For years, making big New Year’s plans was all consuming, and with so much build up I found myself finding it more and more of a letdown. Now I’ve gotten to the point that we’re still recovering from Christmas and a nice low key evening maybe with a few friends sounds perfect! Today I’m sharing a few ideas for hosting a small impromptu cocktail party at home.
There is a great feature on domino.com about the 5 things you don’t know about champagne but should. I totally agree with their tip about finding a brand that you enjoy and serving that. I’m a big Veuve Clicqout fan, it’s a nice recognizable brand that fits with the occasion of New Year’s Eve, but not over the top, and a flavor that I prefer over many of the flashier brands. And I chose to forgo a champagne cocktail on New Year’s for the sake of simplicity and duration into the evening, but popping a store bought dendrobium orchid head into the glass offers an elegant touch.
Serving easy but substantial food is key. It’s of the old Charleston cocktail party tradition that whatever food you serve can be eaten with just a cocktail napkin, no plates or forks, etc. Sliced ham with assorted rolls/bread is a long time staple. So, maybe for a fun and easy twist for a smaller gathering, try already assembled and displayed ham biscuits. You could get really creative and add a decorative element like wrapping them in wax paper and tying them.
Another easy and hearty idea is making a big batch of a simple soup (like tomato basil) and putting it in votive candle holders or espresso cups that guests can quickly and easily pick up and sip.
I do think that people do enjoy having some kind of sweet treat. Classics like brownies, mini cheesecakes, rice pudding all work with the elegant vibe of New Year’s Eve and this could be the piece that you order out or delegate.
With the weather that we’re having this year, I completely plan on taking advantage of being outside. Set up an outside lounge or dining table and load it up with candles, you’ll be able to hear and possibly see all of the homegrown fireworks!
Don’t forget your sparklers.. Cheers and Happy New Year’s!