You don’t have to create something new . . . you’re just being creative with beverages that your guests already love.
A signature drink is a beverage that is created to fit your party theme.
It can be juice or punch for a kids party or an alcoholic beverage for an adult party.
Step 1: Choose the Beverage
A princess party needs a pink drink, a racing party needs a red drink, a mad scientist party needs a green drink . . .
What beverages are a color that coordinates with your party theme colors?
Begin with drinks that are readily available. Consider fruit juices & ades, sodas, teas, sports drinks, dairy beverages & ice cream drinks, flavored waters and energy drinks.
Move on to mixed drinks such as smoothies, punch or cocktails for an adult party.
For example, a pink drink can be pink lemonade, cream soda, grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, watermelon juice, a strawberry milkshake, cherry flavored water, or a shirley temple.
- Flavor: what would your guests prefer? Guy drinks are different than gal’s drinks, 2 year olds prefer different drinks than 12 year olds.
- Party theme: does your theme suggest a strong drink or a light drink, or is there a beverage that just goes along with your theme like fruit tea at a tea party or Sarsaparilla at a cowboy party?
- Season: select a cold drink during the summer or a hot drink during the fall or winter.
- Ease: do you want to use something that you can hand out to the kiddies or just pour from a bottle, or do you want to be a party maven and serve mixed drinks, milkshakes or smoothies?
Step 2: Give Your Signature Drink a Special Name
Giving your signature drink a special name can be as easy as printing a label to wrap around a juice box, a water bottle, a soda can or bottled drinks, or printing a tent card for your buffet table to set beside the pitcher or drink dispenser.
For a kids party, keep it simple by using a fruit juice or other beverage and giving it a special name that goes with your party theme. “Dr No’s Electro Potion” makes green Gatorade sound oh so much more exciting!
While doing research for your party theme look for beverage names such as witch’s brew for halloween or Skeleton Canyon Sarsaparilla for a cowboy party.
Step 3: Serve Your Signature Drink in a Special Way
When I say to serve your drinks in a special way, I don’t mean the serv-er!
- Special glasses
- Novelty drink dispenser
- Shaped or flavored ice cubes
- Special straws
- Rimming the glass
Think of ways you can make the presentation of your party drink more exciting and appealing.
“Dr No’s Electro Potion” served in a beaker, mason jar or milk bottle with an LED Coaster Sticker (so it glows) takes green Gatorade to the next level.
Pink lemonade served in a princess cup makes it a royal occasion.
And the great thing about special cups is that they look fantastic in the photos and then can be sent home as a party favor.
Special Drink Dispensers
Novelty drink dispensers – such as this one that looks like an IV pole – pump up the party spirit as they pump out the drinks.
Search the internet for “your-party-theme-name beverage dispenser” and see what’s available. You may even find cool tutorials like this pumpkin drink dispenser.
Special Ice Cubes
Make designer ice cubes by freezing fruit juice into ice cubes or inserting a raspberry, blueberry, small mint leaf or lemon curl in a cube for a sweet drink or a grape tomato, 1/4 cucumber slice or basil leaf in a clear ice cube for a savory drink. (You can also insert fun items like plastic bugs.)
Freeze your ice cubes into special shapes that go with your party theme.
- Lucky Stars & Ice Star Wand
- Marvel Super Heroes
- Star Wars Death Star
- Pill shape
- The Walking Dead zombies
- Skull & Crossbone
- Vampire Fangs
- Diamond Rings
- Titanic Ocean Liners and Icebergs
- Gold Fish
- Glow in the Dark Ice Cubes
- Sea Shells
- Superman Crest
- The Melted Snowman Ice Cubes
- Hip Hop Symbols
- Back to the Future Ice Tray
- Space Invaders
- Star Wars Millennium Falcon
- Zombie Hand
- Darth Vader Helmet
- Batman Crest
- Naruto Ice Tray
- Lifesaver Rings
- Shark Fin
- Musical Notes
- Bullets Ice Tray
- Starry Night Screaming Man Ice Tray
- World Map Ice Tray
- Wind Up Toy Robots
- Atom Bombs
- False Teeth or Dentures Ice Tray
- Wizard of Oz Ice Tray
- Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Ice Tray
- Cookie Monster Ice Tray
- Homer Simpson
- Spider-Man Symbol
- Axe Ice Tray
- Star Wars Boba Fett
- Yeti or Sasquatch
- Coffee Beans
- Ripple Effect Ice Cube
- Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray
- Star Wars R2-D2 Ice Mold
- Doctor Who Tardis Ice Bucket & Tray Combo
- Shark Ice Cube Tray
- Samurai Sword Ice Pops
- Emotion Ice Cubes
- Zoo Animals
- Big Bang Theory Ice Cube Tray
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Faces Ice Cube Tray
Or search the internet with keywords “your theme + ice” to see if there is an ice cube tray for an item to do with your party theme.
When you’re researching party decorations for your party theme, you’ll probably find some special straws that would be perfect, or quite often a party printable package can include a straw decoration.
Put the sugar, cocoa, salt or spices on a plate large enough to accomodate the glass.
Moisten the rim of the glass with a little of your drink by dipping it in a saucer of the beverage, or sliding a lemon or fruit slice around the rim, depending on the flavor and/or color you’re looking for.
Turn the glass upside down on your plate of sugar, salt or powder, give it a little shake and then carefully turn it right side up so none of the powder ends up inside the glass.
Remember – you can rim the glass of non-alcoholic punch or fruit juice in sugar too.
Glazes are a decorative touch to add a little fun to the party experience.
They can be combined with a rim for extra pizzazz.
This glass shows a red syrup used to look like blood dripping on a Vampire’s Kiss drink for Halloween.
Adding a glaze to your glass is a lot of fun, but takes practice. Make sure you give it a few tries before party day to perfect the art!
Dusts and Toppings
A dusting of cocoa powder is a must for hot chocolate!
Toppings such as whipped cream, butterscotch sauce, chocolate sauce or chocolate shavings adds to the flavor of the beverage and makes drinking it extra fun.
Hangers & Drops
They can be fruit, vegetables, picks, umbrellas, peppermint sticks, cinnamon sticks, flowers and almost anything one can imagine as a decoration. (Just keep in mind that the glass has to be able to bear the weight of the garnish without tipping over.)
Hangers can be as simple as one slice of fruit with a slit cut so it can hang on the side of a glass to a spear of fruit. You can also add a little kitsch such as an umbrella or a sword.
Almost any kind of fresh fruit can be used – banana, kiwi, strawberry, peach, star fruit, cherries, cranberries and pineaple are the most common.
Citrus twists can be cut around the peel, but when making many for a party here is an easier way:
- cut both ends off the lemon, lime or orange
- slice it down one side lengthwise
- remove the peel in one piece
- cut the peel lengthwise into quarter inch slices – remove any excess pulp
- hold peel slice over the glass and twist into a corkscrew shape so the oils are in the drink
- save the fruit part to squeeze as juice to rim the glass
For pictoral examples, see this PDF on Garnishing Drinks.