Sometimes, the less you plan, the better things turn out. Before you dash off to the store, take a quick survey of your kitchen and find some promising ingredients on hand: Frozen peas will turn into a puree for crostini; frozen mixed berries will make a great base for a fizzy cocktail; and a stash of eggs is just begging to be deviled. Thanks to a well-stocked pantry (check our Every Day essentials list), all you need is a bottle of vodka and a few last-minute groceries.
HOW TO GARNISH GLASS RIMS
Spice up your cocktail party with a garnish-your-own-rim bar. Just put out a bowl of lemon wedges (for wetting the glass rims) and plates of flavored sugars, salts and crushed candies. We chose these for the Basil-Lemon Gimlets.
Hot and salty: A few dashes of cayenne pepper mixed with coarse salt
Sweet and sour: Sugar In The Raw mixed with lemon zest
Lemon drop: Crushed lemon candies (use a food processor)