It's that time of year, when Holiday parties are filling up your iCal left and right. You might even be thinking of throwing one yourself! Putting together the perfect cocktail party might sound intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. As the host or hostess, you get to set the ground-rules for a festive evening of fabulous food and dazzling drinks. I've got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to get you started, all of which I've demonstrated for Better TV. Check your local listings and watch us December 16th! Here's what you need to put together a fabulously delicious evening...
Delicious food doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, I much prefer to keep it simple and focus on high-quality ingredients. Start your evening with a couple of no-cook appetizers like my Avocado Bruschetta and my Smoked Salmon Crostini.
They're easy to assemble and absolutely delicious! The key is to get the highest quality ingredients for each: burrata mozzarella, smoked salmon, and fresh avocados. Just arrange them on a couple of trays and let your guests graze.
Everyone loves a meat and cheese platter, and it takes minimal effort from the host or hostess. Here are some tips to get started:
Even if you're not the most skilled chef, you can still throw a fabulous cocktail party. Just fake it 'til you make it! Purchasing quality pre-made snacks are totally fine and just as impressive as making them yourself. I love putting out a high-quality hummus like Tribe, which comes in unique flavors like Rosemary Focaccia (my fave!) and Carrot Ginger.
You can also present a semi-homemade version by purchasing the original flavor and jazzing it up with fresh herbs like chopped dill or a sprinkle of paprika. A drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and some roughly chopped chick peas are also a nice touch. Serve it with some fancy pita chips or crudité (raw vegetables).
Speaking of "faking it," why should you slave away in the kitchen if you've got a perfectly good bakery or sweets shop in your home town? Make them your own by purchasing a variety of flavors, and present them on beautiful cake-stands and trays of varying heights. Don't over crowd the stands or over-think the presentation. Just create little clusters of treats in a perfectly imperfect manner.
What's a cocktail party without interesting cocktails? Instead of playing bartender all night with too many bottles and sticky mixers, opt for creating 2-3 signature drinks.