Top 4 Drinks For The Designated Driver

UK designated driver advertisement

At the beginning of this year we decided to poke some fun at the true heroes of the party, the designated driver. And as mentioned in the top ten ways to tell who’s the designated driver, we here at the BarWhiz Blog fully support and encourage the designated driver program.

These heroes of the non-drink deserve our thanks and special recognition for the selfless deeds they perform while everyone else is busy destroying brains cells. After all, how fun can it be to nurse a glass of water while all around you people are consuming copious amounts of sweet sweet booze? Not too fun at all I imagine. So with that in mind we have developed a list of the top four drinks for the designated driver.

So whether it is your own DD, or someone else’s, show them how much you appreciate their sacrifice by purchasing them one of these delicious drinks:

#1 – Virgin Anything
Martini glass with olives
The beauty of mixing cocktails is that you can essentially have a virgin anything – just leave out the booze. Some cocktails won’t translate so well, an empty martini glass with three olives is really more canapé than cocktail, but it is virgin. So get creative and buy your designated driver the tastiest virgin cocktail the bartender can whip up.

#2 – Fancy Water
Expensive water bottles
If you designated driver insists on drinking water all night why not show them you really care by purchasing them a bottle of the fanciest water the bar carries. You know the stuff, water that is harvested from the melting polar icecaps, or that natural fizzy stuff from France – your DD is just too important to have that stale, flat stuff that comes from the tap.

#3 – Energy Drinks and Coffee
Energy drink and cup of coffee
Likely your designated driver is out for the long haul. A night of partying and painting the town red can become quite exhausting, especially if the only thing you have to sustain yourself is a virgin Cuba Libre. So help give your DD a boost with a powerful energy drink or a few cups of strong coffee.

#4 – Non-Alcoholic Beer and Wine
Pint of beer and two glasses of wine
Now, if you want your designated driver to get in on the fun while still remaining sober, you can always opt for non-alcoholic beer and wine. The only caution is, although these beverages have been dealcoholized some trace amounts of alcohol still remain. Granted you would need to consume 100 beers to feel a slight buzz, but the alcohol is present nonetheless.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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The Best Backpacker Bars In Canada

Last year we discussed the top 19 party cities in all of Canada, but as you may very well know, one person’s party city is another person’s snoozefest.

A city can mean different things to different people based on their experiences. Whether you live in that city, were raised in that city, are tourists to that city or a backpacker just passing through, your wants, needs and expectations of a party may be different from everyone else.

Today we are going to focus on one particular group: backpackers. With youth hostels located in over 85 cities across Canada, the great white north is one destination with the backpacker’s travel budget in mind.

Not only can you find a cheap room at one of the many hostels across the country, but some of these hostels also have their very own bars! Cheap beers and cheap beds equal a fun time in my books.

So without further adieu, here are the best Backpacker Bars across Canada:

British Columbia
The Cambie Pub – Vancouver

When it comes to hostels, cheap, quality, and clean rooms are what is most important to many backpackers, and that is exactly what the The Cambie offers. What makes a stay at the Cambie even better is their onsite pub. Rated as the “#1 place to get wasted on the cheap” the Cambie really knows how cater to the backpacker’s budget. For more ideas on how to party on the cheap, check out our Miser’s Guide To Clubbing.

The Storm Cellar – Banff

Billed as a True Traveler’s Pub, the Storm Cellar is the in-house bar for the HI-Banff Alpine Centre, one of the best ski and snowboarding hostels in the Rockies. The pub is a cozy place to unwind after a long day of hitting the slopes. Sip a few pints, play some darts, or take part in one of the many daily events, from Karaoke and trivia to live music from some great Canadian artists. If skiing is your thing, check out our list of the Best Ski Resorts To Party At.

Mugshots – Ottawa

One of the more unique hostels in Canada is found in its capital city, Ottawa. The HI-Ottawa Jail hostel is located in the old Nicholas Street Gaol, which was built in 1862. Hostelling International purchased the building after it’s closure in 1972 and converted it into a hostel leaving much of the structure intact. Yes, that means you can spend a night in jail without the embarrassment of a having to call a friend or family member to bail you out. The jail’s chapel, which is typically only used in winter months, has been converted into the hostels on-site bar Mugshots. During the summer months the bar moves out into the courtyard, which was once the gallows and the place of the last public execution in Canada.

Tiki Bar Barbu – Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

Located 8 hours east of Montreal, right near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River is The Sea Shack, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts festive hostel. Ideally located to take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer, the Sea Shack hosts visitors all year round. Other than the amazing activities this hostel has to offer, from skiing to kayaking, what keeps people coming back for more are the famous parties hosted at the Tiki Bar Barbu. With live music acts from virtually every genre as well as many themed party nights, at the Tiki Bar Barbu the party never stops.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Most Popular Christmas Party Drinks

Even the Grinchiest of Grinches and the Scroogiest of Scrooges’ ice-cold hearts thaw just a little bit when it comes to getting together with friends for a few holiday drinks. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, from the second to third week of December, and well into the New Year, it is a great time to attend or even host a holiday party.

I’ve been to some pretty amazing parties where the host serves an elaborate themed menu, showing of their incredible culinary skills, however where many parties have failed is when it comes to party drinks. Typically BYOB (bring your own bottle) is expected.

It’s understandable of course, after all who really can afford to both feed and supply alcohol to all of their friends around this time of year. However, being able to supply some creative drinks alongside the incredible food would just blow your guests away.

The affordable solution: create a drink menu and assign each guest a particular bottle or ingredient to bring with them. Here are some of our favorite Christmas Party Drink recipes to add to your drink menu:

#1 – Eggnog

What is Christmas without a glass or two of everyone’s favorite treat – eggnog! Whether you purchase it from the store or make it from scratch, everyone loves a little eggnog each year, especially when it’s spiked. Since eggnog is our #1 pick for the most popular Christmas party drink we will not only provide you with a recipe to make homemade eggnog, but we’ll also provide you with two boozy variations. Think of it as our Christmas present to you.

· Simple Eggnog Recipe (Serves 20)

1 dozen eggs
12 oz white sugar
2 quarts milk
2 quarts whipping cream

Separate egg yolks and set whites aside for latter use. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients, mix well and chill in refrigerator. Before serving whisk egg whites and fold into mixture.

· Brandy Eggnog

1 oz brandy
½ oz dark rum
8 oz eggnog
whipped cream
ground nutmeg
cinnamon sticks

Shake brandy and rum in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a mug, add freshly made eggnog, top with whip cream and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.

· Eggnog Martini

1 ½ oz dark rum
3 oz eggnog
almond extract
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
cinnamon stick

Shake rum, eggnog and almond extract in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into martini glass rimmed with cinnamon. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

#2 – English Christmas Punch

This Christmas punch is enough for 27 glasses, and best of all it is served on fire! Caution should be taken when igniting the punch; you don’t want to end up with a Griswold Christmas tree.

26 oz dark rum
26 oz dry red wine
24 oz strong tea
1 lb superfine sugar
juice of 1 large orange
juice of 1 lemon
orange slices

Combine wine, tea and the juice of one lemon and orange into a saucepan. Warm the mixture, being careful not to boil. Pour into heatproof punch bowl. Add sugar to a large ladle allowing excess sugar to enter punch bowl. Pour rum over ladle until sugar is saturated. Ignite the rum and sugar mixture carefully pouring into punch bowl. Stir to extinguish flames, add remainder of rum and orange slices for garnish.

#3 – Mulled Beer

Far be it from me to tell you how to drink you beer, I am after all a proponent of warming up with a cold one, but sometimes it’s nice to offer your guests a warm drink. This holiday recipe, which serves 20 of your closet friends, creates a warm and spicy twist on the traditional Christmas beer.

10 bottles of dark ale
5 egg yolks
5 tsp white sugar
2 tsp nutmeg
cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger

Combine beer and spices in a large saucepan and heat until ground spices dissolve. Mix sugar and egg yolks together and add to spiced beer ensuring to stir well. Pour into beer mug and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

#4 – Hot Buttered Rum

Speaking of warming up with a warm one, this buttery treat is the perfect drink to hand your guests as they enter into you home from the frigid outdoors.

1 ½ oz of brandy
½ oz dark rum
1 Tbsp unrefined brown sugar
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz water
ground cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm on low heat. Works best if you make multiple cups at one time. Pour mixture into mugs and garnish with ground cinnamon

#5 – White Christmas

For those guest who wrinkle their noses to the though of eggnog, surprise them with this alternative. The additional flavors do a good job of masking that eggnog taste for those not so inclined.

1 oz Southern Comfort
½ oz white chocolate liqueur
4 oz eggnog
chocolate flakes

Shake all ingredients a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into martini glass and garnish with chocolate flakes.

#6 – Poinsettia

This elegant cocktail is made with Champagne, or sparkling wine, which will add a touch of class to any holiday party.

3 oz sparkling wine
½ oz triple sec
3 oz cranberry juice

Combine triple sec and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

#7 – Candy Cane

Here’s a fun cocktail to make for those that have a peppermint tooth – they are easy to spot, as they are the ones always stealing the candy canes off of your tree.

¾ oz berry flavored vodka
¾ oz peppermint schnapps
¾ oz white crème de cacao
¼ oz grenadine
half and half
soda water
candy cane

Combine vodka, peppermint schnapps, white crème de cacao, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed peppermint candy. Fill with half and half, top with soda water and garnish with a candy cane.

#8 – Merry Christmas

Last but not least, here at the BarWhiz Blog we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas with a cocktail of the same name.

1 oz gin
1 oz cranberry juice
1 tsp lemon juice
club soda
fresh cranberries

Shake gin, cranberry and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, top with club soda and garnish with fresh cranberries.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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How To Find The Party When You Are In A New Town

Dance party in Perelman Theater

When you are new in town, or just visiting a new town, it can be difficult to find the best places to party, especially without the support of a group of friends who are familiar with the local party scene. We’ve already provided you with an extensive list of the best party cities from all over the world, but this tutorial will help you to find the party in any city you should find yourself.

Print Media

Paper girl

Many municipalities will have a free daily or weekly newspaper conveniently located at many of the major intersections. These free papers can be a great resource to find the party. Check out the lifestyle or community listings to find events, live music and club nights.

City Guides

Guide Book

Many local businesses, especially hotels, will often have city guides available. These guides will contain a host of information on the city, including such things as the location of local restaurants, bars, clubs and even local events. Although it is not as up-to-date as the free newspaper will be when it comes to current parties, it can be an invaluable source of information to help you with your search.

Digital Media

Unplugged - no computer, no internet, possible?

With the right internet searches you can quickly find the party in any town you decided to visit. There will also be a digital form of both the local newspaper’s community listings as well as the city guide. Best of all, there are hundreds of websites that have sprung up to help others find the best places to eat, sleep and party in every city all over the world. Here are just a few of these amazingly helpful websites:


1 BarWhiz

*Shameless Plug Alert* – We couldn’t very well create a tutorial on how to find a party in a new town without plugging our own site now could we? At BarWhiz you can easily find the best nightlife venues, including bars and clubs, in any city in the world. Once on the specific venue page you can read reviews and comments, as well as see pictures and even a list of events. For a more extensive search, or to even post questions about a specific location, you can use the BarWhiz Forum, where members can help you to find the local party.

2) Fiesta

2 Fiesta Frog is a social networking service that allows members to create unique personal invitations online in order to find and communicate with friends about parties.


3 Meetup

Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups, such as the New in Town Meetup group, where members can find fun things to do and cool places go with other new and not-so-new locals.

4) Professionals in the City
4 Pros In The City

With more than 200,000 members in Washington D.C. alone, Professionals in the City is one of the largest social and networking organizations in the country.


5 Uptake

Uptake helps members to plan vacations by pairing together the advice and recommendations from the people already in your social network with the largest and best organized online travel library.


6 Yelp

Yelps purpose is “to connect people with great local businesses”, and in addition to reading and posting reviews, you can also use Yelp to find local events and ask other members questions about a specific area.

Social Media

Facebook & Twitter "Go Green" Icon set

Finally, when you want to get answers straight from the source, social media is your best bet. Two of the best platforms to get immediate local answers are Twitter and Facebook. For twitter, simply follow some local users and ask where the best places to party are. When it comes to Facebook, every city has its very own profile page, so simply post a general comment asking where the best places to party are and within minutes you will have a host of replies.

Author: Corey Rozon

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How To Dress For A Party – From White Tie to Casual

Here at the BarWhiz Blog we’ve shown you some of the best places to party all over the world. Today, we’ll show you how to dress for a party.

1) White Tie Party

When it comes to White Tie parties, this is as formal as it’s going to get. If you suddenly find an invitation in the mail from the Royal Family, you can bet dollars to donuts – or pounds to Cornish pasties – that White Tie attire will be mandatory.


White Tie Party - Women

Think: Cinderella – not the rag-wearing, floor-scrubbing Cinderella, but the fancy ball gown, long white glove wearing one that had to be home by midnight. Glass slippers are optional. You should sport an elegant updo hairstyle and crack out the taboo red lipstick.


White Tie Party - Men

Think: Mr. Peanut – but with more clothes. You’ll need a black tailcoat with matching tuxedo pants, patent leather dress shoes, a white vest, white tie, white wing-collar shirt, and finish it all off with a pair of white gloves. Top hat, monocle, and walking stick are optional.

2) Black Tie Party

Black Tie may be a step down from the formality of white tie, but it is still pretty dressy. This is the type of party that most people associate with formal wear.


Black Tie Party - Women

Think: White Tie attire, minus the gloves. You can even get away with a shorter dress, something that goes to the knees, but the hair and make-up should stay the same. Throw on a string of pearls, and you are good to go.


james bond

Think: James Bond – Roger Moore or Sean Connery James Bond that is. Rent, burrow or steal a black tuxedo, put on a white shirt, black bow tie and matching black cummerbund, and all you’ll need to do is throw on some formal black patent leather shoes to finish off the outfit. Just be careful knocking back those shaken not stirred martinis – they can really pack a punch!

3) Black Tie Optional Party

The ‘Optional’ is usually a trick to see who won’t shell out the few extra bucks to rent a tux. You don’t have to follow the Black Tie rules, but honestly, I think you should.


Black Tie Optional Party - Women

Think: Black Tie Party. You can always play the optional card and dress it down a little by wearing a cocktail dress, but should you? Should you really?



Think: Black Tie Party. Just like the ladies, you can take the option to wear a really expensive dark suit, just make sure you are also wearing a white formal shirt and conservative tie… but do you really want to be that guy?

4) Business Formal Party

Business formal, Informal and Semi-formal pretty much all mean the same thing. It’s not as formal as Back Tie, but you still need to look, well, formal. Your best bet is to slap on your best office attire. If your office has a laidback, casual dress code, well then you need to do some shopping.


Business Formal Party - Women

Think: Black Tie Optional Party – but the part where we say that you can dress it down a little. Stick with the conservative cocktail dress or to-the-knees-short elegant dress. You can even throw on a dressy suit is that’s your thing. Please note, no matter how much it hurts me to write it, this type of party is not a time to crack out the sexy, slinky dress. Save that one for the Cocktail Party.


Barney Stinson

Think: Suit Up! That’s right, the Business Formal party is your chance to suit up. Grab your finest tailored dark suit, wear it with a crisp white dress shirt, and match it with a conservative tie.

5) Business Casual Party

Whatever you do, do not confuse your office casual Friday dress code policy with an invitation to a Business Casual party. Sure, the boss lets you wear jeans on a Friday, but you’ll stick out in a bad way if you attempt to pull off the same look at the party.


Business Casual Party - Women

Think: Your dressiest version of your casual clothes. Khakis and slacks are fine, but skirts are much better. Pair it with an open collared blouse and smart jacket and you will be good to go.


Business Casual Party - Men

Think: GQ Magazine. Really, in order to get a good sense for business causal just pick up any issue of GQ. Grab a pair of khakis, a collared shirt – no tie required, top it off with a sports jacket and you are pretty much set. Just make sure you are also wearing the proper shoes, any kind of rubber soled leather shoes will work.

6) Cocktail Party

The cocktail party isn’t just an excuse to get together and have some fancy drinks and nibbles, it an important social event that includes… well, some fancy drinks and nibbles. In any rate, it’s important to dress the part, so it doesn’t matter if the Wilson’s down the street are throwing the party, or the CEO of your company, you’ll want to make sure you are dressed properly.


Cocktail Party - Women

Think: LBD (little black dress – or in this case, little blue dress). Of course, cocktail dresses are always in style, but here is your chance to wear that sexy, slinky dress you have in the back of your closet. The cocktail party is your chance to let your hair down, or put it up in a messy bun, so add some fun accessories to your LBD, throw on some lip gloss and get out there and have fun.


Cocktail Party - Men

Think: Business Casual. Unless the invitation states otherwise, business casual is probably your best bet. Go with the khakis, collared shirt and sports coat option, or dress pants, shirt and tie with a nice sweater. Again, GQ will probably be your best resource for outfit ideas.

7) Casual Party

The casual party, or just ‘party’ as most of us refer to it, is typically an anything goes type of dress. You still want to look good, so to dress to impress by throwing on the best and newest outfit in your closet.


Casual Party - Women

Think: A night out at the bar or club with the girls. Let’s be honest, when it comes to looking good, you know what to wear. Just don’t mix up casual with yoga-wear, no matter how much we love those pants.


Casual Party - Men

Think: Clean and New. As long as it’s clean, isn’t full of rips and doesn’t make you look like a total douche, you are probably okay to wear it. There is nothing wrong with dressing business casual, but depending on the party it might be over doing it a bit. Just leave the flip-flops, tank tops and baggy clothes at home, and you should be all right.

Author: Corey Rozon

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