"When I hear the phrase 'craft cocktail', I immediately think of a few things: time, thought, details and quality ingredients. All are instrumental in the process of creating something spectacular. The end goals are to produce a beverage that is delicious and that you can be proud of - it's a work of art."- Vance Henderson, Beverage and Night Life Manager at Cuba Libre

Small Batch Bar
Small Batch Bar

As you all know, Charlene is fanatical about set-ups, quality, and presentation; these principles are also transferred to her bar cart. Here are a few ways to make your holiday bar extra festive:

1. Small batch liquors

Ditch the big bottles of standard liquors this season, and experiment with small batch liquors. Charlene is always on the hunt for a new distillery or local producer of craft liquors. These small batch liquors tend to have more nuanced flavors and will add visual appeal to your bar considering the unique bottles.

Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Big Bottle Hudson Baby Bourbon
Big Bottle Hudson Baby Bourbon
Monkey 47 Gin
Monkey 47 Gin

2. Craft mixers

A great craft mixer will kick your drink up several notches! Try making your own simple syrups at home or searching in your cabinets for other options (i.e. flavored honeys and pure maple syrup are a wonderful addition to a craft cocktail!).

Morris Kitchen, Maple, Maraschino
Morris Kitchen, Maple, Maraschino

3. Liquers

Liquers are similar to liquor, however, they are sweeter and are used to add flavor to cocktails. The latest liquer on Charlene's bar cart is Lillet, an orange infused aperitif wine. Try adding Lillet to your next gimlet or martini!

Lillet
Lillet

4. Glass opposed to plastic

Not only do sodas and tonics taste better out of glass bottles, they are significantly more carbonated than products that come out of plastic bottles. Charlene's favorite soda and tonic water are produced by Fever Tree. They also make a great ginger beer if you're making Moscow Mules!

Fever Tree Tonic & Peychaud's Bitters
Fever Tree Tonic & Peychaud's Bitters