DISHING and Stocking the Bar with Bronson Van Wyck

Bronson Van Wyck throws some of the most sensational parties around – his showstopping tablescapes, controlled use of colors, and unexpected details make each party its own wonderland we want to fall right into. He also has a new line of Arrowhead Farm Cocktail Mixers, with ingredients inspired by the Arkansas Farm where Bronson grew up. The mixers are twists and elevations of old classics, like Spitfire Margarita, Back Porch Herbal Cucumber Cooler, and Hellfire Club Bloody Mary. We think they’re great for gifting and an essential on any bar top. We also picked Bronson’s brain about how he likes to use ‘em, and party in general.

Use Bronson’s tips below to enter his Instagram contest, launching today, with the hashtag #bronsonstocksthebar. Simply dress up and stock your bar to make it its prettiest, and Bronson will pick his fave on Christmas Day. The winner will receive a set of Arrowhead Farms Cocktail Mixers!

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I wanted to create something that encouraged a hangover! Parties are what inspired Arrowhead Farms. I’ve been mixing up these recipes for friends at my own personal events for years.

What are 5 essentials to a well-stocked bar?

The bar is a functional part of a home: a place to welcome you and quench your thirst, a place of refuge from bad conversation, bad society, a bad day. You’ll need the poison (vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila), some fizz (club soda, ginger ale, tonic), fresh citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange) a hint of flash (crystal decanters, mint julep cups, vintage glassware), and the tools to make it happen (a citrus squeezer will really change your life – plus a bottle opener, a good knife, and a shaker).

What are your favorite garnishes? Any unexpected ones we can steal?

Big, fresh herbs, candied ginger, pickled anything. Serrano peppers, bacon. Don’t forget to garnish the ice.

My favorite trick is to infuse ice cubes in advance with fresh herbs or cucumber. As the drink melts, the flavor enhances.

We love a bar that has more than just booze on it. Any tips for those of us who want to jazz up our bar cart with an objet or other items?

The bar can tell a story or provide a glimpse into favorite personal collections. It’s best when something functional is also curious, beautiful, or starts a conversation.

I’ve spent years amassing a herd of vintage silver Gucci stirrup cups with different animal heads. I’ve got the stags, boars, hares, foxes, and horses. If I ever find any lions, I’ll just roar.

What’s your favorite cocktail to serve or be served at a party?

A stiff one. People are afraid of gin but it really makes the wheels fall right off and that’s always a sign of a good party.

Any tips for cocktails that can be (mostly) made ahead for large groups?

I like something simple that will lead to some interaction between guests.

Serve a house cocktail in two batches so guests have to mix them up themselves. It gets people talking, flirting.My Arrowhead Farms line of mixers were created for this exact scenario. Guests can whips up my Back Porch Herbal Cucumber Cooler by adding a heavy poor of vodka and club soda.

We’re sort of obsessed with glassware. Do you have any favorite collections right now?

I love colorful glassware from Moser. They have a tumbler that’s angled and architectural and comes in beautiful, rich jewel tones.

If you could have a drink with one person – living or dead – who would it be?

Sir Winston Churchill. He famously asked Lord Cherwell how many railcars would be filled with all the Champagne he drank in his lifetimes. Cherwell replied, “Only part of one.” Churchill sighed in dismay, “So little time, and so much to achieve.” I think we would see eye to eye.

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