4 Ideas For Hosting Holiday
The holidays are here! Our days are packed with presents and our nights are filled with festivities. Thanksgiving and Christmas are reserved for big family dinners, and time in between the two often is booked for cocktail parties with friends. The big dinners are a lot of work; for cocktail parties, dial it back a notch. Here are 4 ideas to make cocktail parties simple and fun.
Putting the "Cocktail" in "Cocktail Party"
For a cocktail party, stock the bar so you can serve plenty of drinks. It doesn't have to be a full bar, just provide the basics: vodka, bourbon, gin along with beer and wine. One way to keep it simple for you and your guests is to pre-mix cocktails. As long as you don't mix in any juices, you can mix cocktails days in advance. A sparkling holiday punch is also a fabulous option; don't forget the eggnog! If you don't have enough stemware or cocktail glasses to accommodate everyone you invited, make it interesting and get fun novelty glasses to give guests something to talk about and make the party lively. If you want to make it simple, renting glasses is also an option.
If you want to enjoy the party, make sure you don't have to spend the evening running between the kitchen and the living room. Serve snacks that can be safely held at room temperature for a long period of time. Items like cheese and cured meats are perfect for nibbling on. If you are dying to serve something warm, serve the hot snacks at the beginning of the evening and put the room temperature snacks out when the warm finger foods run out. You don't have to serve chips to keep people happy with cold food. Bruschetta or spreads with toast triangles are easy and classy. For smaller bites, put out spiced nuts or marinated olives to keep everyone nibbling. Limit the food you serve to items that don't require silverware. Keep the food bite sized and on small plates, so there will be fewer items clean during and after the party.
Don't worry too much about living room ideas and having seating for everyone. Cocktail parties are for standing around and chit-chatting; when people stand, they tend to be more social and don't get stuck in one spot talking to one person.
The one thing every party runs out of is ice. It's next to impossible to fit all the ice you'll need into your freezer for the night. To avoid having to make an ice run, keep a cooler on the back porch or in the basement designated for ice. If you're making punch, use a Bundt pan to make ice rings; a few days in advance, put water in the pan and freeze them. They look nice and that's a little less ice you need to worry about buying in a bag. Have plenty of cocktail napkins available. You don't want guests hunting for something wipe their hands on. Also, keep the garbage out of the way but in plain view so people know what to do with their napkins and plates when they're done with them.
A cocktail can be a fun break from the from big holiday dinners with the family. Take the time for a little prep, and both you and your guests will have a relaxing time.