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How To Be a Master Bartender at Your Next Shindig (Bottoms Up!)

There are a handful of things every good hostess should know how to do: set a table, open a bottle of bubbly, make a tasty appetizer and whip up a killer cocktail… just for starters (see Abby’s full list here!). But today, we’re focusing on the latter—how to be a master bartender, with must-know tips from cocktail caterers at the Whaling Club and captures by Rebecca Yale. Bottoms up!

CREATE A SIGNATURE MENU

Sticking to one or two featured cocktails will free you up to spend more time hosting and less time working behind the bar. Consider your attendees and create a menu that generally fits the palate of your guests and the vibe of your event. We tend to favor seasonal takes on classic drinks like basil gimlets and cherry daiquiris.

KNOW YOUR CLASSICS

No one will expect that you’ll know every cocktail penned before prohibition, but we recommend having some of the basics to make a handful of well known “classics” by request. You may have a guest or two who is looking for something spirits forward like a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. If you can fulfill their request, you’ll make their night.

SOURCE LOCAL INGREDIENTS

All of our syrups, juices, and various other in-house ingredients are all made fresh just before event event. We source from local markets when possible for inspiration and to truly gauge what’s “in season.” We also have the benefit of being able to taste everything and the opportunity to chat with the farmers is priceless.

USE BLOCK ICE

Have your freezer stocked with some quality block ice. You can use this ice for everything from shaking to serving. Your drinks will not only look better, but will stay colder with less unwanted dilution. We hand cut our ice from 300lb clear ice blocks, but a few quality 2″ rubber molds should do the trick.

MEASURE EVERYTHING

We like to compare bartending to baking. Following a precise recipe, often times down to the quarter ounce, ensures balanced and consistent cocktails. The best way to guarantee accuracy is a jigger. While they come in countless different sizes and shapes, one graduated jigger will have just about every measurement you’ll need. You can score one at Cocktail Kingdom.

See all of our cocktail recipes here!

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Cocktails: Whaling Club

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Grab Your Girl Squad for an Epic Getaway to Palm Springs

It probably takes very little convincing to gather your best friends for a mini vacay. I mean, a girls weekend is pretty much the best thing ever and if you’re anywhere near Palm Springs you are so in luck. The ladies behind The Roc Shop are breaking down the must see, must sleep, must eat and (most importantly) must drink for an epic girls getaway to California’s desert gem. See even more of this sun-soaked mini guide photographed by Plum + Oak in the VAULT.

Need an excuse to run away with your besties for a weekend? The ladies behind The Roc Shop are sharing how they are partying it up this summer. Inspired by what they love most about California, they have put together a guide to an epic girls getaway in Palm Springs. Think bright colors, retro and sassy, palm trees and cacti, milk shakes and cocktails, bicycling through the town and pool parties. Since it’s only two hours from Los Angeles or San Diego, that puts this oasis in the desert as a prime place to crash for the day and take in the California sunshine with your girl gang.

Stay

The Wesley Micro Hotel is a super colorful and modern airbnb.com find. With just 6 micro flats, this hotel feels more boutique since you can often get the whole pool to yourself. Each room has been decorated differently but they all embrace the fun mid-century modern style. The location is within 10 minutes of downtown and makes for getting around very convenient.

Ride

For easy access getting around town rent a beach cruiser and slow things down to take in the scenery. There’s an abundance of super rad neighborhoods and you’ll want to take a picture in front of each brightly colored front door. If biking isn’t your thing or you simply don’t want to worry about picking a DD for the night, hop on The Buzz. It’s Palm Springs convenient free shuttle that stops by all the major hotels and downtown hot spots. Bonus, it’s cute too!

Brunch

With a prime location smack dab in the middle of downtown, Lulu is our go-to for a fabulous brunch. The menu has everything your brunch palette desires and you’ll look super posh as you sip a mimosa on the patio. We love that this place won’t break the bank either!

Hang

Head back to the hotel to live the good life. Grab the complimentary donut floatie, a fresh cocktail, and your girls for an afternoon of girl talk and a chance to just relax, you’ll need that energy for the evening!

Chill

If the sun has you feeling toasty, cool off when it’s the hottest time of the day at Great Shakes. Each milkshake comes with a mini donut on the straw! They have an entire wall of flavors to choose from and a huge array of old fashioned candy. Sitting in the window is a prime people watching spot. Have fun trying to guess the locals from the tourists.

Eat

To prep for a night out on the town, fill up with some classic Mexican food and margaritas as Las Casuelas. Their chunky guac is our fave! If you sit in the outside bar area you can catch some live music and get your salsa on early. The atmosphere is everything you want a Mexican restaurant to be and the staff always treats you like family.

Drink

Being in the party business we really enjoy our booze. The Bar is located downtown as well and is a great place to start your evening. They take their craft cocktails very seriously and we love the bartenders dedication to each creation. When you’re ready to dance, you’ll find a hip DJ in the back spinning some sick beats that will make it hard to sit still. This place is popular with the locals so we know you’ll like it too.

Plus… A Must for your weekend getaway

The One Accessory That Pulls Together Any Warm Weather Look
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The One Accessory That Pulls Together Any Warm Weather Look
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Photography: Plum + Oak | Videography: Audrey Alba Films | Coordination: The Roc Shop | Design: The Roc Shop | Jewelry: Love Tatum | Hair and Makeup: Soiree Beauty Concierge | Accommodations: The Wesley Palm Springs | Accommodations: The Wesley Palm Springs | Brunch Restaurant: Lulu | Brunch Restaurant: Lulu | Cocktail Accessories: The Roc Shop | Dinner Restaurant: Las Casuelas | Evening Cocktails: The Bar | Fashion: Azzura Capri Boutique | Fashion: Stroll | Milkshake Shop: Great Shakes | Milkshakes: Great Shakes | Pool Cocktails: Snake Oil Cocktail Co. | Wardrobe Styling: Chic & Discheveled

Channel Your Inner French Girl with a Glamorous Bedroom Makeover

If you’re looking to add some glam to your bedroom or maybe layer of french girl charm, look no further than this Parisian infused room of blogger Bows & Sequins .  Using Havenly’s design savvy, she crafted a space heavy on the chic and one that Coco Chanel would so approve of. Tour the space that blush and gold dreams are made of  with even more in the VAULT.

Jessica Sturdy of Bows & Sequins teamed up with online interior design platform Havenly to redecorate her space to create a light, bright and feminine oasis to relax and get cozy after a long day.

Working side by side with her designer, Jessica was able to infuse her taste with the expert advice of her vetted designer to dream up this pretty in pink room. Full of bright blushes, playful textures and accents of gold, Jessica achieved a look that was oh so feminine without being too frilly.

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Photography: Bows & Sequins | Blogger: Bows & Sequins | Designer: Havenly