Learning to serve cocktails: calling over-achievers

4 different options was too many for my brain on overwhelm. “Please pick one for me. I like herbs and berries.”

My sales team and I were sampling the Faux-Mimosa’s from our Sips ‘n Apps theme recipes. We LOVE to cook and taste and try new stuff when we get together monthly. Emily was relaxed and bubbly as she described my options and I ‘couldn’t even’ as I stared at her blankly, my eyes begging her to just decide for me.

This last month, I was determined to make more recipes than is advisable. If I think about it, my thoughts may have been whining even.. that I wanted to make Pumpkin Dip from homemade pumpkin puree, (it’s so easy.. look how beautiful!) and box up homemade Dutch Speculaas as little thank you gifts for our guest presenters, and maybe try the recommended little pie crust squares with cinnamon & sugar.. (and while I’m at it, might I be able to show Brenda how the Scratch Pie Crust recipe turns out for this?) and Cranberry Salsa (doesn’t that sound so perfect?) and Peppermint Brownies (oh and I would make the brownie homemade rather than from a box). I kept muttering “I’m sure i’m doing too much, but I really want to try all these!! They sound so good!”. They laughed at me and asked to help. Once I realized I couldn’t even decide which Faux Mimosa I wanted to try, I felt so thankful my team understands me and helps me break down the elephants I bite off. Everyone pitched in, we chatted about our agenda topics while we chopped, and decided this theme is a hit! The little gift boxes never did happen, and we scooped the Pumpkin Dip with Granny Smith apples and Dutch Speculaas. mmmmm… so addictive!

If any of this overwhelm sounds uncomfortably familiar, then this next bit might sound like music to your ears. Sandra stepped up, and suggested that one of her friends who always throws a great holiday party, selects just ONE drink of the evening, and does an alcoholic and a non-alcoholic version, plus the standard pop and liquor combinations. And oh by the way, what’s a ‘mocktail’? She laughs out loud when told “ummm, it’s a non-alcoholic cocktail?”

I realize that THIS is how we bridge the gap for customers who are like me. From “I can’t even think”.. to relaxed mingling and confidently offering a mocktail even with an appropriate garnish! That we start by testing cool new cocktails that sound perfect for the season, recommend a couple new favourites, then break down the tasks into manageable bytes (pun intended) and give them a couple of simple checklists.

The next day I say excitedly to Emily - “We can create a ‘how to set up an entertaining area for stress-free entertaining’ list. She laughs and says “how about we create a ‘serving drinks list’”? and I laugh again. Together we create 3 simple planning, prep and set up checklists to share with our guests so anyone (myself included) can easily serve a stellar cocktail without any of that familiar overwhelm.

So if you get to enjoy these genius little lists (comment below if you’d like them), you and I can thank Emily and Sandra for our sanity as we mix and mingle with our guests and the mocktails stay in steady supply!