What things should the newbie host/hostess have stocked to make sure they are ready for entertaining at home?
Sandra Spalding: “In terms of spirits, Vodka and Bourbon are always great to have, even if you just have those two you’re probably going to make most of your guests really happy. If you wanted to have a couple of other things on your bar, a tequila and a gin would be great, and then having a sweet and dry vermouth will allow you to be able to make martinis, manhattan’s, and other drinks too. Also make sure you always have a bowl of lemons, limes, oranges, and you can make all kinds of drinks.”
S: “The biggest faux pas, in my opinion, is bad glassware. I always say have great glassware, even if it is mismatched. If you do use plastic, there are some cool plastic cups out there like Govino (shatterproof glasses).”
S:“Some sort of beaker, a spoon and a strainer, you can use a shot glass as a jigger or a small glass that you probably already have in your cabinet and your good to go!”
S: “I’m not a big fan of having to shake drinks when I’m having a big crowd of people. If you have to shake drinks all night, it is a lot of work. I prefer to be able to sort of just stir up a pitcher of something or make a punch.”
S: Know how to make a Manhattan. If you know how to make a Manhattan you can make a martini; you can tweak those and vary it up with garnishes too. Really with just a few ingredients and some garnishes you can have some fun.”
What resources does Twin Liquors have for someone who wants to learn more about hosting, wine pairings, or making drinks?
S: “I always say the best resource is our people. We have the big marketplace stores where we offer classes like wine 101, entertaining classes, mixology classes, scotch classes; if those don’t work within your schedule, we have very knowledgeable staff. So if your shopping at the Boerne store and talking to Chris G there, he’s going to get to know you and be able to get a feel for what you’re serving and doing at your event.
Once you get to know your Twin Liquors store staff and they get to know you, they’re going to really be able to help guide you.
We also have some online resources in terms of knowledge area and fun videos. Jessica and I have a series of ‘how to videos’ to make cocktails, and we will be doing more of those soon. But really our best resource is our people, It great to watch a video but its way more fun if you can have a conversation and tailor it to what you like to do and what you like to drink.”
The history of Twin Liquors is long, but the short version is that back in the 80’s when the current owners decided to take if from Jabour’s Package Store and turn it into Twin Liquors, named after their father and uncle, Margaret Jabour was studying fashion and said that she wanted to have a place where women felt comfortable shopping. At the same time, her now late brother Ralph was a biochemist, and he was really into the idea scientifically of food and wine pairings. So anytime they got together they were always talking about food and wine and pairings. Their youngest brother, who is the president of the company now, David Jabour, was a banker, so he was the business sense, and it just all came together. Refined stores, displays, and teaching people.
Margaret’s thing was ‘ When you go to the cosmetic counter you want to try the product on. You want to understand how to apply the makeup.’ And that was the approach that they took.
Tastings, really teaching people how to make drinks, and how to do pairings; it really is a pillar of what Twin Liquors is, and from there it was instilled in all of our employees. We try to have one employee at every single one of the events at SACC so that our staff is educated so that they can, in turn, educate the consumers that come into our stores.
Twin Liquors is a sponsor for the San Antonio Cocktail Conference,
S: “Yes! The current generation (3rd generation) that are the owners lost their bother Ralph to heart failure. Because of that Margaret Jabour (Co-Owner/ Executive Vice President of Twin Liquors) got involved with the American Heart Association, and David Jabour (Co-Owner/ President) was very involved in the arts, and it really snowballed, in the best way, from there.
Its only natural, right? You’re a neighborhood store, you have two or three employees in each, and every store gets to know the community and what is important to that community.”
We got hooked up with Cathy Siegel (Executive Director of Houston Street Charities) through Margarets work with Heart Gift and heard about the Cocktail Conference in San Antonio. The whole premise of the San Antonio Cocktail Conference is raising money for Houston Street Charities (with 100% of proceeds going to life-saving children’s charities), and that was really something that appealed to Twin Liquors. Last fall we donated a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 25 year, to the conference. They auctioned it off, and with that and a few other items that night we raised over $15,000. Its pretty cool when you can do that and its like give back, have fun, and learn… it all kind of goes together.”