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!

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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

December 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

Melissa SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

nayy SAYS:

Kamakazee’s and mojito’s!

December 11, 2008 at 10:06 am

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!

December 11, 2008 at 10:21 am

My Sweet & Saucy SAYS:

I love peppermint chocolate martinis!

December 11, 2008 at 10:22 am

kari SAYS:


December 11, 2008 at 10:24 am

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.

December 11, 2008 at 10:30 am

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!

December 11, 2008 at 10:44 am

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!

December 11, 2008 at 10:57 am

megan SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 11:00 am

Emily SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 11:03 am

Shelley K SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 11:05 am

Amy S. SAYS:

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

Shake and pour! YUM

December 11, 2008 at 11:06 am

Kristen SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 11:14 am

Holly S SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 11:15 am

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!

December 11, 2008 at 11:16 am

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!

December 11, 2008 at 11:37 am

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!! :)

December 11, 2008 at 11:50 am


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

December 11, 2008 at 11:51 am

Emily F SAYS:

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

December 11, 2008 at 12:13 pm
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