11 Dec

SURPRISE GIVEAWAY + Home Bar Tips from The Nest!

The Nest Home Design Book


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

Hi! I’m Carley from TheNest.com, the spin-off home site from the folks at TheKnot.com (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 TheNest.com 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!

Leave a Comment


It's A Jaime Thing SAYS:

My favorite holiday cocktail is a chocolate martini garnished with a candy cane using White & Dark Godiva Chocolate and Belvedere Vodka – sooo good!

It makes a great after dinner or dessert drink, and a really great treat for a romantic night at home!

Just put on a little bit of Norah Jones or Sarah McLachlan Wintersong, light the fireplace, pour your chocolate martini, get comfy with some good conversation and enjoy the season…

Reply December 10, 2008 at 11:40 pm

ringo SAYS:

My favorite would be a peppermint chocolate martini! It brings back memories of my first anniversary with my fiance at a martini & jazz bar during the holidays.

Reply December 10, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Christina SAYS:

I just love some malibu rum and pineapple juice over ice. Add a splash of blue curacao for color!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 12:42 am

MelissaF SAYS:

Right now I’m really loving cosmos so I guess that’s my signature drink…for now. Although that Candy Cane martini sounds like something I need to try this season!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 3:50 am

Hailey SAYS:

My favorite holiday cocktail is warm apple pie! Nothing like sipping that on a cold winter holiday!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 4:54 am

Jessica Dougherty SAYS:

My mom’s eggnog is a holiday legend. Think Blue Bell vanilla ice cream blended with whiskey & bourbon. It has quite a punch! Happy holidays!


Reply December 11, 2008 at 5:14 am

girlrunningaround SAYS:

I love pomegranite martinis!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 5:23 am

Casie SAYS:

I like spiked eggnog. Yummy.

Reply December 11, 2008 at 5:29 am

Joanna SAYS:

I am loving a Kir Royale right now, or basically anything with champagne!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 5:36 am

Arlynn SAYS:

Right now, I’m into Flirtinis, Limoncello Bellinis and a nice Spked Cider, especially at this time of the year!

Happy Holidays!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 5:58 am

Erin SAYS:

we always serve “pointsettia cocktails” on christmas eve – no elaborate process makes it easy for people to DIY


Reply December 11, 2008 at 6:01 am

Christine SAYS:

love this one : white cranberry juice, vodka and fresh cranberries to garnish. (I’ve also subbed the vodka out for a sparkling wine or 7up)

Reply December 11, 2008 at 6:17 am

newlywoodwards.blogspot.com/ SAYS:

I love the idea of a peppermint martini for holiday parties.

Reply December 11, 2008 at 6:34 am

ljcadv SAYS:

wow these tips are great! Especially since my husband rarely drinks this is perfect for me and our friends! My fav. holiday drink would be good old fashioned hot chocolate.. with a little ‘special’ kick to it! hehehe

Reply December 11, 2008 at 6:36 am

Kate SAYS:

I made lemon drops for a holiday party last week and instead of serving them with ice cubes I tossed in some frozen lemon slices. They were a hit!

Reply December 11, 2008 at 6:36 am

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