Build community with a cocktail or mocktail crawl

By Callie Leahy

Ditch the TV and those familiar cocktails for an adventurous night out with your neighbors. Throw a cocktail — or mocktail — crawl! The idea is simple — pick a theme for your crawl, give each neighbor a different assignment and they come up with a cocktail (or mocktail) and an appetizer that fits the theme. Challenge your palate as you stroll from home-to-home sampling creative cocktails and appetizers all while getting to know your neighbors.

David C. Wilson, president of Clark and Cone, a Tampa, Fla. events company, said one of the benefits of a cocktail crawl is the sense of community.

“Community is very important and few of us know our neighbors,” Wilson said. “If there is an opportunity to open up and create a sense of community … it enhances your quality of life.”

Here are a few fun theme ideas to get your party started.

Around the world

Travel from Japan to Ireland, and never leave your block. Explore the colors, foods and traditions of each place for an event that is out of this … country!

Plum Wine Cobbler Cocktail from

  • 2 orange slices
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • 4 oz. plum wine
  • Muddle orange slices and simple syrup together in a glass. Add ice and plum wine and shake. Strain into a serving glass and garnish with a plum wedge or orange twist.

Guinness Steak appetizer – Marinade skirt steak in Dublin’s finest beer, Guinness. (We like this marinade from Once cooked, slice into fine strips and add toothpicks for easy sampling. Reduce the rest of the marinade to a thick sauce and serve alongside your steak for dipping. (For a vegetarian or gluten-free Japanese appetizer try Tofu -without soy sauce- or Edamame)

And there’s no need to leave those who don’t drink alcohol out of your around-the-world voyage. Include a mocktail or two on your menu. There are plenty of great recipes available online.

Sports night

Wilson suggested a sports-themed progressive party dedicated to your favorite professional and collegiate teams. Try a cocktail themed around the colors of your favorite team paired with gourmet versions of traditional stadium food, Wilson suggested.

Game night

Monopoly, Twister, Uno or Poker. Tip your top hat to your neighbors with a twisted game night cocktail crawl! Have one family deal out a few hands of Texas Hold’em and another host a round of Twister, both with yummy cocktails, mocktails and appetizers!

Movie themes

Action, Drama, Romance, ’80s classics, which is your favorite movie genre? As a group, select a movie genre for the theme then brainstorm some of the best movies that fit. (If you get stuck, try movie sites like or Once everyone has picked a film to focus on, stand back and watch the movie magic come to life!

Here’s a “Pretty in Pink” cocktail for your ‘80s classics party called a “French Kiss:

  • 1oz. X-Rated Fusion Liqueur (a pink, French vodka)
  • 1oz. vodka
  • 1oz. lemonade (or try pink lemonade for a richer color)
  • Shake over ice and serve in a martini glass. Rim with pink sugar for an added touch of color.

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