The Coastal Star


By Jan Norris

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The holidays are a whirlwind and everybody’s seemingly busy — too busy, generally, for dinner parties.
Cocktail or wine parties have become the way to entertain large numbers and do it with ease — with the right foods on hand. Set out a dip or two, some olives and cheeses, have  great tunes spinning and you’re good to go.
Here’s a list to get you prepared as a last-minute host:


For cocktail foods:
Olives
Roasted red peppers
Cocktail breads
Dried figs, apricots, dates
Pickle selection – sweet and dill
Nuts – unsalted is best
    (toast your own with herbs)
Caviar – buy domestic for garnishing
Cracker selection: Wheat, cheese, pretzel,
    rice or soy for gluten free diners
Cheese selection
(3 or 4 cheese varieties, 2 semi-soft; 2 hard)
Dried meat selection
(sausages, hams, beef)

    To make quick dips:
Sour cream
Pepper jelly
Onion jam
Cream cheese
    (or Neufchatel – lower in fat)
Jarred salsa (or buy fresh if possible)
Herb mixes or salad dressing spices
Churrasco hot pepper sauce
Vegetable slices

 

For the bar:
Vodka, Rum, Bourbon, Scotch, Tequila
2 red wines
(Pinot Noir or Merlot;
Beaujolais as a lighter choice)
2 white wines (Chardonnay or Pinot Gris;
Dry Reisling or Viognier)
Sparkling wine (A Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco
or a domestic sparkling wine suggested)
Fruit juice mixers: cranberry, apple, citrus juices
Lime mix
Sodas — cola, lemon-lime, ginger ale
Club soda
Sparkling and still bottled waters
Bitters
Liqueurs: orange, raspberry and coffee flavored
Craft beer selection
Maraschino cherries, olives, salt and coarse sugar
for glasses
Extra ice cubes
Picks for garnishes

Non-edibles:
Plastic drink cups
Cocktail napkins
Small dishes for nuts, olives and other snack foods
Plastic wine glasses for pool areas
Paper plates
Paper napkins

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