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Stocking Up
By Stephanie Mantello

Intro | Spirits | Mixers | Other Goodies | Servitude

Sparkling wine makes any occasion special and is a mixer for one of the only drinks you can legitimately have before noon: mimosas! Champagne , made only in France , is elegant on its own, but look for sparkling wines, Cava from Spain , or Prosecco from Italy for low-priced options that are perfect for mixing and sipping.

Chilled white wines are wonderful in warm weather and with light foods. While Chardonnay is probably the first type to come to mind, check out some lighter, food-friendly white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc especially if you'll be eating seafood.

Red wines vary drastically. A lighter, less complicated wine such as Beaujolais can be matched with a variety of appetizers and snacks, but whenever possible go for the perfect pairing, like Italian Sangiovese with salami, olives, and cheese.

Variety is the spice of life! Tastes vary drastically from light lagers to heavy stouts. If a variety pack or mixed case is available, it's a safe bet to please a group. Also, there are great local brews popping up everywhere, so support the home team and stock a beer that has local character. Or try a foreign brew like unique Belgian beers.

This is the fun stuff! Some of these ingredients are essential to a drink (a martini with a twist wouldn't be the same without a twist!), but most are for decoration, so have fun with it! And don't forget the ice!

  • Olives
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Twists of lemon and lime rinds
  • Colored sugar and course salt (for the rims of glasses)
Bright Idea: Buy reusable glass or plastic stir sticks in cool colors or a fun theme. They add a festive touch to a party and can be used again!

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