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Most people enjoy a well composed drink. What they don’t enjoy so much is going to the bother of producing that perfect concoction each time. That’s probably why the fabled cocktails of the Rat Pack generation were so simple — a splash or wisp or breath of vermouth, a humble olive, and you were done.

Simple has its place. A cold micro brew on a hot Colorado day, especially after biking, can really hit the spot. But this is Pink Monkey, and we’re talking parties and events with wow factor. We’re talking cocktails as sparkling gems in the setting of your next event. We’re talking custom menus and signature drinks made from fresh ingredients assembled on the spot and with flair. Drinks so good your guests will marvel over that first sip.

Because when you really think about it, the humble cocktail is an essential part of a formal event: We spend more time with a drink in our hands than we do a fork. So why fuss so much over the food while serving your guests off-label wine and murky liquors purchased at the local warehouse store?

Instead, we’d like you to consider paying tribute to a thing we call event mixology.

What is the Mixology Movement?

Mixology is nothing new. Bartenders have been making craft cocktails for over a hundred years, according to Jared Preston Hirsch, a mixologist and owner of NickelDime LLC, a business devoted to making syrups for craft cocktails. With the rise of new distillation methods and bar culture in America’s big port cities came the concept of making individual “designer drinks” for patrons, combining local ingredients into custom beverages and experimenting with taste and flavor combinations.

In other words, mixology has been around since the first incarnation of the waxed mustache. It’s not a fad; it’s a serious tradition that combines some recent technological innovations borrowed from the world of molecular gastronomy with the chemistry of flavor profiles. In short, it’s both an attempt to get back to basics — a reaction to products like mass produced wine coolers, which contain a host of artificial flavors and preservatives — and a desire to make cocktails as compelling as new innovations in the culinary world. Using natural and seasonal ingredients like fresh herbs, fruits, and spices in unique combinations and creating cocktails that are aesthetically pleasing, mixologists help us see the true potential of the humble beverage.

How You Can Feature Mixology at Your Event

Think About the Drink

When you plan a wedding, you invest a lot of time deciding your color scheme and coordinating your decor. Your cocktails deserve the same level of scrutiny. They should be deliberately branded to complement the theme, season and nature of your event. For instance, do you want silver and green signature colors, with ivory accents? Consider the pop of a contrasting red drink, like the Vieux Carré. Or instead you might be a stickler for classic presentation, insisting on a beautiful array of perfect champagne cocktails in elegant crystal stemware on silver trays.

The point is, let the drink define your style and the theme of the event rather than thinking of it as just something to down quickly in order to cast off those first social jitters.

Feature Your Signature Drink

While you’re in the planning stage of your event, it’s a smart idea to have a mixologist design a custom drink just for you. This drink can even be the focal point around which you design other elements of the event. You can feature the color of the drink, or ingredients from the drink, in other aspects of your design; you can even make the signature recipe a part of the event invitation, if you want.

Another approach is to have the bartender craft a cocktail based on information you’ve given him in advance so that you can be surprised with the perfect cocktail on the day of your event.

Leave it to the Professionals

Anyone can mix and pour an average drink based on a recipe; it’s not rocket science. In fact, there are even robot bartenders who make a mean beverage. But mixology is not about getting the exact proportions in a standard Manhattan. It’s about creating the perfect balance between style and expertise so that your event reflects your personality.

It’s also about watching a skilled professional macerate,  shake, pour and present your delicious cocktail, all with a little showmanship as well.

But Let Your Guest in on the Fun

You don’t have to maintain a formal separation between the bartender and your guests, though. One approach is to hire a professional team of bartenders who are also willing to assist your guests in creating their own cocktails. You can set up a cocktail buffet with plenty of fresh, seasonal ingredients on hand and make up placards with signature or classic drink recipes. The bartenders can share some of their techniques and knowledge while helping guests create their own concoctions. This interactive component could be just the ticket to set your next corporate event apart.

And That’s Where We Come In

Pink Monkey is happy to announce our new alliance with The Grand Bevy, a leading high end cocktail service that specializes in catered events, especially luxury weddings. The Grand Bevy is serious about mixology; they’ve dedicated themselves to the creation of specific cocktails and highly customized creative bar programs that are unique to each event. Essentially, we’ll build you a beautiful bar and then help ensure the cocktails being served across it are just as spectacular.

Anyone can give their guests liquor and get them buzzed. Give us a call or shoot us an email if, instead, you want to use cocktails as one more way to create a memorable experience your guests will fondly recollect long after the headache wears off.