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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Basic Alcohol To Have On Hand For The Holidays

Hope everyone had a pleasant Thanksgiving holiday. As I snack on remaining turkey, stuffing, and pies, I am already in the process of planning a Christmas Eve party with relatives which I will be hosting this year. This made me think of not only the appropriate food menu, but confirming there will be plenty of beverages offered for the young and older crowd. While the children’s beverage needs will be easily satisfied with punches and juices, the older group will occasionally indulge in egg nog, holiday punch or soft drinks. But that isn’t always going to appease everyone. It is always good to have a well stocked liquor cabinet for those uncles or cousins that want something a little stronger. The ability to stock enough liquor always comes down to economics. You can spend very little or go full scale. I put together a quick list of what I consider as five essential alcohols to have in stock for a holiday party. Each type of booze ranges in price and quality.
1.       Vodka – So versatile and marries well with just about any juice, tonic, or soda. Keep a bottle of vodka or two handy. It will also be a good idea to have some cranberry juice or orange juice on hand. I usually go with a Svedka for my crowd, since the flavor is pretty decent for the price. If price is no barrier and you have a few drinking straight up, then I would recommend a higher quality Vodka such as Grey Goose.  Also keep some lime wedges handy.
2.       Rum – Dig it Mon! Go with a bottle of light rum and give the party a Caribbean flavor.  Rum goes well with cola, punches, and a host of other mixers such as juices and syrups. I opt for Malibu and it goes for about eighteen bucks a liter.
3.       Tequila – Turn your Merry Christmas into Feliz Navidad with some a bottle of tequila. The choice of tequila you purchase all depends on your guests drinking potential. If the crowd will engage in tequila sunrises or margaritas go with the economical choices such as Cuervo. If you have a rowdy bunch that might want to do a holiday “shot” opt for a smoother reposado such as Cazadores.
4.       Whisky/Bourbon – Some folks like a good down home bourbon to mix with sours, punches or with a little water for sipping. There are some good options out there such as the traditional Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, and Canadian Club. If you know of those looking for a good sipper, then opt for the Kentucky Maker’s Mark or Woodford Reserve.
5.       Liqueurs – The final option for your holiday liquor counter or cabinet might consist of flavored cordials such as Baileys Irish Crème, Kahlua, or Frangelico. These tasty liqueurs go great when blended with coffees or milk over ice.
Aside from these five essential boozes to stock for the holidays, also be prepared to keep a bottle or two of white and red wines as well as plenty of beer.

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