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drinkware

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Adorable Party Supplies at Shop Sweet Lulu

8 oz, round bottles for milk, limonade or other beverages

8 oz. round bottles for milk, chocolate milk lemonade or other beverages

If you wonder where to get these adorable small bottles that are so popular at baby showers and weddings, have a look at Shop Sweet Lulu on Etsy. They also carry the traditional French square bottles.

french square glass bottles and wooden taster spoons for ice cream

Shop Sweet Lulu also sells wooden ice cream spoons, dots and stripes birthday candles, nice striped straws, polka dot party cones and baking cups with cute festive patterns that you can use to serve candies, ice cream as well as cupcakes.

polka dot candy cups

If you need a large number, you may be better to buy your beverage bottles in bulk. I found the square bottles in different formats at SKS Bottle & Packaging.

SOURCING:
+ 8 oz. Round Bottles, $12 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles with a black plastic cap, $16 USD for 4 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ 8 oz. French Square Bottles without caps, $66.36 USD for 84 at SKS Bottle  & Packaging
+ Flat Wooden Ice Cream Taster Spoons $2 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu
+ Polka Dot Candy Cups $4 for 20 at Shop Sweet Lulu

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Cocktail Party Essentials

glamorous drink station

drinkware

Holiday party season is in full swing. Whether you’re hosting family and friends for dinner, neighbours during an afternoon open house or a glamorous New Year’s Eve gathering, consider upgrading your existing bar accessories or invest in these essentials pre-party. A well-appointed bar with all the tools of the trade will help you quench all of your guest’s drink requests.

Stylish Glassware

Even if you’re well-stocked with a variety of glassware styles, these fun and festive options will have your guests lining up to claim their cup. Check department stores for other seasonal options that are likely already on sale.

Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail shakers

A cocktail shaker is essential for creating martinis and other mixed drinks. You can find inexpensive, basic shakers at most kitchen and department stores. Personalize this vintage-inspired shaker from Pottery Barn with a frosted glass monogram. For a statement shaker you’ll want to leave on display, consider this gorgeous, but pricey, stainless steel Bauhaus design by Alessi.

Large Tray or Bar Cart

glamorous drink station

Use a tray, or bar cart to create a serving station and keep bar tools and glassware corralled. You can also re-purpose an existing console table or your dining table for the occasion.

airy modern drink station in white and blue

Style at Home proposed an airy, modern take on the drink station that would be perfect for New Year’s Eve.

Sticks and Picks

Cocktail picks and coasters

Cocktail picks are great for garnishes and do double-duty as stir sticks. My “pick” for a holiday party? This stainless steel set topped with jingle bells from Crate and Barrel.

Coasters

Coasters are a must to protect furniture and other valuables from glassware. There are sets to fit every party theme and decor, from glass to ceramic to pretty letterpressed paper.

SOURCING:
+ Winter Tree Stemless Glassware $25 USD at West Elm
+ Mr. and Mrs. Highball Glasses by Furbish Studio $18 USD (set of 2)
Bauhaus Cocktail Shaker by Alessi $388 USD at Unica Home
+ Hotel Cocktail Shaker $29 USD at Pottery Barn
+ Drink Station by Lulu Powers for Lonny magazine – December 2010 issue – photo by Patrick Cline
Small Space Cocktail Party Planner by Style at Home – photo by Michael Graydon
+ Jingle Bell Picks $10.95 USD (set of 6) at Crate & Barrel
+ Letterpress Coasters by Red Bird Ink $10 USD (set of 4) on Etsy

ENTERTAINING OUTDOOR entertaining

Beverage Dispensers for Summer Entertaining

Horchow is a store where I could always find unique, stylish and practical entertaining supplies. Any of these four beverage dispensers would be great for serving spa water, ice teas and homemade lemonade. The warm colors of the ceramic beverage dispensers would mix well with a cottage setting, a beach party or a casual garden party. The 2.75 gallon beverage server is made of ceramic with a glass lid and plastic spigot.

If you are looking for something more classic, I found a clear glass dispenser that could save space on your drink station. The Triple Beverage Server is made of three containers. Therefore, you stack none, one or two containers on top of the bottom container. The top and middle dispensers hold 96 ounces each while the bottom dispenser holds 128 ounces.

beverage servers for outdoor entertaining at horchow and costco

You can display fruits, flowers or sea shells at the bottom of the two-gallon glass Square Beverage Dispenser. A cheaper option that is very practical is the plastic beverage dispenser with a separate container for the ice. A girlfriend bought one earlier this summer at Costco in Montreal. It works well. Naturally, it costs a little less at Costco but I wasn’t able to find it online. I need to go to Costco this week. I would tell you if they still carry it since I want one.

SOURCING:
+ Ceramic Beverage Dispensers $65 USD at Horchow
+ Triple Beverage Server – currently on sale at $99.90 USD
+ Square Beverage Dispenser – currently on sale at $84.90
+ Three-gallon plastic dispenser $35

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

A Glimpse at Winter 2008-2009 True Blue Collection by Koziol

true blue collection for winter 2008-2009 by koziol

I already told you about purple and blue being the color of the moment earlier this year. The trend continues this winter. For Koziol, passionate purple and mysterious midnight blue are setting the tone.

I am happy to get a scoop and introduce Koziol’s Winter 2008-2009 True Blue collection. My preference goes to the five items I am showing you.

Multi-duty

Forged in a single piece, CAMILLA can be a watering can, a vase or a bag. It depends on how you feel and what you need.

Serving ware

LEAF-IT enables you to serve hors d’oeuvres, sushi, antipasti or tapas in style. It is available in a transparent violet and blue material.

ANEMONE looks like a one-of-a-kind piece but in fact the unique shape can be manufactured due to cutting-edge technology. If you are looking for a conversation piece to store your fruits, the Anemone bowl fits the bill.

Drinkware

COCOON is a trendy cup for hot and cold drinks. It is normal since it was designed for the club scene. This cup was created to fit the décor of the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt by the design atelier 3deluxe.

The PURE series will be available in midnight blue. I showed you the PURE carafe, cups, bottle cooler and tray in a summer shade of green last month.

Purple and blue are the hottest colors in Europe. Looking at these pictures, I understand the appeal. What are your thoughts about the True Blue collection?

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: Koziol

RELATED POSTS:
+ Purple, Khaki Green and Yellow Green | More Color Trends of 2008
+ Guest Blogging about Color Trends for HGTV.ca

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus TRENDS

Absinthe is Back in Style

absinthe service accessories : imbibe magazine : lucid absinthe superieure

Now that genuine Absinthe is back to the United States, the stylish entertainers have to learn how to serve this herbal alcohol concoction.

My husband’s cousin told me about a bar in Boston where they served Absinthe by dripping iced water with a stylish Absinthe Fountain. It intrigued me since I only saw and tasted the unfashionable sugar on fire method before (a no-no). So I was glad to grab an issue of Imbibe this week that made it clear to me.

Now that I am in the know, I will give you the scoop on how to properly serve absinthe to your guests. The few required tools bring back the art of formal entertaining, a decorum that is missing today. Do not be intimidated by this more elaborate service. Instead, think about it as producing a show, living an adventure for you and your guests.

What is Absinthe?

Absinthe, like pastis, is served as an aperitif. Both drinks have a strong anise (licorice) flavor.

The difference between absinthe and pastis is mostly in the alcohol level – absinthe has lots more – and the used herbal compositions. Pastis is also sweeter. Anise, fennel, lemon balm, hyssop and grande wormwood gives absinthe its distinctive taste. The fresh herbs macerate first and then are distilled.

The alcohol level ranges from 53 to 72%. Contrary to the myth, absinthe produces no hallucinating effects.

The Art of Serving Absinthe

In the old days, the service ritual contributes to the appeal of absinthe. Basically, you dissolve and dilute the absinthe in the glass using a sugared water. Several techniques can be used for slowly dripping iced water on a sugar cube positioned on a perforated spoon.

As you add the water, the pale emerald Absinthe will louche into a clouded opalescent liquid. The sugar is totally a matter of taste. The louche effect is created by the water, not the sugar. I encourage you to taste both ways. In fact, the need for sugar varies per brand. If you try a new brand, try it without sugar first or ask the waiter for advice. Use your Absinthe spoon to dissolve any remaining sugar.

The Tools

The typical recipe calls for three parts water per part of absinthe. You serve one part of absinthe in heavy glassware, often a short stem glass. Specialty stores sell absinthe glasses but any glasses by French maker La Rochere can do. The glasses have a very French country. Arthur Quentin in Montreal carries a large selection of La Rochere glassware.

You can find beautifully crafted perforated spoons that are reproductions of the early 20th century classic spoons. My favorite ones are the Feuille No. 2 Absinthe Spoon and the Toulouse-Lautrec Absinthe Spoon available at Absinthe Devils.

For a fancier look, go for the Art Deco sugar jar. Otherwise, it is time to display your silverware. Grab the silver sugar bowl with sugar tongs from your formal English tea set.

Two gracious techniques

Like I said, they are several service techniques. The most sophisticated look is definitely the Absinthe Fountain. You can buy one with two or four spigots; four is best for parties. Stock one absinthe spoon per guest plus a few extra. Place the perforated spoons in a jar until ready to serve.

Many stores sell replicas of period fountains online. Ask questions regarding the materials and dimensions before you buy because they used the same names but they are all necessary made by the same manufacturers.

Another method is the brouilleur. It is cute but can be noisy. The mechanical aspect will appeal to men. You would not need the perforated spoon if you prefer the brouilleur. Many models were designed from the simplest to the complex. A very charming option is the famous Auto Verseur originally made for Cusenier with its small see-saw to control the dripping water. Silver-plated replicas are available online. I found one at a store named Absinthe Spoon.

If you are not ready to commit yet, there is a low cost solution called the Glass in a Glass method. Basically, you place a shot glass inside an empty Absinthe glass. Fill a small carafe with iced cold water. Then let drip the fresh water, drop by drop, on the absinthe. You can still use the

What brands to taste?

Beware of imitations. Made sure you buy a genuine absinthe. If you never taste it before Lucid, Absinthe Supérieure, a brand sold in the United States, is a good choice for beginners.

The Swiss made Kübler Absinthe Superieure, comes from the Val-de-Travers where absinthe was invented in the late 19th century. First produced in 1863, Kübler Absinthe Superieure contains coriander, mint, anise and fennel among other herbs and botanicals.

If you wish to encourage a Canadian brand that produces genuine Absinthe from an old fruit-based spirits and top-quality herbs, try Tabou Absinthe (not too confused with Tabu) from Okanagan Spirits.

Setting up an Absinthe Station

At your next dinner party, I suggest you serve Absinthe for the apéro. Prepare in advance a station in your lounging area with everything you need. Pay attention to how you organize the tools. Before your give them their drinks, take the time to explain how it works to your guests. Capture their attention and start the mingling.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Lucid Absinthe Supérieure
Buy online: Absinthe Sugar Cube Holder
Buy online: Silver-plated Cusenier “See Saw” Brouilleur Replica – price: 39 £
Buy online: Toulouse-Lautrec Absinthe Spoon – price: $10.95 USD
Buy online: Absinthe Fountain Chat IV – price: $149.95 USD
Buy online: Absinthe Fountain Chat IV (little bit smaller with plastic spigots) – price: $110 USD
Via: Imbibe magazine – January / February 2008 issue

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

My spin on drinkware and tableware by Miam.Miam

soda siphons : orbit bowl : espresso towers by miam.miam

The minute I laid my eyes on the Orbit bowl while reading All That and A, I knew that we are galaxy away from the same old dish. These Jetson inspired bowls erupted from the collective minds of the Miam.Miam team.

The orbit bowl is versatile. You eat your morning cereals in it as well as serving a mushroom risotto to your guests. You saw in my previous post how the shape of the orbit bowl can elevate a simple pasta recipe.

Besides the orbit bowl, the Miam.Miam Mushroom series comprise four more sizes of footed bowls, all stackable inside each other for space saving.

Miam.Miam Mushroom is designed as a multi-functional collection. It ranges from a covered broad serving container to individual bowls for eating cereals, soups or desserts up to serving bowls for sauces and condiments.

Always hot with the Espresso Towers

A high tech fusion of stainless steel and porcelain create a pocket of insulation between the walls to maintain the temperature of your favorite beverage for maximum flavor. Apparently, your espresso will stay hot for an hour if ever it takes you that long to drink it.

The Espresso Towers come in a gift box set for 2. They are insulated, stackable and extra durable. A set contains two porcelain and stainless steel espresso cups with their own saucer, lid and spoon.

Soda siphons

If you are nostalgic of the modern cocktail era, you are probably wished to show off a soda siphon. You have to admit the classic mesh models look pretty cool. It is fairly common to recycle an old soda siphon as a lamp structure.

Some companies still produce them but your best bet is stores that carry mid-century modern products. Soda siphons are fun, easy to operate and add elegance when you are making a drink. Unfortunately, the new ones I am showing you are out of stock on United Brands.

United Brands own three registered trademarks: whip it!, Miam.Miam and Café Crème.

Sourcing:
Learn more: Miam.Miam Mushroom series at United Brands
Learn more: Espresso Towers at United Brands
Learn more: Soda siphons at United Brands
Via: miam.miam orbit bowls on All that and A

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