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01.01.11 by  

Customize Your Bachelorette Party Cocktails

Give the gal getting hitched a proper send-off with drinks as naughty or nice as she is. These Las Vegas-approved recipes from The Modern Mixologist will have her grateful no vows have been exchanged. Garnish with strippers and boas.

You’re engaged and the countdown to wedding day has begun. You’re casually starting to think about how to help your girlfriends throw you an unforgettable girls night out … Scavenger hunt? Destination? Party favors from the online bachelorette party mega-store? Been there, done that. Not for your party. We went to Las Vegas (aka Bachelorette Party Mecca) to speak with modern-day legend Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist, about breaking out of the mold and creating a party you’ll want to remember complete with customized cocktails for the bride-to-be. If she remembers anything the next day, you haven’t done your job.

Pure Joy Coktail, Tony Abou-Ganim, The Modern Mixologist

Sans the phallic-shaped party garnishes, the Pure Joy Cocktail actually looks more sexy than tasteless. Personally, we think it will make a great holiday elixir as well. Photo by Tim Turner Photography

how would you describe the “typical bachelorette party”?

Tony Abou-Ganim: Unfortunately, most bachelorette parties are sheer embarrassment for the bride-to-be — suckers shaped like dildos, shots of Jäger or Red Bull Vodkas, tiaras, strip clubs, silly behavior that is guaranteed to be something she wouldn’t be proud of the next day, especially while suffering a major hangover.

sounds awful! how could a maid of honor plan a “last night of freedom” celebration without taking it down to that level?

Lots of bachelorettes probably have no desire to revisit their own party, and rather than damaging the future of your nuptials, a well orchestrated bachelorette party could be fabulous way to celebrate a woman’s next step in life. It’s about sharing a special moment with her closest friends and family, and creating a lasting memory as a group. One simple way to raise the bar is to serve a drink that embraces the moment and the bride-to-be. It could be her favorite wine or a customized cocktail.

now you’re speaking our language …

I’ve created customized drink menus for many wedding events, and party planners can always hire professionals to create those special “send-off” drinks. Most local bartenders would also be honored to create a cocktail for one of their regular customers — if there’s a mixologist or bartender in the bride-to-be’s personal network, that person could include elements of the bride’s personality and what she likes to drink to the recipe.

if a group of ladies wanted to create a customized cocktail for a home bachelorette party, where should they start?

They should think about the anatomy of a cocktail — there are a handful of essential cocktail styles and usually starting with the 2 parts spirit, 1 part sweet and one part citrus gives a balanced, traditional drink. Once you’ve got that down, you can introduce other elements. Think about fresh fruits — I like fresh watermelon, either muddled or juiced, and big blackberries, puréed or muddled. So, if the bride-to-be is a gin and raspberry lover, start with that, add freshly squeezed lemon juice and muddled raspberries. Remember not to get too complicated — you want something that’s very simple — something that can be batch mixed and chilled, then individually shaken and poured, or for a party, served in a punch bowl topped with fresh fruit and a splash of a carbonated beverage like champagne and you’ve got a beautiful, delicious, easy to make customized cocktail. Put all her favorite things in a glass together.

what are a couple other ways to personalize the drink?

Coming up with a name that’s inspired by the bride-to-be is important. You can use her nicknames, pet names, something that fits the cocktail, or something that only the small group knows about. The cocktail should mark the special moment and can also easily be re-visited in the future, say, for anniversaries with her new husband, an all girls weekend — you could even pass down the drink, imagine a daughter receiving a passed-down wedding dress, wedding ring and a customized cocktail recipe from mom.

Very Sexy

Tony was asked by his longtime friend Greg to create a special cocktail to mark the 40th birthday of his dear friend, Pam. Make no mistake, this drink is not for the faint of heart; to this day Greg still comments on the exceptional cost of its compelling ingredients. It would also make the perfect send-off for a bride to be.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Belvedere Citrus vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces Marie Brizard Crème de Cassis de Bordeaux
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon sour
  • 1 teaspoon egg white
  • Chilled Moet & Chandon White Star champagne
  • Grand Mariner-marinated wild berries

You need to see this drink coming. For best results, 1 pint each of raspberries and blackberries should be marinated in 4 ounces of Grand Marnier. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours. In a mixing glass, add vodka, cassis, fresh lemon sour and egg white. Shake with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail coupe, and add 2 to 3 each marinated blackberries and raspberries. Top with champagne.

Pure Joy

Tony really enjoys creating drinks to honor friends, family, and special occasions. Pure Joy was developed as a special gift to celebrate his niece, Kaitlin Joy, and her graduation from college. Originally made with Absolut Citron vodka, he switched the recipe significantly to feature Bombay Sapphire after she tried her first perfect Dry Martini. For bachelorettes, the name says it all.

  • 1 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
  • 1/2 ounce Bonny Doon Framboise
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon sour
  • 1 teaspoon egg white
  • 4 to 5 red raspberries
  • Chilled seltzer water

Muddle red raspberries and framboise in a pint glass. Add Bombay Sapphire, egg white and fresh lemon sour; shake with ice until well blended. Double strain into a fizz glass and spritz with chilled seltzer water.