I moved to the small community of Marietta Ohio just over 30 years ago, freshly out of college, with no intention of staying long-term, and not knowing a soul. Then, I met and married my outgoing husband who loves the idea of entertaining a houseful of friends and family. (Introverted me? Not so much.) As time went on, I found I enjoy the intimacy that welcoming friends into our home creates. However, when present with a full bar, most guests were not comfortable with it. (And I generally don’t have the budget or the space for a bartender.) To put guests at ease, I created signature cocktails for each event, mixing the base and allowing guests to add the spirit of their choice (or not) to get the feel of mixing a cocktail or mocktail. It’s a great ice breaker too, as guests help each other and compare their concoctions. Today, so many of our friends have also become friends. Friends have hired other friends, married other friends, and vacationed with other friends, all after meeting at our home. When we host a gathering, we hear stories of our friends doing things with each other (even without us!). Knowing we helped bring them together gives us tremendous joy. (Don’t get me wrong, I love being included too…I’m not THAT much of an introvert!) Cheers!