Inspiring Celebrations Since 2006

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY + Home Bar Tips from The Nest!

Quick Jump To » Comments

The Nest Home Design Book


Build a Bar at Home (Warning: Hangovers Ahead!)

Hi! I’m Carley from, the spin-off home site from the folks at (every bride’s wedding obsession). We recently came out with The Nest Home Design Handbook, a cool 101 on everything casa-related. I’m thrilled to be guest-blogging on HWTM about building a bar at home—because c’mon, how many more times can you drag yourself to a hot, crowded bar and wait twenty minutes for your gin and tonic? Consider this your very own VIP lounge.

The Nest Home Design Book

{photo by: Mark Lund}

Hook Up Your Cart

Okay, if you don’t mind plunking down a bit of cash, we love this sleek bar cart from Restoration Hardware. It keeps everything in one handy zone and can be rolled anywhere in the house.

Budget-conscious? Skip the cart and set up your bar on a side table. Another way to save is to skip a lot of pricey liquors and stick to just vodka. It’ll give you the biggest bang for your buck since it can be mixed with OJ, cranberry, Bloody Mary mix, and more. Download our Stocking the Bar checklist on and toss it in your purse so you don’t get amnesia at the liquor store.


The Nest Home Design Book

Fom left to right: highball, rocks, martini
{photo by: Ericka McConnell}

Don’t Go Overboard on the Glasses

All it takes to get those stiff drinks a flowin’ are three types of glasses: the highball (a Screwdriver’s best buddy), the rocks glass (holds scotch straight-up for Mad Men wannabes), and the martini (enough said). Find ’em for under $3 each at CB2.


The Nest Home Design Book

{photo by: StockFood}

Get Cool Tools for Shaking and Pouring
Skip all the frou-frou tools and get the basics: a good vino and bottle opener, a cocktail shaker (I like the flip-top one from Metrokane with a built-in strainer) and a jigger (fancy word for shot glass).


The Nest Home Design Book

{Photo provided by: Dabney Lee at Home}

Personalize Your Bar with Chic Coasters

Like Saturn rings on your coffee table? Thought not. Pick up these monogrammed drink coasters from Dabney Lee at Home and you’re golden. They’re fun, recyclable, and totally customizable. What’s not to love?


The Nest Home Design Book

{Photo by: Laurie Frankel}

Pour a Signature Cocktail

Here’s my secret to a successful party: one signature drink. I might have some wine and beer on hand, but those are kind of generic—at the end of the night it’s the signature cocktail that everyone will be talking about. This Candy Cane Martini is perfect for the holidays.


1 1/2 oz. vodka
1 tsp. peppermint schnapps
1 oz. club soda
Mini candy cane, for garnish

Pour vodka, peppermint schnapps, and club soda over a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until cold; then pour into a chilled martini glass. Hang mini candy cane over lip of glass.

From Holiday Cocktails by Jessica Strand with permission from Chronicle Books


Now that I’ve shared my favorite holiday cocktail, what’s YOURS? Post it in the comments here, and you’ll be entered to win one of TEN free copies of The Nest Home Design Handbook!

Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 17 at midnight PST. Good luck!


WINNER UPDATE – 12/29/08: This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much to everyone that entered! And the 10 lucky random winners are:

70 – Megan
43 – WVU-Mama
83 – Val
53 – LaurenB

69 – Jaime
78 – Heidi

4 – Sarah W.
56 – Shannon
85 – Whitney
72 – Shelley K

Congrats to all of you! You will be contacted via email for your mailing address. Hope you enjoy the book – it’s fantastic!

Alternative Text
POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

114 responses to “SURPRISE GIVEAWAY + Home Bar Tips from The Nest!”

  1. Beth says:

    Mint Chocolate Baileys on ice is my new go-to favorite for the holiday season. I’m obsessed!

  2. AJ says:

    These are both sweet, so only around the holidays!
    Khalua + Orange Juice = Tootsie Roll
    Liquor 43 + Ginger Ale = Orange Creamsicle

  3. I’m not super-big into making cocktails (must be post-tramatic stress disorder from managing a hotel bar while I was in grad school)…I’m into the basic Vodka, Cranberry, with a twist as of late…or in the fall/winter – a shot of Tuaca in a warm apple cider. Yum!

  4. Nikki says:

    I’m really into pineapple martini’s made from Vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and a splash of sprite!!! It’s been a huge hit with my friends!

  5. Audra says:

    The PF Chang’s recipe for the Key Lime Pie Martini always goes down smooth and garners the best reviews at any party. I

  6. Lyndsay says:

    Wow, I’d love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity to win! My favorite holiday drink has to be the pomegranate martini. The color, the flavor…yum!

  7. Stephanie Fisher says:

    I like champagne with a splash of pomegranate liquor and a few pomegranate seeds. The bubbles in the champagne make the seeds float around. Very festive for the holidays!

  8. Kate says:

    Does peppermint hot chocolate count as a cocktail since I don’t drink?!? Haha.

  9. Rhi says:

    Hmmmm. I love hot buttered rum!

  10. Bridgette says:

    I am making pumpkin spice martinis for Christmas. Typically we do not discriminate on cocktails, whether it be Captain Morgan and diet coke to an occasional cosmo, but we wanted to mix it up. Tis the season.

  11. Ashley says:

    We’re cosmo girls so change out that lemon twist for a lime twist to go red and green… simple and always a favorite!

  12. Becky says:

    At my in-laws 50th anniversary party, we did the signature drink thing, the Mob Hit. Everyone loved it!

  13. Wynn says:

    Kir Royale. Festive and delicious.

  14. Nali P. says:

    pomegranate martini all the way!

  15. Patty H says:

    My favorite drink is the strawberry daiquiri.

  16. Shannon says:

    For my home bar its all about the bubbly! It is super easy when entertaining and there are limitless ways to dress it up and make it festive. I like adding cryistalized ginger and star anise in the winter, and homemade rhubarb simple syrup in the super. And of course you can’t go wrong with a Kir Royale.

  17. Trisha says:

    Well its not really a mixed drink but I love the simple Bailieys on ice. Sipping that by the fire is so wonderful and cozy.

  18. Silvia says:

    My family is from Guatemala and so for the holidays we traditionally make this Guatemalan punch that consists of various fruits. So obviously our signature drink is punch spiced with some rum. So good!

  19. I would be BEYOND thrilled to win this! As a consultant for the beverage and entertainment industry, my home is surely lacking in this department!

    One of my favorite quick and “fancy” cocktails to whip up is combination of champagne and energy drink. This can be a “Chambull” featuring champagne o’ choice and Red Bull or my favorite budget-savers: André and Burn!

    Either half and half mix, or mix to taste!

  20. Lauren says:

    SO FUN! I’m getting married February 21st and we love to entertain, those coasters are adorable!! YEA for Parties!!!

  21. Lindsay says:

    Brandy Alexander in my grandparent’s low ball glasses with the reindeers printed on them. They’ve been a family tradition since I can remember and I was so excited the year I was finally allowed to drink one.

    1 1/2 oz brandy
    1 oz dark creme de cacao
    1 oz half-and-half
    1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

  22. Melissa says:

    Homemade Eggnog with rum and brandy. And, I love wine too! :)

  23. nayy says:

    Kamakazee’s and mojito’s!

  24. Adrienne says:

    My favorite is the pomegranate champagne punch…picked it up from Bon App last year and it’s become a lasting crowd fave!

  25. I love peppermint chocolate martinis!

  26. kari says:


  27. styleosophy says:

    Green Fairy

    3 oz Parrot Bay Rum (the original flavor)
    2 oz Countreau or Triple Sec
    1 oz Rose’s Lime Juice

    Hide your car keys from yourself or find a designated driver. Hurry. Mix over ice and pour into your favorite glass. Or serve over ice.

  28. Nikki says:

    My favorite beverage during the holidays is Bailey’s and coffee! I love every flavor! it defintely warms you up on a cool winter day!

  29. Jaime says:

    My new favorite holiday drink is spiced wine. BUT, I will definitely try the candy cane martini since I’m a martini girl!

  30. megan says:

    My favorite is a Kahlua hot chocolate with a peppermint stick throw in. Yummy!

  31. Emily says:

    Nothing beats the super easy and very tasty raspberry vodka and Sprite! Love it!!

  32. Shelley K says:

    My favorite beverage during the holidays is Eggnogg. Yummy :)

  33. Amy S. says:

    The Poinsettia:
    3 parts champagne
    1 part cranberry juice
    1 part triple sec

    Shake and pour! YUM

  34. Kristen says:

    What a great book!
    I love a good pomegrante martini!

  35. Holly S says:

    I love pomagranate martinis…pom juice, pineapple juice and hypnotiq!
    So delicious you’ll want more than one!

  36. Diana H. says:

    I just love a Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Martini. There are many variations of this recipe but here’s a good one to try:

    0.5 oz white Creme de Cacao
    0.5 oz green Creme de Menthe
    0.25 oz Baileys Irish Cream
    0.25 oz Grey Goose Vodka

    Shake and pour into a martini glass. And if you have some Thin Mint Cookies stored in the back of your freezer bring them out to garnish the drink. You’ll feel very wintery, like you’re hanging around a fire in a chilly evening, trust me.

    Enjoy – Happy Holidays everyone!

  37. danica says:

    A great holiday hangover cure that I love is the bumosa.

    1/3 beer (any will do)
    1/3 orange juice
    1/3 champagne

    if you want some grenedine throw that in there too. it’s also delicous at night :)

    love the idea of a bar at home. what a great idea and thanks for the checklist!

  38. Heidi says:

    how fun! I would L.O.V.E. a copy of the book, I think it would be perfect addition to my coffee table book collection!! :)

  39. Val says:

    Hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps are the best on a cold winter night!

  40. Emily F says:

    ummm, I don’t drink. But if I did, I think I would like schnapps!