Hosting a holiday cocktail party can be overwhelming. You’re supposed to look perfect while serving as the perfect host — not to mention simultaneously presenting a delicious spread and fabulous drinks. It’s not easy, but it’s totally doable. Follow our simple holiday party road map for a stress-free approach to the season.
- Don’t go crazy with your menu. This is key: Attempting to serve 12 perfect soufflés is not the right idea for your holiday soiree. Stick with easy, make-ahead dishes that are delicious at room temperature. Running back and forth to the kitchen will take away from your time with friends and family, which is what it’s really all about. A cheese and charcuterie spread is a great option since you can set it and forget it.
- If you want to amp things up, “course” your appetizers. Start the evening by serving all of your guests a glass of white wine (Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile option) when they walk through the door, a “welcome drink,” if you will. Have several appetizer options set out that pair well with white wine. Oysters with raspberry mignonette, shrimp cocktail, and a seasonal pizza, such a sausage and squash pizza, cut into bite-size pieces are all great options. Throughout the evening begin to add courses with more robust flavors that pair well with a smooth red (such as Prophecy Pinot Noir), like pork belly with chimichurri, which can be made ahead, sliced into cubes and served on a skewer.
- Keep your drinks simple. Stock your bar with one red-wine option, one white-wine option (such as Prophecy Sauvignon Blanc) and basic liquor and mixer selections. Again, you should dedicate your time to your guests, not elaborate mixology. Stick with a stemless red wine glass for all of your wine offerings — no need for the traditionally appropriate glassware here. And have one large rocks glass for all cocktails.
- Serve your wine the right way. Put your white in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes before serving so you can serve it at the perfect cool temperature. Refrigerate your red wine for about 20 minutes before serving (yes, you read that right, chill your red, just a little). They might not be sommelier-perfect temps, but they’ll be close.
- Curate your playlist. This isn’t the time to depend on Pandora or the radio. Curate a playlist using Spotify or iTunes — mixing holiday hits in with your normal party-music favorites.
Are you hosting a holiday party? Let us know your tips in the comments section below!
Brought to you by our friends at Prophecy Wines.