How To Choose Specialty Party Cocktails Between Seasons

If you're planning a party, preparing a crowd-pleasing drink is one of the key steps. While there are many rules for choosing the appropriate cocktail, one of the more pressing concerns is the weather. An event that falls in one of those strange fluxes of seasons can be hard to prepare drinks for and can affect the mood of your guests and the overall vibe of the party. So what's a great host to do in the face of odd weather? 

Our advice is to plan a summery cocktail that is cool and bright for balmy nights and a bolder drink that can warm your guests on a dampened evening. Although this seems like a lot of work, it won't be if you know how to use one ingredient in multiple ways. Most standard liqueurs can be used in a plethora of cocktails, but there are a few spirits and wines that are less versatile than others. Effervescent wines, for example, are definitely more appropriate for summer nights, while hard liqueurs like gin and whiskey can be used in just about any context. So even if you really want to prepare a rosé sangria, try to purchase drinks that will work for any party, rain or shine.

Choose a liqueur that can be served hot or cold

For example, if you buy coffee liqueur and vodka, you'll have the option of making a cozy White Russian in case the weather turns chilly; or you could go spring break style and shake up espresso martinis. Both options use vodka and coffee liqueur, yet one is known for being a fall and winter drink, while the other is more appropriate for events held in the warmer months.

Love caffeine but hate vodka? Go the Irish Coffee route, which is even easier to shop for since it's made with Irish whiskey, hot coffee, and cream — ingredients you might already have in the house. If it's sunny out, you can make an Irish sour with Irish whiskey, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Or opt for a classic cocktail and prepare a hot toddy (whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and a cinnamon stick), which suits colder evenings. Another option is to buy a bottle of shochu, which is a lighter spirit that can be enjoyed as a highball or mixed with boiling water (oyuwari). The possibilities are endless if you buy ingredients that can be used in different contexts.