, add your favorite stir stick, and call it a day!
My recommendation is to be creative with what you have and experiment when you have spare time. That way you can rule out the cocktail combos that didn’t turn out so great but also perfect the ones that have potential! Cheers! And Happy Cocktails!