How to Craft the Perfect Locally Sourced Cocktail Party

All we want for Christmas is booze, Get into the Christmas Spirit(s)

Whether your holiday party is a casual get together with friends before heading home for the holidays, a haphazard mix of people you barely know in a city you just moved to, or you’re meeting your partner’s parents for the first time—it’ll be a lot more enjoyable with alcohol.

But not just any alcohol. Instead of your run of the mill wine and vodka sodas—elevate your cocktail party into a locally sourced, cheese board-having, cocktail soiree (much fancier) with the help of Straightaway Cocktails.

Maple Old Fashioned

To get the party started, you’re going to serve your guests Straightaway Cocktails’ new fall classic: the Maple Old Fashioned. Grab some cocktail glasses that match the vibe of the drink—think campfires, autumn leaves, maple syrup, a flannel-clad man with a beard drinking bourbon in a log cabin…you get it. Next, place one of those big fancy ice cubes in each glass—which you made in advance because who just has those readily available—and pour the savory, apple goodness over top. Each bottle makes about 12 cocktails. The warm, buttery flavor will satisfy the bourbon connoisseurs and the “I’m not really a cocktail kind of person” alike—once the ice begins to melt a little, that is.

Before your guests politely inquire about another round, start spinning a jazzy holiday record from Music Millennium—perhaps some Nat King Cole, or Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, depending on the crowd. And you don’t want party-goers drinking on an empty stomach, especially if the potential in-laws are present, so make sure to lead them to your so-perfect-you-almost-don’t-want-anyone-to-touch-it charcuterie board, sitting elegantly atop a handcrafted cutting board from A Joint Effort.

Accompani

If you can’t bear to watch as everyone proceeds to destroy your once-perfect cheese board—play bartender for a while with some Accompani liqueur and vermouth mixers from Straightaway Cocktails. There’s the bracing and bitter Crimson Snap, the floral Blue Dorris, the aromatic Sweet Vermouth, the herbal Flora Green, the rich Coffee Liqueur, and the real life of the party, the Mari Gold—all of which pair wonderfully with your alcohol of choice. Or, if you’re not too confident about your bartending instincts, Straightaway has plenty of recipes on their site. Try your hand at a Spritz Veneziano with Mari Gold and sparkling white wine, an Aviation made with gin and Blue Dorris, or try your hand at the viral Negroni Sbagliato with Sweet Vermouth. And if you really want to pretend that you know what you’re doing, break out some professional-grade barware from Portland’s own Bull in China.

Once everyone’s a few drinks in, you’ll realize that cheese, crackers and booze alone cannot sustain you and your guests for the rest of the evening. You’ll have a brief moment of panic as you wonder how you possibly could have forgotten to purchase more food for the party. But then, upon opening up the fridge, you discover the array of focaccia sandwiches, cookies, and olive oil cakes that you picked up from Sebastiano’s just hours beforehand. And with that, you also make the executive decision to put your drink down for a while.

Holiday Six Pack Party Set and the Holiday Sipping Sampler Set

As your guests naturally begin to congregate in the living room around the Christmas tree, you decide it may be time to commence the White Elephant-style gift exchange. But you can’t open kitschy and potentially-embarrassing gifts empty-handed; so, you decide to break out the Holiday Six Pack Party Set from Straightaway Cocktails. Depending on everyone’s vibe, they can enjoy a Margarita—featuring the cutest label ever—specially made with Jacobsen Sea Salt and Portland Syrup; a Lintik, made with lemon-infused gin; a Negroni made with Crimson Snap and Sweet Vermouth by Accompani; The Swizzle, a tropical rum libation; a citrus-y Cosmos made with cranberry liqueur; or, they can throw back another classic Maple Old Fashioned and—oh wow! What a shocking surprise. Between numerous fuzzy socks and questionable items from Spencer’s Gifts, someone opens a Holiday Sipping Sampler Set, essentially a mini version of what you just served, from Straightaway Cocktails. What a crazy coincidence. You wonder what incredible, beautiful genius thought of that.

Winter Wonderland Cocktail Class

At this point in the night, things will start to wind down. The remaining guests are mainly the beer-drinkers, who are streaming a YouTube video on the TV, so you serve them some brews from Portland-taproom, Away Days Brewing Co.

After not so subtly cluing your partner in to the fact that you’d like everyone to go home now—all that’s left is to give your partner their gift. Well, it’s for both of you really. Two tickets to Straightaway Cocktails’ seasonally themed Cocktail Classes. At the class, you’ll learn how to make four cocktails made with Straightaway’s Accompani liqueur and vermouth products. Well, your partner will. You’re already pretty much a master by now. But at least you’ll get to flex your mixology skills.