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10 Tips For Perfecting Your Holiday Bar

The bar at a holiday party is like a bedroom in an episode of MTV Cribs—it’s where the magic happens. The rest of the venue, to be honest, is more or less unimportant.

So what if you didn’t hang up any tinsel, or you forgot to pick up a spruce at the tree farm? Maybe you didn’t grab enough Doritos? Or maybe you’ve lent all your chairs and convertible sofa to your buddy who wanted to build a human-sized beaver dam, and as a result don’t have anywhere to seat your guests—no biggie. As long as you master the bar area, your holiday bash is guaranteed to be killer. Think you can do that?

Of course not! That’s why you’re here reading this right now (or you misread the headline’s ‘Bar’ for Bra). Don’t worry, we’ve got just what the doctor ordered. Here are ten easy tips for setting up a stellar holiday bar, brah:

Use Hat Toppers to Turn Bottles (and everything else) into Lil’ Santas


Everything becomes instantly festive when wearing a cute little Santa hat, and we mean everything. This was actually proven by science a couple years ago. You got some bottles? Top ‘em. Empty bottles? Top ‘em. Mounted animal heads? Top ‘em.


Serve Grown Up Apple Cider

It goes without saying that the best part of any bar is the drinks which are born from it. We’ve got you covered with a brand-spankin’-new holiday cocktail recipe: the “Apple-Spiced Stoli Mule.” Feelin’ all warm and fuzzy already.

Bust Out Funny Holiday Napkins


The only con to offering your guests humorous holiday napkins is that they won’t actually want to use them—they’ll want to pocket and frame them in an elaborate scrapbook solely dedicated to how awesome your party was.

Step Up Your Ice Game


It’s time to shape up that ice, ice, baby—cubes are for noobs, and yes, I do miss 2005. Pick up some crazy/seasonal ice molds to add a touch of cool to your signature drinks. Bonus tip: add food coloring to coordinate with cocktail colors.

Give ‘Em the Red-Nosed

We lied—we’re actually giving you two holiday cocktail formulas out of the goodness of our hearts (and also, we figured you probably need all the help you can get). Glow up with this Rudolph-inspired recipe.

Get to Know Your Cocktail Herbs and Spices


Most people treat garnishes like some kind of magic pixie dust that makes their Instagram picture look better, which is not only wrong—it’s an abomination. Make sure you really know what’s up with herbs and spices when it comes to what flavors they’ll pair well with, especially holiday-centric ones like cinnamon, vanilla bean, and ginger.

Hang Stockings Full of “Good Cheer”


Let’s be honest, booze is what we really want in our stockings, right? Hang a couple of these behind the bar for a quick way to fill cups. You can even label them by the type of spirit (ie: “VODKA”).

Keep Up Spirits with Holiday Drinking Games


Either team up with your crew to dream up some crazy holiday-inspired drinking games, or look to the web for ideas. When in doubt, there’s always spin the bottle (insert wink).

Pump Up the Jams with a Holiday Playlist

Your friends should be drinking, singing, and dancing at this shindig, so keep a steady stream of holiday jingles on at all times to keep things merry. REPEAT: AT. ALL. TIMES.

Red Cup Party Lights


Glow up and string up these easy DIY red cup lights, because there’s just something about a red cup that screams “Let’s paaaaartaaaayyyy.”

List created in partnership with Stoli Premium Vodka

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HOLIDAY BUZZ: A Cocktail Inspired By Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

You know what is probably 100% inaccurate? The media’s portrayal of the North Pole. It’s a straight-up lie. Of course the elves are hammering and screwing away in the workshop 24/7 (not like that though). Santa’s endlessly scrolling through the Nice/Naughty list on his iPad 27, because he who controls the toys, controls the tech. And Mrs. Claus keeps busy managing her multi-million dollar baking/blogging empire.
Then there are the reindeer—I picture all nine of them hanging out after flying practice at the local bar every Friday. While Donner, Blitzen, and the rest of them are content with a beer or two, Rudolph always goes for a cocktail because he’s the classy one; he doesn’t play those reindeer games.
He’s even got his own original cocktail drink, which we’ve graciously shared below. It has a bit of Campari and Rose to give the drink a deep red color, and a generous amount of Stoli to get that nose even redder. After a few sips, you’ll have your own very shiny nose too.

Photo by Marc Kharrat

The Red Nosed Cocktail
1.5 oz Stoli Vanil
3/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Giffard Pamplemousse Rose
Mint sprig
1)   Stir and serve in coupe glass. Float mint sprig.

Created in partnership with Stoli Premium Vodka

#foodbeast Brand FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss Recipes SPONSORED

HOLIDAY BUZZ: How To Make Grown Up Apple Cider

Apple cider is the ultimate grade school bro’s drink of choice. Come December, they’re swigging mini Martinelli’s near the swing set, or while wreaking NYE havoc with the squad. It’s like clockwork.

There’s no questioning that chugging this liquid gold as kid was bomb, but how about as an adult? Don’t we deserve a cider that gives that warm buzz of the holidays too?

The answer is yes. We accept the drinks we think we deserve, and we definitely deserve this original Apple-Spiced Stoli Mule. It’s got good ol’ apple cider to feed the inner child, and Stoli so that we can drink. Check out the instructions below to make one of your own:

Photo by Marc Kharrat

Apple-Spiced Stoli Mule
2.0 parts Stoli Vanil
2.0 parts Apple Cider
2.0 parts Stoli Ginger Beer
Apple slice, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks

Build over ice in a mule mug and garnish with an apple slice, grated fresh cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick.

Created in partnership with Stoli Premium Vodka