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How To: Make a No-Brainer Cocktail

Food, How To, EntertainingLibby RasmussenComment

So in spite my bar cart being one of my favorite pieces of furniture in my home, I tend to keep a pretty light stock of alcohol.  And if it's one thing I've learned about hosting, it's that your guests are rarely there when you have perfect flowers blooming, or the right cocktail garnishes and fixings.  So, enter the solution, and one-stop-wonders of the two ingredient cocktail.
Yes, two. 

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So, maybe you're like me and aren't always fully stocked up on well, the good stuff.  Here are a few tips to remember for the future when you're scrambling to put something together. Try to always have a bottle of champagne. Why? Because when you're lacking in the booze department, spritzers, Bellinis, mimosas, you name it, these. are. your. friends. More times than not, you're going to have a juice in your fridge and using it to top off your bubbles is a great option to a complicated cocktail. But, also, don't underestimate your liqueur like; St. Germain, Campari, or Aperol.  All of the above are great ways to add a little extra specialty to your cocktails. And most importantly, portable cocktails are a lifesaver. They're all great, whether it's canned wine and these cute mason jar cocktails or pictured below, Element Shrubs.  There are tons of great options that help you craft your own drinks. 

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Below, I used the Honeydew Jalapeno element shrub and a little vodka, with a hint of fresh jalapeños to whip up a quick drink for a friend! 

So What About Garnishes? 

Citrus: Every time I go to the grocery store, I try to get a bag of clementines, lemons, and limes. When in reality, I typically end up eating more of the clementines, using some of the limes, and maybe all of just one measly lemon before I have to throw the remaining out
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Jalapeños: Spicy alcohol is the best. This is a fact.  And if you don't believe me, then you're not experimenting with your alcohol enough and I encourage you to step outside your vodka soda snoozefest.  I mean, even think about how good a vodka soda would taste with a few slices of spice.  Yum.  Spicy margs, spicy mules, spicy bloodies. The list goes on and on.  Even with a fruity, bubbly bevvie, the kick adds just the right amount of interest to make your bottled-booze taste like a craft cocktail. I snagged a few of these peppers from a new friend's roof at the Apollo a few weekends ago.  He's lucky enough to have a small garden up there with a very very generous amount of jalapeños. Yum! 

On the plus side, most, but not all, of the time, I typically have plenty of garnishes when need be for cocktails. But, the greenery poses a problem. 

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Herbs: This is where I fall short, I rarely have fresh mint, basil, or rosemary sprigs in the fridge because, we all know this. They go bad so quickly! Which is really such a shame considering most herbs grow like, well, WEEDS outside.  My goal for this year is to try to keep a few herb plants in my apartment for fresh garnishes for cocktails and food dishes. Another thought, walking over to my local community garden and picking some myself... 

Edible Flowers: Obviously this is even less obtainable than having fresh herbs ready 24/7 in your fridge. But, I am encountering more and more edible floral options here in DC. Local farmers markets: DuPont, Bloomingdale, Columbia Heights even, have edible flowers for sale at their markets on Saturdays and Sundays.  Or in this case, you could pull a me and pluck some from the rooftop of your apartment.  

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And all of that other cute shit.

Stir Sticks: A few weeks ago I received these darling tropical bird wooden swizzle sticks from Shelby herself, from Shelby Dillon Studio.  They are hand carved and painted so everyone at the party knows which tropical bird represents their cocktail. So cute. 

Coasters: While the coasters pictured above were a thrift-gift, I have some coasters from The Blush Label that I love and use on the reg.  Here are some of my favorites. (use the code: Libby15 to get 15% off!) 
 

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Photographer: Kara Schab, Right Foot Creative