Why Every Hostess Needs a House Cocktail This Summer

Introducing your new favorite party trick.

Woman holding tray of drinks friends in background
Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Good news: You don't have to be the "hostess with the most-est." Sure, some people out there are good at flower-arranging and playlist-curating and chicken-roasting and ice-sculpting, but for the rest of us, it is just fine to be a one-party-trick pony. If you've already discovered your go-to hosting move, three cheers! But if you have yet to harness your hosting powers, we've got you covered. Fledgling hosts and hostesses, meet the house cocktail. It's the party trick that's going to save your summer.

Like a foolproof roast recipe or a signature dance move, the house cocktail is your crowd-pleasing go-to. It's the one in your back pocket, the one that you know by heart, the one that you can throw together without a second thought and it'll be a winner every. single. time.

Whiletechnicallyspeaking your house cocktail should be an original concoction, most of us aren't mixologists; so if you're a fan of your neighborhood barbecue joint's margarita, we say "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." For those who are a little more adventurous, the house cocktail is an excuse to try a new simple syrup or play with unexpected flavors until you land on the drink that feels the most "you."

But even if your house cocktail recipe isn't original, its name should be. Find inspiration for your cocktail name in the ingredients, your surroundings, or even favorite Southern expressions (How 'bout a "Reckon So" or a "Wet Hen?"). Whatever name you land on, you can bet your bottom dollar it's more fun to ask guests if they want a glass of "Back Porch Punch" and leave them to figure out what's in it.

And while having a house cocktail may feel like a fun gimmick, it also makes summertime hosting easy, breezy. At the beginning of the season, stock up on all the ingredients you'll need for your signature drink, then set the cocktail cart on cruise control for the rest of the summer. (Just be sure to refresh your herb and fruit stashes regularly, as they don't have the same shelf life as your booze.)

So mix up that house cocktail and put a tub of Palmetto Cheese in the fridge. You're officially ready for summer in the South.

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