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Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Mixologists Share Tips for Setting up a Home Bar for the Holidays

Expert advice from these cocktail connoisseurs will have holiday hosts feeling at home behind the bar

Thursday, December 1, 2016 9:00 am EST

.@sgwinespirits #mixologists offer tips to make #holiday hosts feel at home behind the #bar

MIAMI & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (“Southern Glazer’s”) — the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company — tapped into the expertise of its top mixologists to offer some tips for setting up a home bar for holiday entertaining. From the latest holiday cocktail trends to tricks of the trade, these tips will help any host tend bar like pro and impress holiday guests.

Stock Up on Staples

Make sure to have a selection of base spirits, as well as modifiers and mixers, to satisfy the diverse taste of your holiday guests.

  • Spirits that go down smoothly when the temperature drops, such as aged rum, mezcal, cognac, and rye whiskey, are popular during the holiday season.
  • Keep a few good basics on hand like bourbon, scotch, vodka, light rum, tequila and gin, as well as standard mixers like lemon, lime and cranberry juice, club soda, and tonic water.
  • Modifiers in the form of fortified wines, like sherry, and bitters add dimension and uniqueness to make a cocktail special.
  • Don’t forget to choose a few holiday-inspired favorites, like peppermint schnapps, pumpkin spice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apple cider.

Do the Math and Don’t Run Out

Proper planning and a bit of math will prevent guests from going thirsty. Follow some of these basic guidelines to help keep the party going.

  • Five liters of spirits works for 25 people, then double accordingly for parties of 50 or 100.
  • One pound of ice per person is a good rule of thumb.
  • One 750ml bottle will make 12 to 15 cocktails.
  • When making a punch, 25 guests will require 200 to 250 ounces of liquid.

Bring the Hottest Bar Trends Home

Homemade punches and classic holiday cocktails are all the rage.

  • With a large format punch, guests can serve themselves so the social host doesn’t get stuck behind the bar. Try this formula for mixing up a unique batched concoction – four parts strong (base spirit), three parts weak (ice for diluting), two parts sour (something acidic like citrus), and one part sweet (sugar or alternative). Then top off a punch with sparkling wine or soda to meld all the flavors and maintain the cocktail’s integrity even when filled with ice.
  • A traditional Tom and Jerry cocktail or eggnog will put guests in the holiday spirit. Or surprise and delight guests by using an alternative spirit in a classic recipe like substituting brandy for whiskey in an Old Fashioned or Manhattan.

Raise the Bar with the Right Tools

A basic bar kit and the right mix of glassware is key to setting up a home bartender for success.

  • The following are the essentials to execute any kind of cocktail: shaker, strainer, bar spoon, jigger, mixing glass, muddler, ice tongs or scoop, ice bucket, peeler, paring knife, cutting board, and bar towel (things get wet!).
  • Every type of drink requires the right vessel to maximize its potential. These glassware types will cover most home bartenders’ basic needs: Rocks, Double Rocks, Highball/Collins, Coupe, Martini, and of course, wine glasses and flutes.

Impress Your Guests with Tips from Our Pros

The more adventurous home bartender can try one of these inside tips from Southern Glazer’s mixology team to hit a home run with holiday guests.

  • Make a unique homemade cocktail syrup out of a tea instead of simple syrup. Steep a favorite flavor in hot water for 5 minutes, remove the tea bag and add an equal amount of sugar to water.
  • Serve guests a vermouth over a large ice cube before the meal or during appetizers as an aperitif (and remember to refrigerate vermouth or it will turn into vinegar if left out!).
  • Try barrel aging or bottled cocktails with equipment easily available for purchase online.
  • Freeze edible flowers in ice cubes for a festive punch bowl presentation.
  • Consumers can mimic new ice formats available in the hippest bars – from large cubes to spheres – by purchasing different molds and using quality water. For crushed ice, invest in a Lewis Bag and mallet.
  • Making flavored ice, by freezing juices like watermelon or pomegranate, or freezing mint or cucumber in ice cubes, adds an element of craft bartending to a home party.
  • Always have one or two large format prepared cocktails (punch, batched margarita, etc.) prepared for guests as they arrive so they don’t have to wait for a custom drink if the host gets busy.

The Number One Tip

As holiday party hosts are making merry, always remember to enjoy Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits products responsibly and encourage guests to do the same.

Southern Glazer’s employs 15 Master Mixologists across North America, responsible for educating bartenders, beverage buyers, and corporate clients about the latest trends in cocktail culture. Michelin star chefs, national restaurant chains, international hotels, and top spirits brands rely on Southern Glazer’s expert Mixologists to help them develop world-class beverage programs that raise the bar for today’s demanding consumers. Southern Glazer’s Mixologists hold multiple certifications from accredited organizations such as the U.S. Bartenders Guild, BarSmarts, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, Society of Wine Educators, and the Cicerone Certification Program, to name a few.

About Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, and the preeminent data insights company for alcoholic beverages. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits and on Facebook at


Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits, LLC
Lee Brian Schrager, Office: 305-625-4171, ext. 1040 or Mobile: 786-417-5164
Senior Vice President, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility
Cindy Haas, Office: 305-625-4171, ext. 1166 or Mobile: 786-498-7640
Senior Director, Public Relations

Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits

1600 N.W. 163rd Street

Miami, FL 33169

Phone:(305) 625-4171

14911 Quorum Drive, Ste. 150

Dallas, TX 75254

Phone:(972) 392-8200

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