At this time of year, the art of hosting becomes top of mind in many homes. It's a time for warm welcomes and memorable gatherings. This guide will share tips on how to entertain guests for a night (or day) to remember.
A welcome drink sets the tone for the evening. For those partaking of alcohol, consider classic cocktails like a smooth Old Fashioned or a refreshing Gin and Tonic, served in quality glassware. For a festive twist, a Poinsettia cocktail (sparkling wine, cranberry juice, and orange liqueur) in elegant flutes or warm Mulled Wine in robust goblets are perfect. For non-alcoholic options, serve sophisticated mocktails like a Virgin Mojito or a non-alcoholic Sangria in the same beautiful glassware. Non-alcoholic sparkling cider or a festive punch can also be served in champagne flutes or wine glasses, ensuring inclusivity for all guests.
Soft lighting, background music, and tasteful decorations create a warm, inviting atmosphere. A well-decorated Christmas tree, garlands, and wreaths can add a festive touch. Use centrepieces like glass vases filled with seasonal flowers or berries to add elegance. If you have a bar area, display a variety of glassware, from wine glasses to cocktail tumblers, in an accessible yet in a display style way. This not only showcases your collection but also encourages guests to choose their preferred glassware.
Interactive games can bring laughter and fun to your gathering. Along with Charades or Pictionary, consider adding games like a festive trivia quiz with questions about holiday traditions around the world, or a Christmas carol karaoke challenge. For a blind tasting game, provide guests with small measures of different types of wine or whisky and encourage them to guess the variety or origin, plus additional points for any tasting notes. These games foster a fun, ice-breaking environment and are great for guests to mingle and enjoy the festive spirit.
Complement your drinks with thoughtfully chosen appetisers. For wines, consider a range of cheeses, from creamy Brie to aged Cheddar, along with charcuterie, grapes, and artisanal breads. You could even create a fondue centrepiece for some retro fun. Lighter cocktails pair well with canapés, bruschetta, or shrimp cocktails, elegantly served on glass platters or in small decorative bowls. For non-alcoholic beverages, offer a selection of seasonal fruits, nuts, and chocolates. These pairings not only delight the palate but also enhance the overall tasting experience.
For a toast, choose a classic champagne or sparkling prosecco for alcohol drinkers, and sparkling grape juice or a non-alcoholic Bellini for others. Serve these in crystal flutes to include everyone in this special moment.
Consider small gifts like personalised coasters, miniature bottles of artisanal syrups, or keychains with a cocktail glass design. Hand-written thank you notes with a recipe for a signature drink are a charming touch.
From all at Urban Bar, we wish you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year.
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