These Cocktails Will Instantly Upgrade Your Party

There are many elements involved in throwing a decent party. It's sort of like climbing Everest – it takes boldness, wit, the right mix of people, and, well, a little alcohol to see you through. It's certainly not something to embark on lightly because who wants to throw a rubbish party? A golden invitation can turn to rust all too easily, and once you've thrown one bad event you join the sorry ranks of those from whom an envelope in the post has all the attraction of the Tube at rush hour.
We've all attended zillions of parties throughout our lives, from birthdays to New Year's Eve via that shindig for your girlfriend who just split up with her awful boyfriend. Think back to the best – the ones where you had the most fun, that really stick in your mind – and I suspect you'll find the thread running through all of them is that they were luxe but not too serious; an upgrade on your day-to-day. You left feeling enriched as opposed to, you know, bored to tears. And besides the guest list – equal boys to girls; some people who know each other but lots who don’t – one of the most important ice-breakers and party-starters is the drinks you serve. Get that right and you're halfway up the mountain.
Cocktails are king in this department, and the key is to use the right ingredients – your fruit must be fresh, your ice plentiful and your spirits the finest you can get your hands on. So as the party season draws near, there is one spirit to have in your drinks cabinet: CÎROC French Vanilla, a premium vodka with real vanilla flavour. To help you on your way to the party hall of fame, we've pulled together three of the best party cocktails using CÎROC French Vanilla. True, they require a bit of an effort to make but the results are unforgettable. These drinks are guaranteed to take your party to the next level.
CÎROC Star Martini
2.85 units of alcohol per serve
The CÎROC Star Martini is a high-energy upgrade on the modern classic Pornstar Martini. If an A-lister turned up at quarter to midnight you’d hand her this and relinquish control of your Spotify playlist. Aside from its pleasingly tropical appearance – a boon in freezing November – the peach is a good counterpoint to the tartness of the passionfruit, which brings out the vanilla in the vodka. A real drink to impress.
You will need
Boston cocktail shaker
Large martini glass
Shot glass
Cubed ice
35ml CÎROC French Vanilla
15ml passionfruit syrup
10ml rhubarb aperitif
25ml white peach puree
5ml lemon juice
50ml champagne (on the side)
Half a passionfruit for garnish
1. All ingredients except for the champagne are added to a Boston cocktail shaker with ice.
2. Shake and fine strain into a large martini glass.
3. Pour the champagne into a shot glass and serve alongside.
CÎROC Naughty & Nice
2.26 units of alcohol per
The CÎROC Naughty & Nice is that friend who makes a party – witty, clever, sweet, ever so slightly naughty and likely the last person to leave your house. Probably at about 3am. Possibly on their way to the next party and yet, somehow, never drunk. We can’t get enough of her and we can’t get enough of this ebullient mix of ginger and honey either, a classic combo which successfully draws out the full flavour profile of this premium vodka. Serve this to your guests as they arrive; there's no better way to start a party.
You will need
Balloon wine glass
Cubed ice
35ml CÎROC French Vanilla
20ml pink grapefruit juice
10ml honey
15ml ginger cordial
50ml French dessert wine
50ml sparkling water
Grapes, clove-studded long orange zest, star anise and local aromatic herbs for garnish
1. Pour all of the ingredients directly into the glass over lots of ice.
2. Stir until mixed well and chilled.
3. Garnish with as much colour as possible!
CÎROC St Tropez Punch
For sharing – serves 8. 2.5 units of alcohol per serve.
It's 10pm, the party is in full swing, everyone's having fun and you're starting to relax. This is going well. Now it's time to kick back and enjoy yourself, which means you don’t want to be playing bartender, so instead mix up a batch of CÎROC St Tropez Punch and let the guests help themselves. This is light, zesty and the champagne lengthens it pleasingly.
You will need
Punch bowl and ladle
Cubed ice
350ml CÎROC French Vanilla
150ml passionfruit syrup
150g sugar
200ml lime juice
500ml champagne
Dried apricots and mint sprigs for garnish
1. Add all the ingredients directly to the punch bowl.
2. Fill to the top with cubed ice and stir.
3. Once ingredients are well mixed, add more ice and top the drink with garnish.
4. Ladle the drink into individual glasses.

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series