Raise the Bar

Why go out for cocktails? Set up service on Saturday afternoon  and play bartender Saturday night. With these ideas, friends might even leave you a tip.

Coastal Bar

Jean Allsopp

Convert a potting bench into a chic drink stand with just a few coats of paint, some tin, a galvanized bucket, and casters. Dedicate a few hours to this project and you'll soon be hosting friends at a surfside cocktail party.

Tools of the Trade
Senior Editor Julia Rutland shares her bar essentials.

Glassware: old-fashioneds, highballs, martinis, and wineglasses. Margarita and pint glasses are optional. For margaritas, just use old-fashioneds, Julia says. And most people drink beer right out of the bottle. If safety is a concern, she suggests using plastic versions for the beach and poolside.

Accoutrements: wine opener, bottle opener, citrus juicer, long-handled spoon for muddling and stirring, cutting board, knife, cocktail shaker, ice bucket and tongs, jigger, and a book of concoctions. Bartenders are only as good as their tools, Julia says. And the most important tools are good recipes.

Mixers and Garnishes: ginger ale, sparkling water, vermouth, superfine sugar, salt, cranberry juice, grenadine, Tabasco, bitters, Worcestershire sauce, olives, cocktail onions, cherries, mint, lemons, and limes


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