The DIY cocktail bar might be our favorite of all of Haven’s Kitchen’s entertaining go-tos. It saves the hosts from the messy multitasking of trying to make drinks, greet other guests, take coats, and so on—and lets guests have fun right off the bat. “People love putting their own spin on their cocktail,” Alison says. “It brings out the kid in all of us—like, I put a lemon in mine and lots of blackberries! It’s the perfect way to loosen up a party.”
Another advantage to cocktails over wine: no possibility of a red-wine spill on the sofa. “There’s nothing that kills a party vibe faster than a hostess freaking out about her sofa,” Alison says.