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Category Archives: Party Planning

How to Get Up to No Good–The Proper Way

While perusing some of my fave blogs today I came across my new solemates: Dave and Ravi of Death&Co in Lower East Side Manhattan. Their overall aesthetic and general attitude is right up my ally–just take a peek at their menu and you’ll see what I mean. They offer a limited selection of crazy-good gourmet bar food and a butterflies-in-my stomach inducing drink selection.

Wondering about the name?

Let me give it to you in their own words:

“To those who shun the night, we tip our hat. To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace.”

“In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death. It was thought by some that these were death and company. It’s taken us nearly a century to restore flavor to the drink and class to specialty cocktails […] To those who shun the night, we tip our hat. To those who shine after dusk, we offer a warm embrace. Welcome to the new golden age. Welcome to Death & Co.”

As you can imagine, these purveyors of life’s simple pleasures have a lot to say about stacking the bottles. Today we bring to you a few of Death&Co’s tips on getting up to no good the proper way:

Lesson 1: Reading is Fundamental

Being a good bartender is more than just making good drinks. You have to do your own studying. The essential library includes:

Lesson 2: The Gear

Here are the basic tools you will need to mix near any drink:

  • A shaker set
  • A mixing glass
  • A bar spoon
  • A julep strainer (rounded flat silver with holes)
  • A jigger (for measuring)
  • A juicer
  • A small cutting board
  • A pairing knife (to cut fruit)
  • A muddler
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Lesson 3: The Booze
The two most important spirits to have are Gin (Tom Collins, Martinis, simple fizzes) and Rye (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Sazerac). These may not be the most popular, but they are the most classic. After that you should have rum, vodka, tequila, and sweet & dry vermouth.
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Lesson 4: The Top Ten
You should learn how to make the following 10 classic cocktails which will give you the building blocks for every other drink:
  • Martini
  • Manhattan
  • Sidecar
  • Margarita
  • Daiquiri
  • Old Fashioned
  • Sazerac
  • French 75
  • Negroni
  • Tom Collins
Lesson 5: Shelf Life
  • If it’s 80 proof, it will last. This rule applies to everything other than vermouth, which is a fortified wine and must be refrigerated. Buy the small bottles of vermouth to avoid their turning before use.
  • DO NOT CHILL ANY SPIRITS! That business about keeping vodka in the freezer is a mistake. When you are mixing something over ice, you need a certain amount of water dilution to mellow the booze. If the alcohol is already cold the ice won’t dilute the drink enough, and you’ll get a very high alcohol taste in the drink.

“Do not chill any spirits! […] When you are mixing something over ice, you need a certain amount of water dilution to mellow the booze. If the alcohol is already cold the ice won’t dilute the drink enough, and you’ll get a very high alcohol taste in the drink.”

Lesson 6: Ice
Stay away from bagged ice if you can. The best ice is from your home’s ice cube tray: it’s cold and hard and won’t over dilute the drinks.
If you wanna get real fancy, you can get creative with your ice:
  • Try pouring water into a muffin tins to make large ice chunks for your Old Fashioned.
  • Pouring water into bread pans or baking trays will allow you to chip away and make your own custom ice for each glass you use.

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Lesson 7: Freshness Matters

Never use bottled mixers they sell at the store; JUICE YOUR LEMONS AND LIMES! You can buy $4 Margarita mix and drink a glass of garbage or you can be smart and just buy 4 limes for a buck and juice them.
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Lesson 8: Garnishes
Fresh mint, orance, lemon twists, and lime wedges are enough for the home bar. If it doesn’t add to the drink then don’t add it. When you cut your twists, make sure you don’t get too much pith, or it will be too bitter.
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Lesson 9: Serve It Up
Nice glasses are not the most important thing in the world, but if you want to get it right, you’ll want to have some highballs. It’s also nice to have a set of old fashioned glasses for whiskey boozy drinks. Skip the Martini glass purchase; they are gaudy and spill easily. Rather, let luck come into play and make your own eclectic collection of glasses. Just go to Goodwill or another thrift store as these are the best places to score unique old cocktail glasses.
Let’s get up to no good,

Wedding Paper Divas’ Top Five Party Planning Tips

Wedding Paper Divas’ Top Five Party Planning Tips

Getting up to no good is sometimes easier said than done. Planning a well-organized party with a cohesive theme is no easy feat. But rest assured, today we’re bringing you the top five tips and tricks from the co-founder of Wedding Paper Divas to host a soiree of any style.

Custom Party Invitation by Studio9:05

Custom Party Invitation by Studio9:05

Wedding Paper Divas co-founder and design guru Laura is one for entertaining, and here are her top five tips for your next get-together:

1. No party is complete without an element of surprise. Is it a special theme? A darling party favor? Or my personal favorite? An over-the-top dessert bar.

2. Give guests something to look forward to. A potluck with a certain genre… a specific dress code… getting your guests involved ahead of time is the easiest way to build excitement.

3. Let your invitations inspire your party. Carry out a theme or specific color scheme throughout your decorations, food and party favors to make a polished statement.

4. Make a list and check it twice. Think through each element of your party from start to finish and create a game plan. Do you need to book an outside vendor? Do you have the right serving platters? Have you picked out music to set the tone? Try to think of all the little things ahead of time so you don’t forget a thing.

5. Last but not least, never show up to a party empty-handed. Toast a host with a basket of goodies or something thoughtful you know they’ll enjoy. My go-to gift? Personalized stationery, of course!

via Laura’s Top Five Party Planning Tips « Wedding Style, Planning & Inspiration | the Wedding Paper Divas Blog.

Let’s get up to no good,