Christmas is over and Hanukkah ends tonight, but fortunately, the holidays aren’t ever yet!
The grand finale, New Year’s Eve, has yet to come. Like many people, you may still be undecided about your New Year’s plans. You may even be entertaining the idea of hosting your own last minute NYE bash. Personally, I feel an intimate gathering or even a rockin’ house party is ten times better than any club or mega event.
So, if you’re thinking about entertaining this year, we have some tips for you from Nadia G of Cooking Channel’s Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen and Van Gogh Vodka.
Get yourself out of the kitchen. “The hostess should enjoy her holiday party every bit as much as the guests,” says Nadia. “The best way to get yourself out of the kitchen is to prepare foods ahead that will taste great at room temperature.” By letting guests serve themselves, everyone can eat on their own time giving the hostess time to kick back and relax with her own cocktail and spend quality time with friends.
Let the guests be their own bartenders. Nadia G recommends a vodka punch like her Pomagrenade Punch or a DIY mixers bar: stock a table with bowls of bite sized fresh fruit and herbs that have been soaking in liquor and simple syrup. Serve these gourmet mixers with chilled bottles of unflavored- and flavored-vodkas, carbonated water, rum and white wine. Guests will have a blast mixing and matching cocktails and experimenting with new combinations!
Give them something sweet – and don’t forget the coffee. Nadia’s Chocolate Balls made with butterscotch chips, peanuts and crushed pretzels are easy to whip up and major crowd pleasers. Topping off the evening with coffee is always a good idea; have regular and decaf on hand for guests to choose from at the end of the night.
Send the guests home with something you’ve created in your kitchen. “Everyone loves my Homemade Hot Cocoa mix. I add a little cayenne and some cinnamon to step it up,” says Nadia. “Gifted in a glass jar or a tin with a bright ribbon, it’s my personal way to say Happy Holidays at the end of the night.”
And of course the most important part of a party is the music; as Nadia says, music can make or break a party. If the host or hostess doesn’t have any musical taste, get a friend to make a playlist for the party.
Here’s one more idea to help make your party a hit.
1 1/2 oz Van Gogh BLUE Triple Wheat Vodka
1/4 cup fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh coriander
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Directions: In a shaker combine all ingredients above. Shake vigorously with ice. Strain into martini glass rimmed with maple flakes, drop in 2 coriander leaves, and garnish glass with pink grapefruit rind twist.
For more recipes, get your hands on Nadia G’s cookbook: Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen: Cookin’ for Trouble