• Insider Tips on Serving Cocktails to Groups

     
    POSTED March 4, 2019
     
  • Insider Tips on Serving Cocktails to Groups

     
    POSTED March 4, 2019
     

Z BAR, the globally inspired cocktail lounge atop The Peninsula overlooking Michigan Avenue, offers customized batch cocktails for groups in an upscale, but relaxed atmosphere. The individual responsible for dreaming up and preparing these communal beverages is Vlad Novikov, who’s official title is director of cocktails and culture. Novikov’s travels frequently inform his mixology.

“One example is the Paralia—which combines the ancient Greek spirit mastiha with lemon verbena, peach and tsipouro, another Greek liquor—inspired by my love for Greece,” he says.

When it comes to making cocktails for groups, Novikov recommends keeping these three things in mind:

1. ALTERNATIVES
Novikov warns that no matter how balanced or widely appealing a group cocktail is, chances are someone won’t like it. He advises keeping a variety of alternatives on hand, including a light-bodied lager, a sparkling wine and a seasonal nonsparkling wine.

2. CIRCUMSTANCES
Factors like time of day, location and group composition should be taken into consideration when deciding how many cocktails to order. “People will probably consume less on a weekday than a weekend, or a Saturday brunch compared to a Saturday night,” Novikov says. Generally, he recommends planning on about two servings per guest.

3. APPROACHABILITY
Novikov says it’s best to stick to mild, popular flavors when creating a drink for multiple people. In his experience, fresh fruit juices go over well, while spirit-forward options like martinis and manhattans do not.

Novikov’s go-to drink for groups is a punch called The Disco Fever (available at Z Bar). For this beverage, a mixture of Absolut Elyx, Champagne, lemon and mandarin and passion fruit juices is topped with edible flowers and served in a disco ball.

Who says you can’t have a meeting without some pampering mixed in? Several hot springs resorts in the U.S. Mountain West can accommodate smaller meetings complete with lodging, function space, din- ing and soaking. Some even have on-site spas and other standout features like an ice museum or microbrewery to include on an itinerary.

 

Erase any vision you might have of a dude ranch, especially the “City Slicker” version. For the purposes of this story, let’s use the name ranch resort and picture a big dose of vision and thousands of acres for both herds and people to roam. It’s a fairly different option, but one with similar friendliness and the Western spirit of a dude ranch.

 

To say Wisconsin is having a moment would be an understatement. A statewide renaissance resulting in plenty of new developments, impressive renovations and entrepreneurial ventures has been years in the making and shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.