Meeting friends after work for a quick happy hour can be fun, but having an after work gathering can be even better. Maybe it’s time to watch the entire season of VEEP or catch up on the balcony with snacks and a few choice libations. Hosting a girlfriends’ gathering is a good way to reconnect in a relaxed setting without all the noise.
Here are two drink recipes that are both easy and delicious. Serving both beverages from a pitcher makes it easy for your guests to pour and continue to visit. Pair the drinks with light bites, various cheese selections, and crudités served with delicious flavored dips. Fruit and a fresh salad are also a welcome addition, and finally, a few party tips to start off the night…
Cucumber Gin Spritzer
Courtesy of Celebrate Magazine
- 2 English cucumbers
- 6 cups San Pellegrino Limonata
- 2 cups gin
- Garnish: watercress leaves, cucumber ribbons
- Line a medium sized bowl with cheesecloth, letting excess hang over sides of the bowl; finely grate cucumbers over cheesecloth. Bring edges of cheesecloth together to enclose cucumber and squeeze over bowl to extract juice. (Makes about 1 cup liquid.)
- In a large pitcher, combine cucumber juice, San Pellegrino Limonata, and gin; stir until combined. Serve over ice, and garnish with watercress and cucumber ribbons, if desired.
The Classic Champagne Cocktail
This infusion is easy to make on the fly, and it’s tasty too. Serve in a champagne flute.
Adapted from Champagne Cocktails by David Biggs.
- Sugar cube
- Several dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 ounce cognac or brandy
- Chilled champagne
- Maraschino cherries
- Slice of orange
- Drop a sugar cube at the bottom of a champagne glass.
- Splash a few drops of Angostura bitters over the cube.
- Pour the cognac or brandy into the glass.
- Top off carefully with champagne.
- Garnish with the cherry skewered on a cocktail stick and slice of orange.
Etiquette tips for a girlfriends’ gathering:
- Use the proper glassware – something that makes the occasion feel special.
- Keep your pinkies down when holding your glass or champagne flute.
- When making a toast to the hostess, don’t clink the side of your glass with a utensil to get your friends’ attention.
- No need to clink glasses at all, unless someone reaches out towards you.
- No gossip or drama.
- Keep the conversation as light as a meringue kiss.
- Don’t forget to snack while enjoying your drinks.
- Stay off your cell, and enjoy your friends’ company.
- Offer to help the hostess clean up.
- Don’t overstay your welcome.
For more of Diane’s thoughts on etiquette related topics, connect with her Huffington Post.