Party Girl: Space-Saving Signature Cocktails

It doesn't take a mansion's worth of space to pull off an elegant, well-organized party. What it does take is some advance planning, and careful editing of party provisions to ensure that there's still room for your guests once the food and drink are set up.

One way to keep the bar area streamlined is to offer a signature cocktail in lieu of a full bar.

Focus on seasonal ingredients and themes (light/fruity for summer, warm/spicy for winter), pre-mix ingredients when possible, set out your concoction in a pretty pitcher or glass jar, then let guests help themselves.

A few to try:

Spring: Champagne mojito (champagne, mint, lime)
Summer: White peach sangria (white wine, brandy, triple sec, fruit)
Fall: Caramel apple martini (butterscotch and apple schnapps, vodka)
Winter: Hot buttered rum (rum, spices, honey, butter – yes, in a cocktail!)

Remember to keep the flavors mild and the taste - if not the volume - of alcohol somewhat muted to please your guests' varied palates. This isn't the time to trot out your crazy uncle's tequila martini recipe.

Want more Party Girl? Return next Friday for another smart, simple party trick from the hostess with the most-fun.Or email your entertaining dilemmas to Party Girl.

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