Throwing a cocktail party — a nice, adult party, rather than the kind you threw in college — takes planning. How much ice do you buy? Should you have a big-batch cocktail ready? Which liquors should you have handy?
After two years of researching and testing cocktail recipes and strategies, cocktail enthusiasts and siblings Andre and Tenaya Darlington thought they had the answers. So they wrote a book called "The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks," which comes out April 26 (Running Press, $22).
Here are five reasons (besides all the pretty pictures) you should check it out:
1. There's a section on how to host a party with three basic bottles. So even if you can't spring for the entire top shelf at BevMo!, you can still throw a respectable cocktail party.
2. There's an explanation on how to plan drink proportions. In other words, this will help you figure out how many drinks you should plan for each person, and how many cocktails you'll be able to make from a bottle of booze.
3. The book will help you figure out how much ice you need. This will prevent someone from having to find a designated driver and leave in the middle of the party to get more ice.
4. So you've decided on serving vodka martinis at your party. But how do you know which brand to buy? There's a list of suggested brands for basic liquors and cordials.
5. There are, of course, recipes for basic cocktails, classic cocktails and not-so-basic-cocktails. There's also a chapter called "no-fail cocktail ratios" and another called "flavor thesaurus," designed to help readers create their own drinks. If you know the basic ratio of base liquor to sour and sweet, you can come up with your own drink. And in the flavor thesaurus, there's a chart that includes basic ingredients, and which flavors and base alcohols to use with them.
If we need more ice, not it! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Jenn_Harris_