The acclaimed mixologist shares her tips for throwing the bash of the season.

(Photo: Carlo Ricci.)

We asked Lauren Mote, the internationally recognized barkeep and the genius behind the Bittered Sling bitters empire, how us regular joes can make sure our next party is one for the ages.

1. Make punches.

From eggnog to fish house, there’s nothing better for  true “ahead of time” planning than punches. Use mismatched bowls, cups, glasses and saucers, and let people help themselves from bottles with nice labels or antique crystal bowls.

2. Make a thematic beverage to fit your event’s program.

Feel free to create your own menu, written on a chalkboard or something cheeky and playful, to let guests know what’s in store.

3. Start the party earlier in the day.

We LOVE doing our entertaining at lunch or late afternoon and then changing the theme to something low-key or crazy upbeat in the evening, depending on who’s left standing.

4. Consider changing locations later in the night.

It’s easy for a party to get exciting and over the top, and that can cause problems if you live in an apartment or a duplex where the neighbours might lodge a noise complaint. Make an appointment ahead of time at a bar or karaoke joint so you can continue the fun, and you won’t have to flick the lights on and off at 11 p.m. to kick everyone out.

5. Give guests their own hostess gift.

Consider handing out some of your summer preserves: tomatoes, jams and jellies, hot sauces, bitters or bottled cocktails that guests can take home with them.

6. Consider asking the bartender at your favourite bar to come to your home and make cocktails for you and your guests.

Hiring a bartender for three hours is affordable and so much fun.

RECIPE: Pink Elephant Punch