Herbaceous Entertaining

By: Lauren SaylorA Fabulous Fete

No matter the time of year, there are essentials that are always great to have on hand for some last minute entertaining. One of those essentials, a stocked bar cart, can be a great way to incorporate scents and flavors of the season. To take your bar cart from basic to inspiring, keep these tips in mind for creating your own.

Start with the basics: an infusible liquor like vodka, a simple mixer that can be kept in bulk like sparkling water, airtight containers to mix your liquor, and herbs, spices or fruit to add a bit of flavor. I purchased rosemary, basil, and thyme, all found in Caldrea’s Basil Blue Sage fragrance, to infuse the vodka. If these aren’t your taste, consider some other notes. Spearmint, sage, and lavender would all be delicious in a sparkling cocktail. 

To infuse the vodka, fill your airtight bottles with vodka until they are almost full. Add 3 or 4 stems of your herbs and seal the container. Let the bottles sit for 1 to 2 weeks in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Taste the vodka every few days until it reaches your desired flavor. Once it has, remove the herbs and display the vodka on your bar cart for your next soiree. 

Use this method to infuse beverages for the entire family. Switch out the vodka for water, simple syrup, or your favorite juice like lemonade. Water is delicious mixed with any of your favorite fruits as well. Create a mocktail bar with your infusions and favorite juices or soda.

If you have guests coming over for a cocktail party, add a sprig or two of the fresh herbs to make the bottles a bit more interesting. Write the names of your infusions on the front so guests know how to choose. Liquid chalk markers are great for adding labels, as they can be washed off the next day or when you are ready to reuse your bottle. 

Set your infusions out with glasses ready to be filled with delicious new cocktails. Keep your bar cart stocked with simple mixers to make a basic cocktail. Simple syrup can sweeten up a mix of infused vodka and sparkling water. Clear sodas also make great mixers to fit anyone’s taste.

Adorn your bar cart with fresh seasonal flowers to accompany your homemade concoctions. You can also add small branches full of fruit to draw on the slight citrus note in the Basil Blue Sage fragrance. A few kumquat branches included here give the bar cart a festive burst of color.

If guests are headed over, why not start the process for them and add a little garnish to their glasses? The floral notes in the Basil Blue Sage fragrance inspired this beautiful rose petal garnish. If rose petals are your garnish of choice, be sure that they are homegrown or food graded to avoid any coated with chemicals.

What notes from Caldrea’s Basil Blue Sage fragrance will you use in your infusions?