Host an easy, but elegant, potluck cocktail party this New Year's Eve. Just assign one of our new mini-bite recipes with hints of the 1960s to guests, stock the bar for cocktails and give a prize for the best Betty Francis or Don Draper look alike! End the night with a dessert table and plenty of cheers!
Organized for Success
- Check with friends ahead of time to make sure all are willing to pitch in with small-bite appetizer help. If it works for them, issue invites with one of our party's recipes attached for them to bring.
- Give guests an idea of your desired dress code. If you really want a Mad Men mood, let guests know they'll need to dress in the show's style!
- How many guests and how much they'll eat is always a big question. Count on eight to ten small bites per person for this party with more per person if you have some big eaters.
- Parties in the 1960s were big on additions like salted nuts, snacks like Original Chex Party Mix and olives.
- Round up serving platters as passed-by-the-hostess appetizers were the norm at 1960s parties. It might also be the perfect time to borrow from your mom or grandma's china cabinet. Get out the silver polish!
- Have guests pass the appetizer they brought when it's served.
All Those Drinks
- Decide which of those 1960s era cocktails you'll be making. Here are our recipes for a classic Manhattan and Gibson Martini Cocktails.
- Remember non-drinkers among your guests. Check out upscale grocers for choices like nonalcoholic Twelve, a fizzy blend of fruit and herbal tea, or one of many sparkling pear drink choices you'll find perfect for a winter party. Or look into 'mocktail' choices.
- Perhaps punch suits your party and pocketbook more. Try a citrusy Champagne Punch or this non-alcoholic Sparkling Sangria.
- Never send a guest home with too much to drink. Did you know all wines are not equal when it comes to alcohol content? Ask your wine merchant to suggest lower alcohol selections or check the labels yourself. German Rieslings often have less than 10 percent alcohol. Some European reds get down around 12.5 percent. Consider Prosecco rather than Champagne to toast the New Year.
- Help guests pace themselves by having plenty of water available to drink.
The Dessert Table
- The black-and-white theme of our dessert choices can be reflected in how you set up your dessert table. Use silver, glass and white cake plates and dishes. Repeat those colors with some pearly shades of blue or purple in the candles and décor for the trendiest look this year!
- Arrange your pretty desserts with style, adding tags to identify them, so guests 'ooh' and 'aah' at how they look. It's all about the presentation!
- Add another choice or two like these: Peppermint Pretzel Canes or White Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.
- Brew up some dark roast coffee!