Norman Baum, Fran Zaslow Caterers


Signature drinks not always cost-effective: One current trend that happily translates into lower party costs, Baum notes, is that due to health and driving concerns, people are drinking less than they used to.

Still, while most restaurant owners and caterers suggest foregoing an open bar and serving signature cocktails and/or wine to save even more money, Baum questions the actual reduction in cost.

"There is really not much savings in only having signature drinks. The reason is that you still use a quality liquor such as Grey Goose or Bombay. And you're also serving good wines," says Baum.

"Martinis of all sorts are still very popular, especially watermelon, apple, and peach," he continues. "Also, I have found mojitos to be the big drink of the summer."

Baum adds that it's a good idea to hire a bartender. "Guests seem to waste a lot of liquor, wine, and soft drinks if left to their own devices," he says. "If you have a professional bartender who will portion out liquor and eliminate waste, that helps."

Click here to visit the Fran Zaslow Caterers Web site.