best bang for your buck: value vodka, gin, and more!

By Rent A Bartender | Nov 05. 2023

Not to put too much pressure on you, but drink selections can make or break a party. The right booze delivers a high dose of flavor that keeps your guests going up to the bar all night. It tickles their taste buds and sets the mood for a night of fun.

Most people assume that quality is synonymous with a high price tag, but not always! If you know where to search, you can get your hands on top-notch booze without the high prices.

We understand you’re in the market to throw a party, not be a booze master. This is where we come in. The highly trained bartenders and mixologists at Rent a Bartender recommend the following drinks.

rent a bartender's top picks

One of the top questions our bartenders and mixologists get is, what should we serve? Here is our go-to list.

Vodka: Potato, grain, Stolichnaya, Smirnoff [Upgrade: belvedere, not Goose]

Gin: London Dry, Old Tom, Bombay + Tanqueray, Beefeater (dry), Empress (it’s purple!)

Rum: White, dark, spiced with Bacardi, Sailor Jerry

Tequila: Blanco, Reposado, Anejo, Cazadores, Epsolon [Upgrade: Tromba]

Whiskey: Rye, bourbon, scotch, Irish, and Japanese

  • Bourbon: 4 Roses
  • Rye: Crown Royal
  • Irish: Jameson
  • Japanese: Toki

sample recipes to inspire you

Now that you know which spirits we recommend for a party, here are some sample recipes you might consider for your party or event when you hire Rent a Bartender.

1. stoli lemonade

Stolichnaya has a noticeably rye-like flavor that some have likened to pepper and others to herbs. The wheat lends the vodka a cereal-like taste, which makes it delicious on its own.

Up the ante by combining Stoli with club soda and lemonade in this ultra-easy, three-ingredient recipe.

Here is what’s required:

  • 2 tablespoons of club soda
  • 4 parts of lemonade
  • 2 parts of Stoli
  • Lemon wheels

Rent a Bartender’s expert mixologists will make this cocktail effortlessly, combining the ingredients into a highball glass or mason jar with ice, stirring, and garnishing with a lemon wheel.

It’s a hardy, flavorful cocktail that’s especially great for a bachelor party or a corporate mixer. Summer parties, whether indoors or out, can also benefit from the puckery sweetness of the lemonade, especially a summer wedding. 

2. empress and tonic

I couldn’t resist recommending an Empress recipe. This gin’s alluring lavender color will win you style points at any soiree you serve it, especially a summertime fete such as a backyard bachelor/bachelorette bash.

The best part about this cocktail recipe is that it only needs only a few ingredients.

Winning brownie points for professionalism and put-togetherness is easy when your hire Rent a Bartender’s mixologists, bartenders, and servers for your next event. We exude confidence, and our bar know-how makes us the best in the Greater Toronto Area.

Customers also love our affordable pricing. We bring the bar equipment and require you to provide the LCBO and bar space. Our enthusiasm for the job is contagious and part of why customer’s can’t get enough!

Here’s what we’ll need for the Empress and Tonic:

  • Mint sprig
  • Lime wheel
  • Ginger beer
  • Lime juice
  • 3 ounces of premium tonic water
  • 2 ounces of Empress 1908 gin

Using a Collins glass, we’ll build the ginger beer, lime juice, and gin with ice. Next, we’ll add a lime wheel or mint sprig for garnish. We can even do both, as we’re here to serve!

3. mai tai

The tropical Mai Tai originated in the mids-1940s and skyrocketed in fame throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This recipe is a more classic take on the Mai Tai, made with dark rum and less sugar than other versions you might have tried.

Many people write off the Mai Tai as a kiddy cocktail because it has a fruit punch-like flavor reminiscent of its Tiki origins, but it doesn’t have to! You can make this drink bigger, bolder, and more mature than the other iterations you’ve tried.

Rent a Bartender is your expert for customizing a drink menu for a party, wedding, anniversary, or corporate function. We specialize in in-home and out-of-home entertainment. We’ll consult with you to build you a perfect custom cocktail menu with all your favorite flavors.

Contact us at Rent a Bartender today to get started!

Here is what the Mai Tai needs:

  • 1 tablespoon of dark rum
  • Lime wedge, pineapple slice, cocktail cherry, and fresh mint for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons of orgeat syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or Curacao
  • 3 tablespoons of aged rum

Watch our bartenders show off their skills, transitioning the orgeat syrup, lime juice, orange liqueur, and aged rum into a cocktail shaker, adding ice, and shaking the ingredients until they’re cold.

Next, we’ll fill a glass with ice and strain the contents of the shaker into the glass, then pour the dark rum atop it. We’ll decorate the glass with aplomb using all the garnishes, then serve.

4. italia paloma

Created by Chicago’s Gibson’s Italia bar, this delightful, summery, colorful cocktail is an ideal choice for an outdoor June wedding or an August bachelorette party. The light color and grapefruit garnish make it a winner.

This cocktail stars Tromba Blanco tequila to maintain the light color profile. It’s zippy thanks to the inclusion of lime juice and has a great balance of sweet and savory. It will be the hit of any party.

Rent a Bartender can bring the party vibe anywhere we go. Our bartenders, mixologists, and servers provide all the event staffing services your event requires, from drink planning to prep, serving, and entertainment like drink stations.

We’re your all-in-one service in the Greater Toronto Area.

Here’s the Italian Paloma recipe:

  • Maldon salt, a pinch
  • Grapefruit slices
  • 1.5 ounces of San Pellegrino Pompelmo
  • 0.75 ounces of lime juice
  • 0.25 ounces of Combier Pamplemousse
  • 1.5 ounces of Tequila Tromba Blanco

This cocktail comes alive by mixing the ingredients in a highball glass and adding ice cubes. After stirring and garnishing with thick, juicy grapefruit slices, this refreshing cocktail is ready for serving.


5. Japanese highball

How about a highball? Combining a booze-free mixer with a spirit might be a little ordinary (I’m looking at you, gin and tonic), but when you incorporate unique ingredients such as Japanese whiskey, you get a cocktail that’s anything but standard.

The best part of this Japanese Highball is that it whips together like no one’s business. It needs a lot of stirring and a large, clear ice cube, as that’s what makes all the difference. The right amount of ice gives the drink its ideal profile without diluting it.

That’s what you get when you hire Rent a Bartender for your events – mixology mastery. We train our bartenders and mixologists, imparting them with the skills that pay the bills. With the great value we offer for our services, why haven’t you called Rent a Bartender yet? 

A Japanese highball also needs bubbles. Since this is otherwise a simple cocktail, the bubbles are what give it a major part of its visual appeal.

A Sodastream can get the job done, as can pouring in some mineragua or Topo Chico. Q is another carbonated beverage to consider.

Our mixologists will gladly work with you, tailoring your event menu to your needs and interests. Let us know!

Here are the recipe quantities for the Japanese Highball:

  • Fresh mint or citrus zest
  • 6 ounces of sparkling water
  • 2 ounces of Suntory Toki whiskey

Yes, this is simple recipe focused on using delicious ingredients. On the day of your event, our mixologists will show up several hours ahead and start the drink prep. This requires filling a highball glass with large, clear ice cubes.

Next, we’ll pour whiskey over ice and stir it clockwise approximately 13.5 times with a bar spoon. Then, we’ll pour the sparkling water or club soda into the glass while avoiding the ice. After stirring 3.5 times (gently so as not to usurp the delicate balance of the drink), we’ll serve.

6. Smirnoff pink cosmo

For all things dainty and pink, the Smirnoff Pink Cosmo delivers. This delectable cocktail has hints of cranberry, lemon, lime, and orange. Unlike most pink libations, which just taste of straight sugar, this one has a fruity flavor that your party guests won’t be able to get enough of.

This is the ideal drink for a bachelorette party, Valentine’s day bash, or for a wedding if you’re serving his-and-hers drinks.

Rent a Bartender’s $2 million liquor liability policy should give you the confidence you need that you’ve made an exceptional hiring decision. Our mixologists and bartenders are the best in the Greater Toronto Area.

Are you thinking of planning an event soon? Get an instant quote from Rent a Bartender.

The Smirnoff Pink Cosmo requires these ingredients:

  • 1 ounce of lemonade, fresh
  • 1/2 ounce of lime juice, fresh
  • 5 ounces of orange liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces of Smirnoff Pink Lemonade

Our bartenders will begin making magic, adding ice to a shaker and pouring the Smirnoff Pink Lemonade. Next, in goes the orange liqueur, then the lime juice, and finally, the lemonade.

About 10 seconds of shaking is all it takes, and voila, this cocktail is ready for pouring into a couple glass. It has a beautiful light pink hue, so there’s no need to garnish it. It will be striking enough on its own!

7. irish mule

Irish whiskey like Jameson is premium stuff. This cocktail, a variation of the Moscow Mule, originated in the 1940s.

You don’t always need to serve it with vodka, especially if you’re hosting a party and want to wow your guests with something original.

Otherwise, the ingredients in the Irish Mule stay about the same as a standard Moscow Mule. It’s amazing how one small change can make such a big difference. You’ll have guests asking you all night how you made this enchantingly delicious cocktail.

Rent a Bartender has the best pricing for premium bartending, serving, and mixology services around. Customers can’t believe our high-value service and low costs! Explore our pricing here.

Provide us with some copper mugs to give the Irish Mule its authenticity, and load up on the following LCBO:

  • Fresh mint
  • Lime wedge
  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup of ginger beer
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice, fresh
  • 1/4 cup of Irish whiskey

Our bartenders will fill the copper mug with ginger beer, lime juice, and Irish whiskey, then dump in some ice and add the lime wedge as a garnish. This cocktail is best served immediately before the ice melts.

8. beefeater pink gin cocktail

And why not another pink concoction? This one is made with Beefeater gin, so it will have a different flavor than the Smirnoff recipe above.

This is a more stripped-back cocktail that will still make a big impression at a bachelorette bash or an anniversary or birthday party. You could even make it the star of your corporate mixer.

Rent a Bartender specializes in the event staffing services you need to make yours the bash of the century. We have a simple, straightforward four-step process: inquiry, staff sizing, planning, and providing our five-star services.

We want you to be a guest at your party so you can sit back and let us do the hard work. Contact Rent a Bartender today to get your party prep planned and done.

Now, let’s get to making the Beefeater Pink Gin Cocktail. It requires these ingredients: 

  • A splash of soda
  • 3 ounces of lemonade
  • 1.5 ounces of Beefeater Pink
  • Lemon, fresh
  • Strawberries, fresh

This tart, puckery, refreshing summer cocktail goes best in a glass with cubed ice. Rent a Bartender’s mixologists will slice a fresh lemon into wedges, then remove the caps of strawberries, inserting them into the drink.

After adding soda and stirring to incorporate it, this fun drink is ready to dazzle your party guests.

Hire the Best Mixologists in the Greater Toronto Area for Your Upcoming Event

Rent a Bartender’s trained and talented mixologists have worked with the finest spirits, including those on our specially curated list. Our staff knows how to have fun and make any event more enjoyable while maintaining a professional presence and keeping drinks coming all night.

Why not get in touch with us today to begin planning your next event?

wanna share this story on social media?

Share it now and spread the love