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Don't Let the Recession Crash Your Holiday Celebration: Tips for Memorable Parties on a Budget

Professional Event Planner Mary Coch and DeKuyper(R) Burst Bar Shots Share Stress-Free Party Shortcuts

DEERFIELD, Ill., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- With the holiday season right around the corner, many potential party hosts are thinking twice about entertaining at home as a result of these tough economic times. But the recession shouldn't keep your party down, says professional event coordinator Mary Coch, who has partnered with Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc. [Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO)], a global leader in premium spirits, and DeKuyper(R), the best-selling line of cordials and liqueurs in the U.S., to share tips for throwing a successful party at home that won't break your bank.

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Beverages and food can make or break a party. These items also typically take up the biggest portion of your budget, but with a little planning you can keep these costs reasonable without having to work too hard in the kitchen. Coch, event planner with Corinthian Events, recommends looking for shortcuts when it comes to these items -- which will help minimize preparation time so you can visit with your guests rather than get stuck behind a bar or in the kitchen. She suggests stocking the bar with DeKuyper's new line of shots, Burst Bar Shots, which come pre-mixed and are available in three flavors, Washington Apple, Kamikaze and Red Headed. "Handing your guests a Burst Bar Shot as they walk in the door is unexpected -- when was the last time you were served a fun bar drink at someone's home?" said Coch. "It sets the tone for a festive evening -- but best of all, you get bar-quality shots without any of the hassles and extra costs of mixing multiple ingredients."

When it comes to pulling the menu together, Coch offers the following advice, "Guests don't always need a full sit down dinner," she says. "For the bar, consider limiting it to beer and wine then serve a great specialty drink, like Burst Bar Shots. For food, think about serving heavy appetizers and small plates of different tastes, which can also be a way to save money. This will allow guests to sample a variety of foods while also allowing them to mix and mingle, keeping an upbeat energy in the room."

"We love Mary's simple, yet creative approach to planning parties," said Sheryl Rosenberger, Senior Brand Manager for DeKuyper. "Burst Bar Shots are a fresh idea for entertaining at home that are perfect for holiday gatherings. Rather than wasting time -- and money -- mixing shots, with Burst, it's three easy steps: open, pour, party!"

Coch offers these additional tips for creating memorable parties on a small budget:

-- Consider an "all red" party -- think "hot, hot, hot" or a holiday theme. Pass a variety of spicy hors d'oeuvres and offer chips and salsa. For dinner offer small plates of pasta in red sauce, bite-size gourmet pizzas, demi cups of tomato soup, even red snapper. Dessert could be as simple as red candy like red hots or candy canes or mini raspberry, cherry or apple pastries. Serve Red Headed Burst Bar Shots as your specialty drink to go along with the theme and stick to your budget. Further enhance the theme by inviting guests to dress in red and create "living decor" in the room.

-- Send an email invitation. It's less expensive, quick and environmentally friendly.

-- Load up your iPod with a great mix to last the whole night. Save money on a DJ or band and you won't have to worry about the music for the rest of the night.

-- Use lots of candles to set the mood for specialty lighting. Make sure they are unscented so as not to overwhelm the space with a smell not everyone might enjoy.

-- Forget flowers; they are just an extra expense. Add color and fun to your table by creating centerpieces from foods that can do double duty as dessert. Fill bowls with colorful candy or create a cupcake centerpiece on the buffet table.

-- Have cab company numbers on hand and ready or on speed dial when guests are ready to go. Call ahead so the cab is waiting when guests leave so they aren't left standing out in the cold to hail a cab.

About Mary Coch

Mary Coch has experience designing events in just about every venue in Boston and New England. With more than 15 years in the event industry her experience -- coupled with her creative approach and vision -- bring fresh ideas to every event, creating memorable experiences that keep people buzzing long after the event. Mary is a partner at the Boston-based Corinthian Events, founding the company eight years ago with her two business partners. She has a Masters degree in advertising and marketing.

Company Profile

Corinthian Events is a total event planning company focusing on Special Events and Destination Management. Opening in March of 2000, the partners of the firm offer over 30 years of combined experience. The team of 11 full time staff has developed into a dynamic company blending skills together from many different facets of the hospitality industry. Their fresh approach to planning memorable events, unique creativity and total attention to detail, combined with our professionalism and excellent track-record makes Corinthian Events one of the premier event companies in Boston. Clients include distinguished corporate companies from the financial, legal, meeting and incentive, pharmaceutical markets to non-profit organizations. Learn more at www.corinthianevents.com.

About Beam Global Spirits & Wine:

Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam(R) Bourbon, Sauza(R) Tequila, Canadian Club(R) Whisky, Courvoisier(R) Cognac, Maker's Mark(R) Bourbon, Laphroaig(R) Scotch Whisky, Cruzan (R) Rum, Larios(R) Gin, Whisky DYC(R), Teacher's(R) Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper(R) Cordials and Liqueurs, Knob Creek(R) Bourbon and Starbucks(TM) Liqueurs. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), a leading consumer brands company with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.

DeKuyper(R) Liqueurs, 15% Alc./Vol.

SOURCE Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc.

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