Every experienced hostess knows one of the best ways to make your guests feel comfortable when they arrive in your home is to have a self-serve drink station set out. This can be a simple as a bottle of open wine and a bottle of sparkling water or as involved as a full spread of liquors and mixers. For a large family gathering, a shower or a festive dinner party we love to set up a Prosecco Bar.
Prosecco is an Italian light sparkling white wine like French Champagne but at a quarter of the price. A nice bottle of Prosecco will cost you about $7-$10 (we love Zonin Prosecco available at Trader Joe’s.) Arrange a few bottles of Prosecco in an ice bin with an array of sorbets and juices and invite your guests to mix to their hearts’ desire. Set out champagne flutes and lots of tall spoons or stirrers, cocktail napkins and mini ice cream scoopers for the sorbet. Don’t forget sparkling water for guests to mix with juices and sorbets for an non alcoholic version!
Mixers– Choose a few different sorbets, juices and maybe a flavored syrup for your guests to play around creating their perfect fizzy cocktail.
Sorbets– A mini scoop of sorbet in a chilled glass of prosecco dissolves to flavor the drink and keep it chilled. Just make sure to add the prosecco first and the sorbet second—sounds counterintuitive, we know — or you’ll have a mess on your hands.
Fresh squeezed orange or tangerine juice
Fresh Squeezed Lemonade lemonade
Sparkling Italian sodas (blood orange or lemonade works well)
Fresh or frozen peach puree (You can order white peach puree for a classic bellini or try Ina’s recipe or use Looza brand peach nectar )
Fruit Garnishes– Fresh raspberries and whole strawberries
Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup– see our recipe below
Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup
Makes 2-1/3 cups
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar
Full 1 cup water
1 cup of fresh Meyer lemon juice (you can substitute 2/3 a cup fresh lemon juice and 1/3 a cup of orange juice to replicate the flavor of the Meyer lemon)
Combine the sugar and water in a nonreactive 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. All the sugar crystals should completely dissolve. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean medium-size bowl. Let cool completely before using. Simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator, indefinitely, if kept in an airtight container. Makes 2-1/3 cups.
Combine 2/3 a cup of simple syrup with 1 cup fresh juice and pour into large squirt bottle or pitcher. Chill until ready to use.
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