Will you be hosting a holiday party this year? If it’s been a while, you may find a few of my Party Planning Tips helpful. A special cocktail will be a fun and festive addition to your holiday party. A Kir Royale will add a little sparkle or try my Berry Merry Martini.
And what to do about food?!? I like to provide my guests with a bunch of different options. First, I put out a platter, maybe two, for those who like to graze. Next, I pass a couple one or two bite hors d’oeuvres. And on a cold night, who wouldn’t like a little soup? Most people don’t worry about dinner after a cocktail party. A nice cup of soup will leave them both full and satisfied. If you stick to a puréed soup, you won’t need to worry about spoons. Finally, end the evening on a sweet note with a tray of Christmas cookies, homemade candies or decadent brownies.
For grazing …
Put out a platter or two. Your guests can wander about, chatting with old friends and making new ones. All the while, they will be happy to find something to nibble. May I suggest …
… beautiful cheeses with fruit or some lovely prosciutto and sausages.
… fresh veggies with some great hummus, aioli and/or tapenade.
… Smoked Salmon Mousse with capers, lemon slices and chopped red onion
… Grilled (or Roasted) Antipasti
Set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work great) and maybe some salad forks with the platters. And don’t forget to put out a bowl or two of Spicy Olives and Roasted Almonds.
For passing …
Who doesn’t like a delectable little bite? Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre. So how about …
… Artichoke Leaves with Shrimp
… Warm Mediterranean Shrimp
… Spanakopita Triangles
Or let your imagination soar with any one or two or three of a thousand crostini … like …
… Roasted Mushroom & Fontina
… Caponata with a Sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano
… Roasted Tomatoes with Olives & Goat Cheese
For sipping … Served in shot glasses, soup is a two or three sip hors d’oeuvre. If you want to give your guests, something more substantial, serve it in mugs. To avoid spoons, stick to purées. My favorites include …
… Roasted Butternut Squash
… Roasted Carrot
… Wild Mushroom
For a sweet ending …
Visions of sugar plums will dance in your friends’ heads if you end the evening with a sweet treat. (A little dessert will also be a subtle hint that it’s time to go home!) Why not pass a tray of …
… Snowy Pecan Balls
… Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes
… Sweet Dream Bars
… Espresso Brownies
… Chocolate Truffles
… Chocolate Almond Brittle
… or tiny cups of White Hot Chocolate
Cheers and bon appétit!
Berry Merry Martinis
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
2 1/2 cups or to taste cranberry juice
To taste sugar (optional)
Sparkling water (optional)
Garnish: orange twist
Combine the vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and sugar in a pitcher or jar, stir or shake and store in the refrigerator or freezer until very cold.
Stir again, pour into martini glasses, add a splash of cold sparkling water and garnish with an orange twist.
For a large party, quart Mason jars are a perfect fit for each batch of martinis. Keep them cold out in the snow or refrigerator until ready to serve.
For a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog Click Here!!
What’s your favorite holiday party treat? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going. Comments below.