Three mixed drinks is all you need to host a cocktail party. It's hard to juggle more, unless you want to play bartender the whole time.
A well-stocked bar should include the following:
• Ice-cold, top-quality vodka (keep in freezer)
• Rye whiskey (for the Old-Fashioned), Kentucky bourbon, single-malt scotch, and tequila-all at room temperature-plus dry white French vermouth, dark and medium rums, tonic, bitters, and liqueurs
• Plenty of ice; bucket and tongs
• Red and white wines for guests who prefer wine
• Water, club soda, soft drinks, and fruit juices
• Metal cocktail shaker (to shake the Pineapple Margarita; use shaker container to stir the vodka, vermouth, and ice for the Classic Dry Martini)
• Strainer for martinis
• Appropriate glasses for martinis, Old-Fashioneds, highballs, and wine
• Olives and onions (for martinis), lemons (zest for martinis), and limes (to rub on rims of glasses for margaritas)
A retro-style cocktail supper combines the glamour of a bygone era with updated dishes for today's entertaining.