Thursday, December 31, 2009


If you’re invited to dinner, arrive within five minutes of the time on the invitation, no later.
The cocktail hour should be just that—one hour—preferably less, just long enough for the guests to arrive, have a drink, and become accustomed to the group. Letting the alcohol flow on endlessly is rude, unsafe, and unhealthy, and too much to drink ruins your taste for the meal.
If you’re serving hard liquor, keep the choices simple. All you need are gin, vodka, bourbon, scotch, club soda or mineral water, soft drinks, fruit juice, and tonic. You can go the extra mile and provide garnishes, such as fruit, green olives, and pearl onions, but they are not necessary.
It’s fine to set up a self-service bar. Remember that people are consuming less alcohol and caffeine these days, so stock some nonalcoholic drinks and caffeine-free colas.

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