Monday, August 6, 2012

Firecrackers and Sparklers

We celebrated my friend's birthday recently with cocktails and cupcakes. It was a great night! One friend took care of the food, another the cupcakes, and I did decor and cocktails. I decided to have one cocktail already made, a couple that people could easily mix at the table, and a non-alcoholic option.

I made, yet another, Martha Stewart cocktail called The Firecracker. It turned out to be a really great option since I could make it ahead and everyone seemed to love it. It reminded me of sangria, only it's made with rosé and gin. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the sour cherries it called for (does anyone know where I can find these?). Instead, I used sweet black cherries, which caused the drink to look a little darker, but it still tasted great!

We also had stuff out for people to make their own Amaretto Sours and Gin and Tonics. It worked really well since both of these drinks only require two ingredients and a garnish. I made signs for each drink that provided instructions on what was in it, if it was pre-made, or how to make it. The design of these signs were meant to mimic the invitations I used from Paperless Post.

For the non-alcoholic option, I made what I called The Sparkler. It was a combination of frozen limeade and club soda. My mom had made this for us over Memorial Day weekend - I'm a fan (of my mom and the drink). Not sure of the exact proportions I used... somewhere around 1/2 of the frozen limeade container to 1 1/2 bottles of club soda. The candles on the cupcakes were also sparkler candles - not planned, but perfect!

In way of decor, I added bits of color (the napkins, drink signs, flowers) but kept the rest gold. I used gold cardstock from Michael for the drink signs, made gold triangles out of tissue paper to hang above the party along with the lights. And then I had fun with gold spray paint - converting beer bottles into gold vases and adding gold to glass votive candle holders.

I really liked how the gold vases turned out. I just let the bottles soak in water, scrubbed off the labels, let them dry, and then sprayed with paint that you can find at any hardware store. It was a really easy, cheap way to add some gold to the party.


We had these glass votive candle holders already, I just wrapped the top of them with painters tape and then sprayed the bottom. After the paint dried, I removed the tape, and there you have it - party worthy candle holders! To keep away bugs, I used citronella candles that I found at Lowe's. We actually didn't have much trouble with mosquitoes though - it was a cooler, breezy evening. Really pretty perfect for the party!

We had such a fun time celebrating my friend's birthday! But I'm curious, what are your go-to drinks when hosting a cocktail party?


  1. Thank you so much for making my daughter's birthday so wonderful!

  2. Really pretty post!

  3. Really pretty post!