A Holiday Cocktail Soiree: Tips for throwing the best holiday cocktail party ever!
Nothing gets us into the spirit of the season more than a glitzy holiday cocktail party! As you know, we’re not ones for overly themed out events. Our take on a perfect holiday cocktail party is a balanced blend of festive cheer and sophistication. And of course being surrounded by stellar cocktails and your besties to drink them with is key too! We rounded up our pals, the talented ladies of Viva La Rock and Rad Little Pad, and with the help of the extraordinary team at The Whaling Club, put together a delightful cocktail soiree to welcome the holiday season. Marie Buck Photography captured all of the festive cheer.
Any great cocktail party starts with, what else, the cocktails. Dan from The Whaling Club concocted the most delicious menu of four cocktails for us, focusing on seasonality and, at my request, color palette. Yes, matching your cocktails to the party is a thing. Sticking with flavors and herbs of the season helped keep the party feeling seasonally appropriate. Here’s a look at the menu! From top left, clockwise:
bourbon, beet, thyme, ginger, honey, lemon
Nicaraguan rum, creme de cacao, cinnamon, cream, herbsaint
white ale, amaro cio ciaro, pink lady apple, lemon, maple
gin, pink grapefruit, sage, lime, elderflower liqueur, rose champagne
Cocktail Menu Tips
While we went all out for our party, Dan says to keep it simple for a larger-scale party. He suggests making a bowl of punch! Shaking and stirring individual cocktails all night can be time consuming and overwhelming when you’re also hosting, cooking, DJing, etc. “For holiday parties, we’ll often make 1 or 2 self-serve punches along with some beer, wine, and plenty of champagne,” says Dan. Don’t think too far outside the box for this punch, Dan advises. “Now is not the time to try out your latest experiments in mixology. You’ll want to make a large batch ahead of time and need something that appeals to a wide range of drinkers. Classic holiday flavors, universally loved spirits (think bourbon or vodka). Essentially you want this punch to be a slam dunk.” How much should you make? Dan recommends 1.5 servings per guest.
Holidays party don’t have to equate to theme parties. It’s completely unnecessary to deck everything out in snowflakes, tinsel and Santa paraphernalia. Besides, bright red and forest green just isn’t really everyone’s jam….us included! We kept our party minimal on color: black and white with hints of silver and a punch of festive cinnamon, blush and beet in the drinks and accents. We focused more on warm accents, like fur pelts, and hints of the season, like greenery sprigs and a festive silver garland. Holiday hint: when we purchased our Christmas tree, we asked to keep the excess bottom branches that were trimmed off. We placed these extra limbs and sprigs around the party space in vessels and bowls. The pine branches fit right in with the season and made the party space smell divine. It’s a perfectly festive look, but more restrained and sophisticated. Give it a shot!
As a special treat, Dan is sharing two of his cocktail recipes with us!
1 1/2 oz nicaraguan rum
1/2 oz creme de cacao
1/2 oz cinnamon syrup
1 oz heavy cream
rinse of herbsaint
Instructions: Combine ingredients in a shaking tin. Shake and strain into an herbsaint rinsed coupe glass and garnish with grated cinnamon and a pod of star anise.
2 oz bourbon
1 oz beet juice
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz honey syrup
1/4 oz ginger syrup
3 sprigs of thyme
Combine ingredients in a shaking tin. Muddle, shake, and strain over block ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Mix ’em up and report back in the comments about how much your guests like them! Happy holidays, everyone!