Holiday parties: The Dinner Party
An invitation to a legit dinner party is the official mark of classiness. Congratulations. These parties are identifiable by a three-course meal, candlelight and lots of yummy cocktails.
Dinner parties are an invitation to dial up the drama. Try creating central color themes in the table settings, like "White Winter Wonderland" or "Blue Christmas."
Create cocktails to cheers for:
Recipes abound on liquor brands' websites. Tanqueray (tanqueray.com/cocktails) lists instructions for a Holiday Havana that combines its gin with mint and orange. Skyy Vodka (skyy.com) has a roundup of several easy-to-make holiday cocktails, like the Tropical Sleigh Ride and Rudolph the Ruby-tini.
For more elaborate drinks, Middle West Spirits (middlewestspirits.com) has a bevy of beverage recipes highlighting its Oyo vodka, including The High Street - its ingredients include nutmeg and brown sugar simple syrup - and a drink called the Muletide, which uses ginger liqueur and champagne.
"If you are in prime holiday party season and looking at a Saturday night, I would send invitations at least a month beforehand and possibly follow up two weeks prior to the party as well," said event planner Emilie Duncan.
Pretty place cards:
$: Make dessert do double duty. Create sugar cookie stockings and ice them with the guest's name.
$$: Mark each person's seat with an ornament monogrammed with their first initial.
$$$: Stationery stores throughout the city have experts that will help you design customized calligraphy for place cards on beautiful stock paper. Try On Paper, Peabody Papers or By Request.
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