Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Previous story: Local Classical Music Gifts
Next story: Do Good, Feel Good

Seasonal Entertaining & Holiday Cocktails

How to throw a fun holiday party

If you’re searching for creative, cost-effective ways to entertain and decorate during the holiday season, ROOM’s owners Michael P. and David B. recommend incorporating family memorabilia into your holiday decorations in addition to cultural and religious traditions. As a party host, your guests will gain insight into your traditions and it will encourage them to interact with one another more. Revive an old game you used to play like Spin the Dreidel during Hanukkah or Wigilia which is a Polish tradition that occurs on The Eve of Christmas.

Found items and old collectables such as quirky slat & pepper shakers, nutcrackers, and framed vintage photos can also be unique decorations that liven up entertaining spaces and tablescapes. If you do not own a formal tablecloth, drape a simple piece of fabric over the table and purchase colorful place mats or sparkling mats. If you don’t own fine China, simple white plates paired with colorful bowls look festive and lit candles in candleholders will dress up a table and give any room a festive mood. votive candle holders and vases in assorted sizes also make great decorations when grouped together. If you have a chandelier, try decorating it with bows, ornaments, or artificial floral stems.

If purchasing a floral arrangement isn’t feasible or you don’t possess traditional vases, glass jars make instant vases and you can fill them with dry wild winter grass growing outdoors. Slender tree branches in vases also make elegant decorations and are not very costly. Incorporating live plants and flowers will add life to any entertaining space and the simplest decorations like dried pinecones in silver or glass bowls look elegant when they’re dispersed throughout a room. If you want to add a few accent pieces to a main sitting area like a family room, try using decorative pillows in colorful holiday themes, snuggly cotton blankets, or even a rich faux fur throw.

Placing small bowls of mixed nuts and snack mixes throughout your home will give guests something to nibble on with cocktails in addition to serving bite size hors d’oeuvres. If you don’t own a set of wine glasses or Martini glasses when you serve cocktails, use edible adornments like Cherries, Olives, and Candy canes to spruce up the glasses they’re served in. Bourbon-based punches are also easy to serve and look great in any type of glass. Your main course doesn’t have to be a formal, sit down affair with a large entrée. Try serving smaller dishes buffet-style or choose a contemporary menu approach like a taco bar. If your entire meal is store-bought or catered, prepare at least one homemade dish or dessert. Dessert bites make great alternatives to large expensive cakes and if you want to leave a lasting impression on any guest, make tiny candy bag party favors they can grab on their way out the door.

Holiday Cocktails Try these libations to spread seasonal cheer
For an idyllic winter spritzer, mix a 1/4 cup of apple concord juice by Blackman Homestead Farm ($2.50 per bottle at Farmers & Artisans in Snyder, NY) with 1 shot of vodka from Lockhouse Distillery (750ml $37.99 per bottle / and top off the medley with a splash of sparkling water.

If you want to spruce up your apple cider, pair 1 cup with 2 shots of rum or brandy. If you prefer Hard Cider, try Blackbird Cider Works of Barker, N.Y. ($10.99-$12.99 / or Steampunk, made at Leanord Oakes Estate Winery in Medina, N.Y. ($10.95 /

If you prefer to cozy up with a cup of steaming hot chocolate, warm up a cup of milk with Silly Cow Farms all Natural Hot Cocoa ($8.25 per bottle / Farmers & Artisans), add a splash of Peppermint Schnapps, and enjoy.

blog comments powered by Disqus