Cocktails to Create for Your Poker Party Night

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11th May 2023

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Cocktails are drinks that instantly suggest ‘party time’ in the minds of most people. They have something special that indicates you are in for an evening of fun and excitement.

You can add even more spice to the mix if you pick a theme for your party and choose cocktails that fit it. Casino gaming is popular in 2023 and will make for a theme that guests really enjoy.

Poker is the best casino game to focus the party theme around, as it is a classic card game for sophisticates. You will need drinks to match though, so read on to find out the perfect cocktails for a poker themed party.

Ante Cocktail

The ante is the equal bet that each player in a poker game makes before the first hand is dealt. It is the start of a game and therefore is ideal to kick-start the party.

It provides the perfect opportunity to outline the basic poker rules to guests who are unsure of them over a drink. So how do you make an Ante Cocktail?

The ingredients are: ½ ounce of Orange Liqueur, 1-3 ounces of either Apple Brandy or Calvados, ¾ ounce of Dubonnet Rouge and just a dash of Classic Bitters. Add some ice and then shake well before straining the drink into cocktail glasses.

Invented by Robert Hess, it is a drink that provides subtle, layered flavors. It is also one that remains good to drink over a long period, so it won’t lose its appeal if people get caught up in the game.

Ritz Fizz Cocktail

Casinos conjure up an image of classiness and a poker party night should have cocktails that reinforce that feel. None will do so better than the Ritz Fizz.

It is made using 0.5 measures of Lime Juice, Disaronno amaretto and Blue Curacao respectively, before adding champagne as the final top up. The result is a fresh and appetizing cocktail that will make your themed party go with a sophisticated swing.

Lady Luck Cocktail

Of course we all know that poker is a game of strategy and skill, but a little good fortune certainly doesn’t hurt either. Therefore everyone will welcome the Lady Luck cocktail.

It is really easy to make up, with the ingredients simply being 1 measure of Blue Curacao and 2 of gin followed by a top-up of fresh orange juice. Then just shake well, strain and pour to all of your guests.

That way each has an equal chance of being visited by lady luck when the games start.

Monte Carlo Cocktail

Monte Carlo is one of the homes of casino, rivaling Las Vegas, but with an added edge of cool European glamour. That makes the Monte Carlo cocktail an ideal choice for any poker party evening.

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It is another Robert Hess recipe made by combining ¾ ounce of Benedictine with ¼ ounce of Rye Whiskey, before adding a dash of Classic Bitters to finish. Pour into the ice-filled mixing glass and stir well, before straining the liquid into the glasses.

Telling your guests that they are getting a taste of Monte Carlo in a glass will certainly get them into the gaming spirit.

Martini Cocktail

This is the cocktail of choice for superspy and casino dweller James Bond. Offering it to guests will make them feel like 007 (or a Bond Girl). It is made by putting ½ ounce of dry Vermouth and 2 ½ ounces of gin into an ice-filled cocktail shaker before shaking well and pouring into martini glasses.

The resulting drink is cool, but devastatingly effective – just like Mr Bond himself.

High Roller Cocktail

Even if your poker party does not involve playing for high stakes, it can still be fun for everyone to imagine themselves as high rollers. The cocktail of that name will certainly help to fuel that fantasy.

You can make it by combining 1 measure each of Nolly Prat Dry and Hendricks Gin, with 0.5 measures of both Apricot Brandy and Triple sec. Add an olive for the perfect finishing touch and you have a delicious cocktail that implies luxury and wealth.

Casino Cocktail

The ultimate place to play poker is at a casino, so why not the Casino Cocktail? It is a drink with gin at the heart of it that is the perfect cocktail accompaniment to a poker party.

Pour 2 ounces of gin and 1/8 ounce each of Maraschino and lemon juice before finishing off with a couple of splashes of Orange Bitters. Shake well in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and then strain into cocktail glasses before adding a cherry for final flavoring.

Any of these cocktails will be perfect for a party where poker and casino is the chosen theme for the night.

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Bartender's top tip

Understanding and mastering the classic cocktails provides a solid foundation for your mixology skills. Classics like the Martini, Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Daiquiri have stood the test of time for a reason. Once you know these staples, you can start tweaking them to your taste or using them as a base for more creative explorations.

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