Party guests are not all the same, so why should your holiday cocktail party be one size fits all? Here Siri Daly has created three cocktail party menus with different themes: Wine and Cheese; Chocolate and Champagne; and Kids Invited. Choose the one that best suits your guests (and you!) and check out Siri's suggested cocktail party food, drinks and decorating tips.
1. Wine and cheese cocktail party
Decorating tips: For a simple, elegant style, use a plain wooden table or a table draped with a white tablecloth. Surround the table with wine buckets with different types of wine. Fill little vases or mason jars with evergreen branches or holly and put out some unscented votive candles (perfumed candles distract from the food).
Cheese tips: I like using large cutting boards as platters. As for cheeses, I like to do a hard cheese, such as an aged gouda; a soft cheese such as a double- or triple-crème (like Brie or Camembert); and a semi-soft cheese such as Drunken Goat (cabra al vino). Serve the cheese with various accompaniments, like grapes, a fig spread, Marcona almonds, prosciutto, some sort of salami, water crackers, thinly sliced French baguette, my Parmesan and Garlic Lavash (recipe below) and a small jar of honey.
Wine tips: As for the wine, I would suggest a Chardonnay with the double-crème, a Cabernet for the gouda, and a Pinot Grigio for the Drunken Goat.
2. Chocolate and Champagne cocktail party
Decorating tips: Cover your table with glittery, festive wrapping paper. Use cake platters to hold the truffles and fill extra Champagne flutes with skewers of frozen grapes, raspberries or cherries for guests to dip in their Champagne.
Chocolate: Make chocolate truffles with a variety of coatings. For even more chocolate, have a pretzel bar where guests can dip pretzels in melted chocolate and roll in various goodies (crushed candy canes, nuts, toffee pieces, crushed peppermints and so forth).
Champagne: Serve your favorite Champagne or other sparkling wine in classic Champagne flutes. The skewered fruit is festive and keeps the bubbly cool. For another party drink, make Champagne Jello Shots (recipe below).
3. Kids-invited cocktail party
Decorating tips: Cover tables with brown craft paper and scatter crayons around for drawing. Fill silver buckets with crafting supplies like popsicle sticks, glue sticks, rulers and colored pencils. Instead of putting flowers in your vases, fill them with candy canes.
Hot chocolate bar: Serve hot chocolate in festive mugs with a variety of toppings, such as
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Crushed candy canes
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate syrup
- Mini chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
- Marshmallows (regular and chocolate-dipped)
Sparkly rainbow marshmallow kabobs: I found these fun sparkly marshmallows on Pinterest and they're perfect for a kid-centric party. You can find the complete instructions on The Decorated Cookie blog.