Keep happy hour happy— for everyone. Let the five sections below help guide your planning and reduce your stress between “Wanna stop by my place for drinks?” and “Welcome, c’mon in!” You may find hosting friends and family for cocktail hour quite effortless if you set yourself up for success (and have the right things on hand).


When guests are intended to craft their own cocktails, keep it to a few ingredients.

Choose spirits and mixers that easily mix & match. This will ensure drinks end up tasting as good as they look! Although it’s tempting to pull out everything in your liquor cabinet, it leads to an overwhelming amount of options. Even party-goers with the most novice mixology skills will feel confident creating a yummy cocktail as your intentional selections guide their decision making. 

Tip: Provide versatile mixer choices such as as tonic and club soda. Top Note offers a range of award-winning, artisanal options that uplift a variety of spirits. Their “Special Edition: Fan Mixed Pack” features all the essentials you need on-hand for hosting. 


If you want to keep your cocktail crafting area clutter free, it is important to group items together.

When ingredients and barware are effortlessly returned to their original spot every time, it ensures each guest gets the best drink-building experience. For a cohesive setup, transfer ingredients to aesthetically pleasing containers, such as corked jars and decanters.

Tip: Put glassware on a large tray. This will help catch inevitable spills and keep over-pours contained. This heavy-duty marble piece is a versatile option that adds luxurious touch. To add warmth, try this wooden serving tray. Both options look great paired with this handy ice bucket!


Hosting a smaller-sized group makes it easier to create an exciting, bespoke guest experience.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly times that call for the classic red Solo Cup, but intimate events are a great opportunity for you to put more stylish serve wear to use. Drinks just taste better in vintage glassware, am I right? ; )

Tip: Hit up your local thrift store to collect special glasses. Don’t worry if you can’t a full, matching set. Stick to a color palette, then mix them up! 


Provide fruit, herb, and spice options that compliment your selected spirits and mixers.

A hearty array of garnish allow guests to create a flavorful and memorable cocktail without an over-complicated process.  

Tip: Keep it feeling fresh with toppers that taste and smell like the season. Cue Mariah Carey and a crackling fire for these wintertime cocktails— garnished with large organic cinnamon sticks, Sicilian candied orange peel, and anise star pods.


Straws, swizzle sticks, charms, and napkins offer opportunities for you to get a little creative with your cocktail crafting. 

Gift tags are a super simple (and inexpensive!) way to add festive flair and allow guests to keep track of their glass throughout the evening. Like the look of these? Find them here.

Tip: Don’t go overboard. Be sure your drink decor doesn’t get in the way of practically enjoying the beautiful beverage. 

1. Fill your favorite glass with ice.
2. Pour 2 oz. small batch gin over ice.
3. Mix in limited-release Top Note Gentiana Tonic.
4. Garnish with organic cinnamon sticks, Sicilian candied orange peel, and anise star pods.

If you have a fantastic winter-time cocktail recipe of your own, please share it —comment below!

Wishing you and your company, cheer this season!



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