Aley’s corner


By Aley from New York


A great party is not perfect without an eye catching bar. Mixed feelings about alcohol – to drink or not to drink, will be the question in many heads at a holiday party. I have an easy solution to fix a bar. You could include children and adults of all ages and successfully host the best party of the year.

Let us start with the table setting. Use a white linen to cover the table or your bar area. Spread a table runner appropriate for the occasion. Get matching linen and stitch it on a dime. If you can get flowers, decorate the table with flowers. I use candles, which are easy, reusable and economical. Arrange wine glasses, cocktail glasses, regular glasses and cocktail napkins. In a beautiful container leave some stirrer’s for cocktails. If you are crafty make them at home. These can be washed and reused. For children you could use fancy straws and plastic or paper cups. Let us start with bottles of water and soda’s first. Then nonalcoholic beverages. It is appropriate to serve white and red wine. If you have homemade wine, pour it in a fancy glass bottle. Cocktails, and hard liquor – brandy, whiskey etc. could be served if you like. Champagne or the bubbly can be served on ice (has to be cold) with appropriate champagne glasses.

Food to serve with drinks include spicy nuts (we always serve hot mixture), savory and salty crackers, pickles and any finger foods of your choice. Do not forget to serve vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. Let us look into some trendy cocktails of this season. Fresh lemon juice is an excellent substitute as a non- alcoholic drink.  Garnish the kids cocktailsglasses with lime wedges. Use ice cubes and wine glasses to make them look festive.


  • ½ cup fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup passion fruit juice
  • ½ cup seltzer water(plain soda)

Mix together and serve in a cute cup with a fancy straw. Decorate the cup with a pineapple wedge to make them special. You could pick juices of your choice which are seasonal and to your child’s taste.


  • 5 hot pepper(less if you do not like too hot)
  • 1½ cup Tequila (It not available use vodka).
  • 1 cup triple sec (optional)
  • 10 lime squeezed and strained
  • 4 tablespoon honey
  • 2 pinch of salt

Cut peppers in half and put in the tequila 2 weeks ahead. Or crush the peppers and mix with tequila for 24 hours. Strain and mix with lime juice, triple sec, honey and salt in a glass pitcher and stir. Keep Margarita glasses in the freezer to chill ahead of time, if possible. Squeeze one lemon into a flat plate. In another flat plate spread some salt and add a pinch of red pepper and mix well. Dip the rim of the glasses in the lemon and then salt mixed with red pepper. Fill cocktail shaker with ice, pour the mixture and pour into glasses. Place a lemon wedge on the glass. If you do not have a cocktail shaker, take a glass with a lid and use like a shaker.


  • 1½ cup vodka
  • 1½ lemon ginger syrup
  • 2 cup seltzer water (plain soda)
  • Juice of 2 lime
  • 5 inch ginger peeled and cut into small pieces.
  • Lime slices for garnish

Boil 1cup sugar, 1cup water, lime juice, and ginger in a pot. When the mixture start to boil, bring the heat down and simmer until the sugar dissolves totally. Stir occasionally. Let it cool for an hour or two. (You could make the mixture ahead of time and keep in your refrigerator after the mixture is strained). Strain when the mixture is cool.

Mosco Mule is served in copper mugs. You could use a glass mug, bottle or any fancy container or glass. Mix ¼ cup ice, ¼ cup vodka, ¼ cup lime ginger syrup and ¼ cup seltzer water (or soda) and serve with lime wedges on top.

This can be served without vodka. Add ¼ cup soda and a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and serve with lemon wedges on top. CHEERS!


  1. Dear Aley, Newyork,
    The article about peppery margaritas was informative. Hope you will write about avocado margaritas, the red cap margarita and grapefruit and chilly margarita. Back when I lived in LA, the Margarita was my drink of choice, to the extend that its lime juice was probably one of my Five-A-Day. The peppery tequila, the sour sweet lime and triple sec combination was a drink that helped me re-hydrate.
    But I want to tell you that while arranging the bar table we don’t use candles and flowers here.


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