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How To Prepare Cocktail Parties?

How To Prepare Cocktail Parties?

If you are inviting more than 20 guests, consider hiring a bartender to serve drinks.

Making and Serving Canapes

Food is essential at any cocktail party, but there is no need to spend hours preparing elaborate dishes. Simple canapes or dips are all that is needed. Offer your guests a choice of finger foods and other tidbits that can be eaten with one hand, in one or two bites.

Skewering Canapes

Making tricolor sticks; Thread cubes of feta cheese onto toothpicks or wooden skewers between squares of raw green and red peppers to make tricolor sticks. If you prefer, cook the peppers under the broiler.

Serving Canapes With Style

Using a mirror; Arrange bite-sized finger foods on a mirror tile instead of a plate for an unusual presentation at a formal cocktail party. Leave space between the canapes to achieve the best effect.

Making a dough platter; Roll out short crust pastry or bread dough in a round shape. Edge with shaped leftover dough, place on a cookie sheet, glaze with lightly beaten egg, and bake until golden. Use to serve canapes.

Quick and Easy Canapes

  • Piped celery Pipe soft, herb- flavored cream cheese into the hollows of celery sticks.
  • Pate-filled mushrooms Remove the stalks from small cup mushrooms, and pipe pate into the hollows left by the stalks.
  • Blue-cheese grapes Mix equal amounts of blue cheese and butter. Cut large black or green grapes in half, and .sandwich back together with the mix.
  • Mini-biscuits Make mini-sized savory biscuits, and bake until golden. Cool, and top with cream cheesc and an olive.
  • Chicken-liver toasts Saute chicken livers quickly in a little butter and sherry. Cut into bite- sized pieces,^and spoon onto small, French-bread toasts.
  • Nachos bites Spoon a little spicy guacamole or hummus onto tortilla chips, and sprinkle with paprika to garnish.
  • Bacon twists Twist thin slices of smoked bacon with strips of puff pastry. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is firm and golden brown.
  • Salami cones Wrap thin slices of salami carefully around melon sticks, and sccure each one by piercing with a toothpick.
  • Almond olives Stuff pitted olives with whole, salted, or smoked almonds.
  • Ham with kiwis Wrap thinly sliced smoked ham around wedges of peeled kiwi fruit, and secure each with a toothpick.

How To Prepare Cocktail Parties

Preventing Problems

  • Preventing soggy pastry To serve vol-au-vents and other pastries with moist fillings, bake the pastry cases in advance, but add the fillings only one hour before serving.
  • Making bite-sized foods Make canapes small enough to be easily held in the hand and to be eaten in one mouthful to prevent mess.
  • Serving in stages Serve hot and cold canapes in small batches over a period of about an hour, instead of serving them all at the same time.
  • Clearing space Make space so that guests can put down their drinks and not juggle food and drinks. Clear away empty glasses and food debris.

Making Crudites and Dips

Crudites and dips make excellent food for serving at informal cocktail parties, since they are simple to make and can be prepared in advance. Serve plenty of crudites and savory chips for dipping, and make the dippers small enough to be eaten in one mouthful.

Preparing & Presenting Crudites

Making an ice ring; Keep vegetables fresh by serving them in an ice ring. Fill a large ring mold with water and freeze. Unmold onto a deep serving dish, and arrange vegetables in the center. Garnish around the ice ring to finish.

Simple Dips

  • Tuna Drain a can of tuna, and mash with plain yogurt. Add chopped dill to taste.
  • Deviled sauce Mix tomato ketchup with a small amount of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Pesto Stir pesto sauce into light sour cream.
  • Blue cheese Mash equal amounts of blue cheese and soft cream cheese, softening with a little milk if necessary.
  • Avocado Mash avocado with a little mayonnaise, and add lemon juice to taste.

Making and Serving Drinks

Offer drinks to guests as they arrive. Make sure that there is a good selection of soft drinks as well as alcoholic drinks. If you are serving only one or two different drinks, pour them out in advance, and place them on trays to serve. Mix cocktails in pitchers for easy serving.

Chilling & Serving

  • Chilling bottles If you are short of refrigerator space for chilling bottles, fill the tub with ice, and store the bottles in it until you need them.
  • Freezing fruit juice to prevent drinks from being watered down by plain ice cubes, freeze fruit juice into cubes as an alternative.
  • Rinsing glasses Rinse all traces of detergent from glasses before pouring champagne, since detergent destroys the bubbles.
  • Serving soft drinks always include fresh fruit juices and mineral waters among soft drinks for nondrinkers.
  • Making punch Serve a mixed punch at a large party. This is particularly suitable for large numbers, and can be less expensive than serving a wide selection of wines and spirits.

Preparing & Presenting Drinks

Adding finishing touches; It is worth taking care to serve drinks well, and some of the most effective ideas are quick and simple to achieve. If you want to add a garnish to a cocktail, make sure that you choose a large enough glass so that the drink will not overflow.

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