5 Ways to Elevate your Homemade Cocktails

Hosting can be a stressful affair, especially when a bunch of strangers are coming into your home expecting you to put on an event entertaining enough for it to be worth it to leave their house; it's not an easy task today. There are some tricks to help you, as a host, get your guests to loosen up and feel welcomed into your home, and the main trick is alcohol. Most people travel anywhere in the name of alcohol, but if you really want to wow them, there are some ideas we're offering to make sure your guests remember the night... or not. Cocktails can get anyone excited, and we want you to have just as much fun as your guests with these easy tips to elevate your cocktails.

1. Invest in interesting bitters

Bitters has become a fad in the world of bartending over the past fews years even though it's been around for a very long time. When most people think of bitters in cocktails, they think of the Old Fashioned with the classic Angostura bitters, but bitters come in all sorts of flavors that can be really fun to play around with in cocktails. You can either buy or make your own bitters in a multitude of flavors ranging from coffee to chocolate to orange. You can check out our Pinterest page for some bitters cocktails inspiration!

2. Buy a variety of garnishes

A beautiful garnish can surprise your guests making them think that there must be a bartender working your party! Garnishes are amazing for a lot of reasons, some being that they're usually relatively cheap to buy and they're easy to work with. Usually all you have to do is pop in whatever garnish you fancy into the drink, and viola! It's especially easy to garnish cocktails when you buy specific ingredients to use in cocktails, and set aside a little as a garnish. That way you don't have to pick up anything extra from the store. Garnishes can range from an orange slice to a sprig of rosemary and even as easy as adding a cherry on top! Those little moments your guests have looking at a beautifully made cocktail will make for a memorable night.

3. Have a good set of bar equipment

The equipment you use doesn't have to be fancy or expensive by any means, but having the right equipment can make cocktail making a hell of a lot easier. Some tools to invest in for your home bar include:

-shaking glasses



-bar spoon


With these tools, you can make pretty much any cocktail there is and the rest can mostly be improvised. I recommend for shaking glasses to get a metal shaker and a pint glass. That way the pint glass can act as your vessel you muddle and add the ingredients of the cocktail in and you can add the ice and pop the metal shaking glass on top and it seals nice and tight. It also makes the bartending aspect of hosting a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!

4. Create unique ice cubes

Yes, it sounds weird, but you will be surprised at how easy it is to make creative ice cubes and how impressed your guests will be. Bartenders have been doing things to ice cubes in cocktails for a long time mostly because it is so easy and unique. Granted, many of these ice cube ideas will not be able to be mass produced if you have a large party coming over, but it is a little treat you can offer to your special guests. Here are some ideas for creating beautiful ice cubes:

-add flowers in the ice cube tray

-add natural food coloring

-buy different shaped moulds for your ice cubes

The flowers and different colors really brighten the cocktail, especially when the party is taking place outdoors, and the different shapes add a uniqueness to the cocktail. Even pouring a spirit over a large spherical ice cube or a perfect cube shows your guests that you put a little extra effort into their drink.

5. Buy quality spirits!

Obviously, having unique and delicious spirits are going to win the hearts of your guests. People are picky when it comes to their drink, so having quality spirits around helps people know what they want when they come over to drink. There are a lot of people who are purists and want their alcohol unadulterated, and that's where good spirits will help you out. Our Cherry Vodka and Cherry Whiskey are wildly popular and make incredibly delicious and unique cocktails. And for the purists or those who want to stick with the originals, our Ole George Rye Whiskey and True North Rye Vodka are good solo or in those classic cocktails such as Manhattans and Martinis. Depending on your audience or the time of year, you may lean more towards whiskeys and vodkas for warm weather and traditional cocktails, while in the warmer months you may want to kick things up a notch with our rums and gin. Whichever products you choose, there are a plethora of ideas as to how to create beautiful and delicious cocktails in your home.

Check out our Pinterest page to see our original cocktail recipes and inspiration from others.


You can also go to our website to find out more information about us and where to buy your next bottle from Grand Traverse Distillery!



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