Holiday Cocktail Party Special

wreath_lightsWe’re deep in the middle of the holiday party season. Big or small, formal or casual, are you planning a holiday cocktail party this year? If it’s been awhile, you might find 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?!? Let’s face it, somewhere along the way cocktail parties became dinner … served one small, delicious bite at a time. You’ll want a platter or two for grazing and a couple of hors d’oeuvres to pass. And on a cold night, who wouldn’t like a little cup of soup?

For grazing …
Put out a platter or two. Your guests will want wander, 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 slices of prosciutto and dried sausages.
… fresh veggies with some great hummus,aioli and/or tapenade.
Smoked Salmon Mousse with all the traditional fixings
Grilled (or Roasted) Antipasti

Set stacks of small plates (tea and espresso cup saucers work well) and maybe some salad forks with the platters. Don’t forget to put out a bowl or two of Spicy Olives and Roasted Almonds and/or Rosemary Cashews.

For passing …
Who doesn’t like a delectable little bite? Warm or cold, everyone enjoys a tasty hors d’oeuvre. So how about …
Roasted Shrimp with Tarragon Aioli
Spanakopita Triangles
Or let your imagination soar with any one or two or three of a thousand crostini … like …
Roasted Mushroom & Fontina Crostini
Beef Tenderloin & Stilton Crostini and/or Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Crostini

For sipping … Served in shot glasses or espresso cups, 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 Soup
Curried Eggplant Soup
… Wild Mushroom Soup

For a sweet ending …
As the party winds down, treat your guests to something sweet. (It will also be a subtle hint that it’s time to go home!) Why not pass a tray with …
Snowy Pecan Balls
Macadamia Nut Shortbread
Mini Gingerbread Cupcakes
Sweet Dream Bars
Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Almond Brittle

To take it up a notch, add tiny glasses of …
Maple Mousse
Chocolate Mousse
Pot de Crème
Or tiny cups of White Hot Chocolate

Cheers and bon appétit!

Berry Merry Martinis
Serves 8

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 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.

What’s your favorite holiday party treat? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? Click Here! for more seasonal menus or Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!  © Susan W. Nye, 2013

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