Entertaining Notes is a new series in which we speak with friends of Chopin Vodka to learn about their top entertaining tips. Each of our contributors has been chosen because of their strong personal style and their penchant for throwing great parties. From signature cocktails and go-to playlists, to their favorite ways to serve Chopin Vodka, we learn about the personal touches that turn their events into memorable occasions.
Hannah Harden began working as Chopin Vodka's Northern California Regional Manager in 2013. She is also passionate about fashion, which she writes about on her website Vogue in Vines. Living in Napa Valley, surrounded by vineyards and people with a rich tradition of entertaining, has had a strong influence on Hannah’s personal style of hospitality.
From the time that I began working with the Chopin team I have always offered my guests vodka-based drinks when entertaining; if you start with a quality, premium spirit then any cocktail you make will be delicious.
My favorite ingredients are fresh fruit and quality alcohol, and I think great glassware also elevates your cocktail. A few years ago, my sister-in-law bought me a Meyer lemon tree for Christmas and I had been waiting patiently for it to grow big enough to produce fruit. Last year, it finally began producing sweet, fragrant fruit and I go crazy with lemons now! So, my signature cocktail is a Meyer Lemon Drop.
My husband, who is a winemaker in the Napa Valley, has had the biggest influence on how I entertain; he always has something on the grill, good wine to be opened and his favorite spirits on hand. We recently hosted a Halloween cocktail party one year at our new home and had everyone arrive in costume. Guests dressed up as everyone from Walter White from Breaking Bad to Warren from It's Something About Mary.
My most important tip for entertaining is to use great alcohol and to play excellent music. I enjoy drinking my Chopin Vodka shaken with ice, slightly dirty, served up. For music, we always have the Lumineers, Zac Brown Band and Kip Moore playing on repeat.