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Our family has a fantastic tradition- the Ludwig Family Drink Competition. Cocktails (and mocktails for those who would prefer drinks with less edge) are pitted against each other in four categories- taste, originality, presentation and a ‘bonus’ category that varies seasonally (“christmas cheer” in the wintertime, for example).
In a grand effort to include more people in this yummy beverage-y glory, we decided to host a Cocktails & Mocktails Farewell to Summer party at our house this weekend. Guests brought appetizers, desserts and all sorts of delicious libations.
just for this party: tons of twinkle lights, candles in hurricane lanterns, more candles (in mason jars), cocktail fans (these were also used as writing surfaces for the judging sheets), felt cocktails bags (tutorial to come), signs propped up in mini-tubs of playdough (more on this to come as well)
food: we asked guests to bring an appetizer or a dessert to share and the results were buffet tables brimming with crackers, cheese, bruschetta, veggies, dips, brownie bites, mini cheesecakes, fruit, 4 kinds of hummus (!?!) and all sorts of other goodness (wish I’d remembered to take my camera over)we also put together a popcorn bar featuring classic popcorn, kettlecorn and chile lime popcorn (and paper cones… I’ll show you my supersimple papercone stand sometime soon!)
I also tried out these see through, superfancy windowpane potato chips by cooking light (aren’t these fun? the recipe doesn’t seem to be up yet at cooking light, but I’ll pass on the link when it is…)
drinks: the lineup included: Dark Chocolate Blackberry Sorbet, Ginger Mojito, Summertime Cool Punch, Melon Mountain Majesty, Panty Dropper, Summer Lovin’, Cosmo Tart, Blueberry Ginger Mojito, Summer in a Glass (winner of Best Presentation), Brandy Slush (winner of Best Overall Drink), Summer Brew, Caipirinah, Dirty Monkey (winner of Best Classic Cocktail), and Move Over Skinny Girl… I can’t describe the overall deliciousness- glory, I tell you! I’ll try to share some of the fabulous recipes in the coming weeks.
Besides the beverage offerings from our guests, we made homemade limeade and homemade gingerale… though, if you want to put one of these parties together, I think having pitchers of water would be fine. The cocktail competition offerings really take center stage and now kimiko and I have a ton of gingerale/limeade left in our fridges!
favors: booklets of the drink recipes we sampled, attached at the corner with a brad prizes: the fabulous, spraypainted, repurposed formula-can-plus-martini-glass trophy went to the kinsella’s and their Brandy Slush; Best Classic Cocktail (Matt Meyers with his “Dirty Monkey” tropical umbrella drink) took home ginger flavored rimming sugar, as did Best Presentation (my very own mom and dad with their “Summer in a Glass” gorgeousness)
I think this was my favorite party of the summer! There are a couple weeks of warm weather left- if you have a free weekend coming up, you should try this out!