Best friends Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark wear vintage dresses and mix mean cocktails. They also play off each other’s jokes without batting a lash — the two became Internet sensations for their hilarious video on concocting a McNuggetini, a joke cocktail complete with McNugget garnish. Now they’re taking their irreverent act on the road with a new travel and food show, “Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia,” on the Cooking Channel.
“The show is about going on road trips with your best friend and really experiencing things together and being very goofy and honest,” says Ward. They then bring those adventures back home to share with friends at house parties.
“Friends are like having chosen family — so it’s about how to celebrate, but still do it in a way that’s relaxed and fun.” We get their tips on making our shindigs half as exciting as theirs.
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Alie: I’ve been an advocate for wine spritzers for years. Wine coolers are a totally different thing. A wine spritzer, which is a nice dry white wine mixed with sparkling water and maybe a little fruit is such a good summer sipping cocktail. You’ll stay hydrated, it’s not too sweet. And if you’re not much of a beer drinker, it’s perfect.
Georgia: I’m totally a beer drinker and at first I was like, “No way, that’s such a girly drink.” But now I love them. Another great one is soda water over ice with a couple dashes of bitters. It’s great for your designated drivers.
Theme it up
Alie: We help host an annual B.Y.O.L., a “bring your own lobster” party, which is one of my favorite events. Having a theme really ties things together. So whether it’s everyone bringing their favorite white wine or a side from their childhood, it gives people something to talk about. It’s not just going to be a group showing up and chatting to the best of their abilities.
Georgia: I totally agree. When there’s a theme — we’re doing a daytime pancake party — it makes it more focused. People know if they’re going to bring sides it has to tie into that. But we’re definitely not stuffy when it comes to themes. Parties are an excuse to have fun so you don’t want to stress anyone out.
Make a batch
Alie: Being able to make a big batch of something is really helpful. And it’s fun to just have one kind of signature cocktail for your event. That way everyone can try the rum punch and can have that to talk about.
Creating your own cocktail
Georgia: It’s so much easier than it sounds. It really comes down to making a play on something. So if there’s a cocktail that you enjoy, try a different flavor of bitters in it instead of coming up with something crazy. Start with something you do like, and then be a little more creative. And a really fun, punny name always helps, too.
2 oz pepper-infused tequila
1 oz mango puree
.75 agave simple syrup
.75 oz lime juice
3-4 ice cubes
Pepper ring for garnish
Infuse 750 ml of blanco tequila with half of a jalapeno pepper for 4-5 hours. Discard -- or bravely eat -- pepper. Add first five ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an up glass and garnish with a ring of thinly sliced pepper. Assume poker face.
(To make mango puree, peel mango and cut flesh away from pit. Add mango to blender with a tablespoon of water and blend until smooth.)