If you’re arranging a gathering for the festive season, it’s not only the food menu that needs attention – a good host doesn’t leave guests with empty glasses! Even if a cocktail party is not specified, it’s only polite and considerate to offer a range of alcoholic and soft drinks to your guests.
Soft drinks in swing top bottles
There are a number of reasons why dinner party guests may want to stick to soft drinks, and some may prefer not to draw attention to the fact. To assuage any delicate sensibilities and to make your job as host a bit more relaxed, consider providing a selection of swing top bottles for guests to help themselves. Consider providing at least cola, lemonade or tonic water and maybe some kind of cordial for guests to serve themselves as they please. Wares of Knutsford sells a range of swing top bottles in various sizes and in both clear or coloured glass, which could be helpful to distinguish between drinks. Alternatively a small plaque hung around the neck of each bottle will help guests find what they are looking for and looks more attractive than a sticky label.
Water in swing top bottles
The one drink that’s possibly even more important than wine at a party is water. It’s useful not only for designated drivers, pregnant guests and possible choking incidents but also to dilute stronger drinks. Go for chilled bottled or filtered water rather than tap water, and think about supplying some carbonated water too. Make sure you lay the table with attractive water glasses and swing top bottles alongside the wine glasses.
Pre dinner drinks should include the usual roster of whisky, gin, vodka and beer, but when it comes to a drink to accompany food it has to be the traditional wine. Choose carefully as the correct wine can enhance and complement your food, while a poor wine leaves a bad taste both literally and figuratively.
It may be a somewhat dated rule, but it makes sense to stick to the traditional rule of white wine with fish, seafood and chicken and red wine with beef or lamb. However making sure the individual flavours complement each other is more important, so consider what you are cooking. As an example, go for something quite sweet to offset spicy food, and something full bodied and spicy with game. If you’re not sure what works best with your menu, visit a good wine shop with details of the food you are serving and ask for their recommendations.