‘Tis the season! May the whirlwind of holiday parties and cocktail chatter begin. As the anticipation builds for some of the best annual parties in town, today I’m sharing some of this season’s entertaining must-knows along with every day simple tips so that your holiday party can be a seamless success.
The overall theme of what I’m seeing in entertaining these days is a no fuss approach. It’s less about formality than it is about presenting a comfortable environment that’s conducive to a good time….which brings me to trend #1.
1. Bring out the bar carts
As a hostess, the first thing you should ask your guests after welcoming them and taking their coats is if they would like a drink. In a perfect world, you would be able to ask and serve every person however the realist in you knows that unless you have ten clones of yourself, this is not possible. If you can’t attend to everyone, ensure that a drink is within reach anywhere they may go.
Position a bar cart or designate a table in each room with easy access to select wines, beers, and spirits. Since space is limited on bar carts, consider designating those as a build-it-yourself specialty cocktail stations with cute finishing instructions to accompany your perfectly planned glassware and garnishes.
Just remember, the ability to grab a drink easily is a quick way to put your guests at ease and start any party off on the right foot.
2. Eclectic for the win
Nothing says laid back, relaxed like an eclectic mix of serving pieces…which surely works in your favor because chances are you don’t have enough matching plates and glassware for everyone. So embrace the imperfect and settle on a theme such as color palette or metallics rather than getting caught up on having the same Christmas tree china pattern throughout (besides, that’s boring!).
Lately I’ve been inspired by a San Francisco champagne bar that has a vast collection of vintage champagne buckets collected over time, many found at flea markets. The bar tailors which bucket is served to guests based on what their perceived style may be. Such a personal touch, don’t you think? Dust off that old champagne bucket you never use and bring it to life! Add some personality to your party.
3. Embrace color
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean that everything must be red and green or silver and blue. Color is alive everywhere you look in decor, so embrace it this holiday season! Are you a hot pink personality? Well then tie your wreath with a stretch of fuchsia velvet ribbon to make things merry and bright. Think brights are better left for the summer but still want to branch out from the classics? I love how Monika Hibbs styled the second mantle with various shades of blush pink and ivory. So fresh!
4. Moscato and sardines…
Excuse me? Dear Food & Wine, I love you and look forward to my issue every month but I think we may be missing the mark here.
According to Food & Wine, the hottest trend in holiday hors d’oeuvres is canned seafood – sardines, smelt, octopus, you name it. The magazine claims this salty shelf item will be your new secret weapon. Hmmm…I have yet to be convinced.
The magazine is also backing moscato, an endorsement I was surprised to see considering the varietal’s perpetual bad rap. If I had to guess, it may have to do more with the fact that there is now an American version of the wine created by a handful of LA restaurateurs and not so much its “complex” character. 😉
5. Ginger, apple, bourbon cocktail
While this may not be trending, when is bourbon at holiday parties ever out of style? Nothing quite warms me up on a cold winter’s day than a nice bourbon cocktail. Add this ginger, apple, bourbon cocktail to your build-it-yourself specialty bar cart drink and consider yourself done. It is composed of fresh cider, ginger beer, and bourbon in a 2-2-1 ratio. It is sure to be a crowd pleaser and will have people coming back for more.
For more holiday cocktail ideas, here’s a link to more!
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Happy holidays, y’all!