Who doesn't get a little thrill when its time
to dig out the black velvet and head out to that first holiday
fête of the season? In our opinion, whatever your
religious persuasion, the holiday season should be one long
cocktail party. Make yours the one everyone else uses to
plan their calendars around. We're talking festive with
a capital F.
Call it a formal. Encourage your friends
and family to don their swankest finery and you'll get
everyone in the holiday spirit before they even walk through
Brrrr-its winter! Give your guests something
warm to get them in the mood. Welcome them with a delicious
hot drink such as a rum toddy, hot cider and bourbon,
or a mug of spicy mulled wine. For an impressive hors
d'oeuvres serve a creamy soup in shot glasses arranged
on a platter. Most soups can be made well in advance and
frozen with no ill effect.
Pile silver ball ornaments in glass bowls
in every corner of the room for inexpensive holiday décor.
Everyone loves presents! Organize a gift
grab bag at your next holiday party. Give everyone a price
limit and a theme and have them bring a gift. As the host
be sure to provide a few extra gifts to make up for any
guests who forget to bring one.
Candles in the bathroom-nothing is more of a buzzkill
than having to switch on the fluorescent lights.
Serve a sparkling wine with a couple of
drops of pomegranate syrup and a few pomegranate seeds
floating on top for a colorful holiday quaff.
A dessert party is perfect for the holidays.
Serve an array of elegant sweets accompanied by sweet
Champagne-like demi sec or extra dry-and dessert wines.
Break the bank and spring for caviar.
If you have one standout hors d'oeuvre the rest can be
simple and no one will notice.
The Basics: Figure on three drinks per
person for a three hour holiday party. If you are planning
a late night blowout-and we think you should-you'll need
at least five drinks per person. One bottle of wine =
five drinks. One 750ml bottle of liquor = 12-15 drinks.
Have three cocktail napkins per guest. If you are serving
passed hors d'oeuvres exclusively you'll need around six
per person for a two or three hour cocktail party. If
your party goes all night you'll need some more substantial
fare so people don't get (too) wasted.