If you follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed how much our fam loves costumes. We basically take every opportunity to play dress-up, so it will come as no surprise that we LOVE Halloween! In the spirit of our Reverse Bootlegging enterprise, we offer you a glimpse into our Spookeasy. Okay, it’s not very spooky—it’s more goofy-yet-glam. Perhaps next year we’ll throw a zombies at the speakeasy party. Or, you do it this year—and send me photos!
Here are a few tips for a Gatsby-worthy Speakeasy:
- Invite your guests with a secret password.
- Obviously Roaring 20s attire is encouraged.
- Provide some fun props to enrich the experience (and the selfies). Think bamboo dance canes, faux monocles, glam “cigarette” holders, and a few flirty fans. Feather boas are great too!
- If your glassware collection needs a boost, coupes and martini glasses are usually easy to find at thrift stores. I’ve built a thrifted collection of mixed vintage cocktail glasses that I save for larger parties. None of it is precious or expensive, and the vibe is much better than disposable.
- Consider a fun costume or dance contest with prizes.
- Werk that playlist! Here’s a swinging hour on Spotify to get you started.
Depending on your crew, you could provide non-alcoholic cocktails as the signature drinks, and invite guests to “spike” them if desired, using flasks of boozy or nonalc spirits. While we’re normally nonalc only, Audible recently commissioned me to create cocktails with an optional spike, and I loved that our drinks were the inclusive default, and spiking was optional. If you’re someone who is comfortable around alcohol and you host guests who “go both ways,” this is a great, streamlined approach for your drink menu.
Give people an opportunity to customize their drinks. Below are bar ideas, from simple to shaken, all of them elegant and speakeasy-worthy:
Set out bottles of For Bitter For Worse, an ice bucket, glassware, and garnishes. Think citrus slices, cocktail cherries, and whole citrus and a peeler for making simple twists. Add a bottle of simple syrup, sparkling water and tonic for guests to customize their drinks. Enhance the speakeasy vibe with flasks of spirits or spirits alternative for “spiking.” If you offer both booze and nonalc, make sure the options are clearly labeled!
The whole shebang:
If you enjoy playing bartender (or have someone to rope into that fun role), mix up signature cocktails to order. Love Wins is a show-stopper, but is somewhat involved and best for a smaller gathering. Same goes for Margot Tenenbaum’s Guilty Pleasure. Our N/A-groni is easy to batch. Any of these drinks can be spiked. Love Wins and the N/A-groni pair well with juniper-forward gin or gin alternatives. Margot T works well with whiskey or whiskey alternatives.
We’d love to see your party pics. Tag us on Instagram @forbitterforworse #cheersFBFW