We’ve all been to a traditional holiday party. There’s mingling, festive music, some wine, and maybe cocktails. I wanted to do something a little different this year for my holiday party. So I enlisted my friend Ashley Conway, an incredibly talented cocktail recipe developer, to teach us how to make our own holiday cocktails. Being able to hang out with friends, learn something new, laugh (and drink) while doing it turned out to be the best holiday party I could have asked for. Thank you Ashley, Madison, Chelsea, Ariana, Jenna, and Andrea for coming!
How to Set Up the Party
How’d we do it? First, I set up two tables. One larger table acted as the location for our drink making. I set up a station for each guest, with their own shaker, strainer, jigger (I just learned this word), and glasses for the two drinks. With six guests, we only needed one table for this, but you might need more depending on how many people you invite. Along with each station, we scattered the ingredients throughout the center of the table. I suggest splitting up each ingredient into multiple containers so a few people can use them at a time.
I also set up a food table with a cheese plate and other appetizers from AG Ferrari. It was helpful to keep this separate so people had multiple places to hang out. My guests could take a break from drink making to snack on some food or pour themselves something else to drink. While I didn’t have seats at the table, I made sure to include a few around the party so people could sit and chat.
For the decor, I combined my natural, bohemian style with some festive holiday decorations from Papyrus. They had the cutest cocktail printed paper plates and napkins that went perfectly with my theme. These party picks were perfect for my appetizers, and I couldn’t resist this pom pom garland. I hung this banner around the food station to keep it festive as well.
To add a bit of my personal style, I used these cool wooden slabs for each guest’s drink making station. I layered them over some fresh greens and some ridiculously amazing gold eucalyptus I found at the flower mart! I brought in some more fresh flowers (couldn’t believe these white peonies!) and placed them in vases on both tables. Putting the ingredients in various glass bottles helped create an eclectic vibe as well. The decor went well with the casual yet festive attire as well. I wore a pair of white flare denim and a cozy gray sweater.
Now on to the fun part — the drinks! Ashley came up with two incredibly delicious drinks that weren’t too tricky to make either. First she taught us how to create a Cranberry Rosemary Sage Sour. I love the sweet blush color and oh my god it tasted amazing! Here’s how to make it yourself:
Cranberry Rosemary Sage Sour
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1 oz cranberry simple syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup cranberries)
– 1/2 oz Cointreau orange liqueur
– 1/2 oz lemon juice
– 1 egg white
– 1 rosemary sprig & sage leaves for garnish
For simple syrup, combine sugar and water into a saucepan on high heat. Once sugar dissolves, add fresh or frozen cranberries. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer for 10 minutes. Take off heat, let cool, double strain into a jar and store in fridge for 2 weeks. For drink, pour all ingredients except garnish into shaker and shake for 30 sec. Add ice and shake again. Pour in a coupe glass and add garnish.
We also made a delicious Spiced Pear Mimosa. This one is great for parties because it doesn’t require a shaker or strainer to make. Plus, the combination of pear and star anise was perfect for the holidays! Here’s how to make it yourself:
Spiced Pear Mimosa
– 5 oz sparkling wine
– 2 oz pear juice
– 1/2 star anise simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 8 star anise)
– 1 rosemary sprig & pear slice garnish
For simple syrup, combine water and sugar into a saucepan on high heat. Once sugar dissolves, add star anise. Bring to a boil and turn to low simmer for 5 min. Take off heat, let cool, double strain into a jar and store in fridge for 2 weeks. For the drink, pour all ingredients into a champagne glass and add garnish.
Thank you Papyrus for sponsoring this post.
Photography by Andrea Posadas