Before Rob Floyd became one of the most renowned names in the cocktail industry, he was just a boy from the Philadelphia area. “My journey really began at places like the Italian Market and Reading Terminal,” he says. Today, the Bar Rescue resident mixologist integrates the importance of these types of experiences in his cocktail programs and parties. Here, he shares what he’s shaking up for the holidays.
Photo courtesy of Rob Floyd Entertainment
1. Serve a punch
“It’s one of those things where people can help themselves. If I were to do a really fun one, I would do a riff on a mule. Add a bit of cranberry and then don’t add all of your ginger beer. If you pour it in as you serve, the bubbles get to work their way through.”
2. Give them choices
“I like to curate one or two other cocktails, just to have something that’s simple and fun like a blood orange mimosa, where you’re also using a little Aperol. It’s really beautiful and plays great with Champagne and a little blood orange—and if you want, you can drop a dash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier into it.”
3. Have snacks
“I try to make sure that there’s lots of bite-sized, yummy snacks like bruschetta or fancy popcorn drizzled in truffle oil, and that’s easy to maintain so that you’re not just constantly working the whole party.”
4. Create interactive experiences
“I always have one stirred drink. And I’ll do something really simple but fun, like a cinnamon Old-Fashioned. I’ll make a cinnamon syrup, and then I’ll put out maybe a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of rye. They become three-step cocktails that [guests] can feel good about... that they can go ahead and make themselves. [Guests] can play around with it and try one with bourbon and then one with rye.”
“People don’t want to get stuck with a Diet Coke all night, and they don’t want to explain to people why they’re not drinking. I call them Designated Driver Cocktails. I’ll just do something real simple like mint strawberry and jalapeno with a little lime and agave.”
6. Stock up on ice
“Normally, you use about 3 pounds of ice per person.”
7. Decorate your stations!
“Whatever holiday you’re celebrating, whether it’s Christmas or Hanukkah, you know that you have something fun [for a theme].”