For last minute entertaining, Martha knows a good cocktail solves most things.

By Margaret Eby
May 04, 2021
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As the days grow warmer and longer and vaccination rates steadily climb, outdoor entertaining becomes more of a possibility. Picnics, casual gatherings in the backyard, and socializing with less fear of COVID-19 seem to be in our future once again. But, well, after so long maintaining social distance, I'm pretty unused to the idea of having people over. So when I got a chance to talk with Martha Stewart, queen of entertaining, I asked for her tips and tricks. 

The first: what's something she always keeps in the freezer? "I always keep my two favorite kinds of vodka," Stewart told me. "Belvedere and Zubrowka. So that's always in my freezer. I don't drink alone, just when I have a friend here or guests for dinner or cocktails. That's the only time I drink, but I always have that in the freezer."

How best to drink that cold vodka? Don't worry, Stewart has that covered, too. "Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, vodka, a bit of lime, and lots of ice," she told me. 

Martha Steward and Grapefruit Cocktail
Credit: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images / Maryna Voronova / Adobe Stock

Recently, Stewart and her friend and collaborator Snoop Dogg teamed up with BIC EZ Reach lighters, a model that's a hybrid between the traditional lighter and a longer barreled one typically used for lighting candles and grills. The versatility of the lighter means that it's great for entertaining, outdoors and otherwise. "Finding the matches is always a problem," Stewart said. "There's always that moment when you open a pack of matches that you got in some fabulous restaurant, and then you see that there's only one match left and you have eight candles to light. It is not going to work. This is so much easier."

Stewart uses the lighters to light the pilot lights of her ovens, which she keeps off until she starts cooking. "I do that because I was told by the gas company how much gas, natural gas, those pilots use on a monthly basis." Stewart said. "And I said, no, never again. So I keep all my pilots off on my stoves and use a lighter rather than waste natural resources."

They are also, of course, useful for grilling-an excellent way to begin entertaining again. If you're nervous about wading into the waters of having people over, outside is a good place to start. That's not all Stewart had to offer.

"Do it slowly, that's what I suggest," she said. "Make something that you feel very comfortable making, maybe something that you learned during the last year and two months. And entertain! People are dying to go to other people's houses. They really are."