Create a Signature Party Drink in 3 Easy Steps

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Whether your guests are kids or adults, one way to make your party unique is to create a signature drink. It’s easy breezy and will pump up the fun factor!

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 adult party – as well as an alcoholic beverage for an adult party.

mad scientist mixing beverages

Now when I say make a special drink for your party, I don’t mean spend a week mixing concoctions in your kitchen like some mad scientist!

You don’t have to create something new . . . you’re just being creative with beverages that your guests already love.

How many drinks do I need for a party?

For a kids’ party you will probably need one signature drink plus bottled water (which could also have a party label with a special themed name.)

For an adult party, you probably want several choices:

  • coffee, tea, hot chocolate or other hot beverage
  • water
  • sweet beverage
  • sour beverage

 
Even if you’re having a cocktail party you want to offer a limited selection of drinks:

  • 3-4 drink choices makes it easy to avoid preparation delays and people taking a long time to choose
  • it saves money compared to a fully stocked bar
  • guests make conversation discussing your beverage choices
  • drinks fit the party theme
  • have a mocktail or other non-alcoholic choice for designated drivers

Step #1: the first consideration is the color.

how to create a signature drink by color

The easy answer to color choice: make it the same color as you’ve already decided for your party Theme.

how to choose color for party drinks

For a kids party, a princess party needs a pink drink, a racing party needs a red drink, a monster party needs a green drink . . .

And adults want beverages that match the party theme color too, or the season.

This means your signature drink will:

  • match its surroundings
  • add to the atmosphere
  • look fantastic in the photos!

Try to choose beverages that are naturally the color you want.

(Using food dyes can color your guests’ lips, and using colored syrups add lots of sugar. If you can’t find the color or hue you desire, use the theme color in garnishes, glasses, straws and bar napkins.)

Now – what beverages are that color?

{Easy Signature Drink} Begin with drinks that are readily available:

  • fruit juices & ades
  • sodas
  • teas
  • sports drinks
  • dairy beverages & ice cream drinks
  • energy drinks

{DIY project} Consider mixed beverages:

  • shakes
  • smoothies – for a list by color see Cocktail Flow (non-alcoholic)
  • punch
  • infused water
  • cocktails – for a list by color see Cocktail Flow

For example, a pink drink can be:

  • pink lemonade
  • cream soda
  • grapefruit juice
  • pomegranate juice
  • watermelon juice
  • strawberry milkshake
  • cherry infused water
  • Hawaiian Punch
  • shirley temple
  • Tazo passion herbal tea
  • pink cloud punch
  • rhubarb syrup in Sprite
  • Rose wine
  • Pink Lady
  • Pink Martini
  • Cosmopolitan
pink party drink example

Next, consider these factors.

  • 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 a beverage that they can serve themselves, that you can hand out or pour from the bottle – or do you want to {go big} and take the time to serve mixed drinks, milkshakes or smoothies?

idea light bulb

Narrow your choices down to a few favorites and have a taste testing mini-party with your closest friends to get a pre-party vote!


Step #2: Choose a name for your signature party drink.

a rose by any other name

Now that you have your beverage, you need to give it a name that matches the party theme.

“Dr No’s Electro Potion” makes green Gatorade sound oh so exciting!

{Easy} Use Your Research

When you were researching your party theme, did you come across any interesting names?

Maybe Klondike Canyon Sarsaparilla for a cowboy party?

Or how about a bottle of Mermaid Tears for a pirate party?

party drinks with special names

What terms or words naturally go along with your party theme?

This is the no-stress way to create a name for your signature drink.

  • geographical location names
  • names of real people or fictional characters related to your theme
  • color words
  • special terminology that reflects your party theme

{Still easy} Naming by Ingredients

If you chose a unique ingredient that is the pièce de résistance of your beverage, it’s a no-brainer to name your special drink after it. 

In fact, you should name it after the ingredient so everyone knows what to expect. 

  • Try a play on words with the ingredient name (Mint to Be)
  • Think of literature, art or pop culture references to the main ingredient (Apple Polyjuice Potion)
  • Make it a location by attaching villecity or bay to the ingredient name, then add the type of beverage (Lemonville Shooter)

If a bartender created your concoction, ask them for ideas. 

When naming your version of an alcoholic beverage, if you use a classic name such as margarita or daiquiri, make sure your drink contains the expected alcohol in it.

(Margarita should have tequila, a daiquiri has rum.)

People are not impressed when the drink is not as expected.

{Fun} Personalize Your Drink Name

Personalize your signature drink and make it uniquely yours.

Your birthplace:

  • use the country or city name where you or your ancestors were born (The Tallahassee Tonic)

Your name:

  • keep it simple with your name + another word for drink – see suggestions below (Pam’s Potion)
  • add itaini or elo at the end of your name (Pamita, Pamini, Pamelo)
  • combine a couple’s name Brangelina-style
  • consider nicknames and last names too
  • your pet may want their choice of beverage named after them

Your life:

  • does the color/look/garnish of the drink remind you of a special memory?
  • is there a special person, moment or achievement that you want to commemorate in a drink?
  • consider terms related your favorite things, like hobbies & sports
  • what reflects who you are, such as hair color?

Need some inspiration? Here are a few words you can use instead of “drink.”

  • brew
  • broth
  • canned heat
  • cocktail
  • concoction
  • cordial
  • elixir
  • extract
  • fluid
  • goo
  • goop
  • gulp
  • hooch
  • juice
  • liquid
  • mixture
  • nectar
  • potion
  • refreshment
  • sap
  • sarsaparilla
  • secretion
  • solution
  • swig
  • swill
  • tea
  • thirst quencher
  • toddy
  • wassail
  • water

Words for “beer”

  • brewski
  • suds
  • slops
  • barley pop
  • cold one
  • wallop (British)
  • shandy (British: beer mixed with other beverage like lemonade)
  • tinnie (Australian)
  • sherbet (Australian)
  • amber nectar (Australian)

(Want to see the name of the funniest beer ever? Check out Thrillist.)

Step #3: Serve your party drink in a unique way.

Take your special drink to the next level by thinking of an amazing way to serve it.

THIS is not what I mean. >

{Easy Way} This can be as simple as putting a sign with the special name beside a pitcher on your buffet table or printing a label to wrap around a juice box, water bottle, soda can or bottled drinks.

do not serve this way
  • Special glasses
  • Novelty drink dispenser
  • Shaped or flavored ice cubes
  • Special straws
  • Rimming the glass
  • Garnishes

Think of ways you can make the presentation of your party drink more exciting and appealing.

One way is use your party printables to make your party drinks match.

mug of coffee with moustache for fathers day party drink

Specialty party cups

Your princess pink beverage served in cup or goblet makes your party a royal event.

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.

“Dr No’s Electro Potion” served in a beaker, mason jar, or glass milk bottle with an LED Coaster Sticker* (so it glows) takes green Gatorade to the next level.

LED light up coasters from amazon

When buying LED coasters, make sure there is enough LEDs on the coaster to light up what you’re using.

  • Bottles require more than a glass.
  • A glass with a carbonated beverage looks awesome because the bubbles light up.
  • Ice cubes look amazing too!

Specialty Drink Dispensers

How your serve your party drinks can add to the fun!

Novelty drink dispensers – like one that looks like an Hospital IV pole – pump up the party spirit as they pump out the drinks.

There are so many different types available – you’ll be surprised by what you can find.

Search the internet for “your-party-theme-name beverage dispenser” and check it out.

Specialty Ice Cubes

rose ice cubes for party drinks
Rose ice cubes on Amazon*

Do a Google search with keywords “your theme + ice” to see if there is an ice cube tray for an item to do with your party theme.

There are specialty shaped ice cubes for everything imaginable!

Take a look at what Amazon has to offer – it’s amazing.

Make designer ice cubes.

Create your own by using a regular ice cube tray:

  • freeze juice in your party theme color
  • insert fruit slices , lemon curl, a small mint leaf or edible flowers for a sweet drink
  • insert a grape tomato, 1/4 cucumber slice or basil leaf for a savory drink
  • insert a small toy like a plastic bug or a plastic ring like a spider ring or princess ring (please ensure that it is age appropriate – no choking hazard)

Specialty Straws

When you’re researching party decorations for your party theme, you’ll probably find some specialty straws that would be perfect. Your party printable package can include a straw decoration – or a circle you can use as a decoration.

Garnishes are another way of serving your party drinks in a special way.

Beverages – alcoholic or non-alcoholic – can be decorated with one or a combination of the following types of garnishes.

  • rims (salt, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, spices)
  • glazes (syrup poured down the side)
  • dusts (cocoa powder, cinnamon, spices)
  • toppings (whipped cream, syrups, chocolate curls)
  • hangers (garnishes on the edge of the glass)
  • drops (garnishes dropped inside the glass)
special halloween garnishes for party drinks

Rims

how to rim a glass

You can rim your glass with sugars, salt, cocoa powder or spices depending on the taste experience you prefer.

You can even add a touch of food coloring to your sugar or use colored sugars to get the look you want, such as red rims for a vampire party or blue rims for a space or under the sea party.

How to rim a glass:

  • Put the sugar, cocoa, salt or spices on a plate large enough to accommodate the rim of 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.
how to rim a glass

Remember – you can rim the glass of non-alcoholic punch or fruit juice in sugar too.

Glazes

halloween red martini with chocolate rim

Glazes are syrups that are poured down the side of the glass before they’re filled with the beverage.

They are a decorative touch to add a little fun to the party experience.

Glazes 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.

vampire kiss punch with blood red syrup rimming

Dusts and Toppings

A light dusting of cocoa powder, cinnamon or other spices can add to the experience of the first taste and the overall appearance of a beverage.

salted peanut caramel hot chocolate recipe

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.

Or – make it a signature drink because you use out-of-the-ordinary toppings.

Hangers & Drops

gin and tonic with drops

Hangers are garnishes that are placed on the rim of the glass and drops are garnishes that are – of course – dropped inside the glass.

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 – or something to match the theme of your party.

Almost any kind of fresh fruit can be used – banana, kiwi, strawberry, peach, star fruit, cherries, cranberries and pineapple are the most common.

Lemons, limes and oranges can be a wheel (one whole cross-section slice), a slice (half a wheel) or a wedge.

3 smoothies with fruit garnishes

Citrus twists can be cut around the peel, but when making many for a party here is an easier way:

citrus twist garnish
  • 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
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Create a Signature Party Drink in 3 Easy Steps

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