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Making Cocktails For a Group While Traveling

The entire Praxis team got together in Charleston for a few days of caffeine-fueled work last week. I was in charge of two meals and cocktails for our evening brainstorming sessions. I needed cocktails that:

  1. Are easy to make. Waiting for drinks is no fun.
  2. Have common ingredients that you can source at most liquor stores.
  3. Will appeal to 10 people with varying tastes.
  4. Are budget friendly (i.e. a few bottles that can make multiple cocktails).
  5. Don’t need a shaker or strainer.

Our rental house had rocks glasses and an ice machine, but no juicer, strainer, or shaker. I threw my favorite jigger in my bag right before I left, so I was covered there.

I went to the local liquor store and bought Bourbon, Sweet Vermouth, Campari, simple syrup, and orange bitters.

With these ingredients, I could make:

I chose these cocktails is that they are all stirred, can be built in the glass, and suit a variety of tastes (bitter, sweet, complex). None of these cocktails need squeezed juices, which saved us time and energy.

When it came time to make drinks and do our marketing/branding brainstorm session, half of the crew wanted Old Fashioneds and half wanted Boulevardiers, three of whom had never had Campari before. Nothing makes me happier than introducing people to amaro for the first time!

I lined the glasses up on the table in two groups and built each drink right in the glass. For Old Fashioneds, I added bitters and simple syrup to each glass, filled the glasses with ice, then added bourbon and stirred. For the Boulevardiers, I added bitters to each glass, filled them with ice, added the vermouth, Campari, and bourbon, then stirred. A coworker helped me serve everyone at the same time so no one’s ice melted while they were waiting for someone else to have a drink. The whole process took less than five minutes.

Here we all are:

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