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At-home cocktail nights are the latest internet trend we can’t get enough of.

Thanks to lockdown, at-home mixology is having a moment. While we are all anxious to return to our favourite cocktail bars and pubs, in the meantime we’re enjoying mastering the art of creating the perfect cocktail at home. Whether it be for girl’s night or date night, planning a cocktail night at home is the perfect solution to battling the COVID-19 blues.

 

Not to be confused with a cocktail party, a cocktail night is all about the competition!

 

Each participant is in charge of making their own unique cocktail to present to the group, who then judges it based on creativity, taste, and presentation. Looking to raise the stakes? Have each loser promise to buy the winner a cocktail when bars fully reopen!

 

Since taste and presentation are the stars of the show, you’ll want to be prepared.

 

As host, make sure to have on hand:

  • Basic bar equipment. We recommend a shaker, muddler, jigger, strainer, bar spoon, juicer, knife, and cutting board
  • Ideally have a few shapes and sizes on hand
  • You will be judged on creativity, taste, and presentation.
  • Plenty of ice! To act like the pros, we recommend our Variety Box, which can be purchased on Amazon and includes Ice Balls, Ice Pillars, Rock Ice Cubes, Ice Tumblers, and Fruits & Flower Cubes.

Have each individual find a cocktail recipe in advance and bring ingredients to make a drink for each participant!

A step-by-step of how it works:

  1. Find a cocktail recipe and gather materials. Remind each participant to bring ingredients to make their specialty cocktail.
  2. Make it pretty! Presentation is a category on the scorecard.
  3. Be prepared to explain your cocktail to the group.
  4. After serving your cocktail to everyone, it’s time to vote. Categories include creativity, taste, and presentation.

Want to take your competitive side to the next level? Inspired by the TV show Chopped, have each participant bring four mystery ingredients that could be used to make a cocktail. Ideally, you want a juice, carbonated beverage, herb/fruit, and liquor. These will make up your basket items.

 

Next, assemble a few pantry items such as sugar, salt, simple syrup, and liqueurs. These items can be accessed to enhance the basket items if needed.

 

After you assemble the ingredients, make sure your cocktail kitchen is in order! You will want to provide a cocktail shaker, muddler, jigger, strainer, bar spoon, juicer, knife, cutting board, glassware, and plenty of ice! Since ice is essential for any good cocktail, we recommend purchasing ice from the Icebox. Our high-quality clear ice will melt more slowly, which will vastly improve the taste and presentation of your at-home bar creations!

 

Now on to the fun part – each participant then receives one alcohol and three mixer items from the basket at random. All ingredients must be used in the cocktail. Then, set a time limit for making the cocktail. We recommend 10 to 15 minutes. The challenge is to make an unforgettable drink from these mystery ingredients before time runs out.

 

Finally, have judges score based on creativity, taste, and presentation, and determine who has made the best cocktail. Bonus points for an original drink name! Depending on the number of participants, feel free to host multiple rounds to determine who is the UK’s Next Top Bartender!

 

Optional adjustment (if published post lockdown) – Thanks to the past year spent in lockdown, perseverant drinkers across the UK decided to try their hand in at-home mixology. To celebrate mastering the art of creating the perfect cocktail at home, host a cocktail night and impress your friends (or date) with your newly discovered skills.