How to throw a NYE cocktail party

 

As the year comes to a close and we start announcing our resolutions, it’s time for one last party to properly say goodbye to the 2010s.  With three vital ingredients in mind – the drinks, the decorations and really good company – this is our guide to hosting the best New Year’s Eve of the decade. How you start the year is how you’ll spend it, right?

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THE SET-UP


  • If you’ve got a crowd-pleasing playlist, a bottle opener and bag of ice in the freezer, you’re off to a good start. The last two are pretty self-explanatory but to create a killer playlist, ask your guests to share their favourite party bangers and the tunes that defined the decade. Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran… you name it, we want it.

  • You can pick a specific decorating theme but, to be fair, anything sparkly and glitzy will do come New Year's Eve. Consider the entrance as your first opportunity to impress your guests. Follow the route they’ll take inside from the front garden and through the hallway  with a line of twinkling fairy lights. For the rest of the house, a metallic scheme will set the mood for celebration  think gold for old Hollywood glamour, silver for sophistication and copper for something a little unexpected.

  • For the most Instagrammable NYE bash ever, create a fabulous balloon ceiling. Simply inflate shiny balloons with helium, tie a ribbon around each one and let them float to the ceiling until it's completely covered. And don’t put away your Christmas decorations just yet. Display your shimmering baubles on silvery platters around the house or pile them up in vases to create festive displays with minimal effort.
  • Lastly, clear out some space in your home for guests to mingle, stand around and break out a dance move or two. This means getting rid of all clutter, stowing away unnecessary furniture and creating a designated place for your guests’ coats and bags. 

 

 


THE FOOD


  • Want something that’ll get people talking? Think great canapés. The key is to make them look as beautiful as they taste – and not making them so small that guests are constantly looking around for their next bite, or too big that they'll be hard to eat. Go for a mixture of warm and cold, savoury with some sweet options later. Make tartines, pickle thin slices of beetroot to create mini tacos or lay out pretty spoons filled with a bite Christmas pudding, a dollop of cream and a scattering of almonds and grated orange zest.

  • Another great option is grazing boards. Scatter cheese, crackers, grapes and charcuterie on a stone board. Add figs, pomegranate halves, herbs, dried fruit and pots of olives to give a variety of shapes and textures. Alternatively, bake camembert and serve with a tear-and-share loaf, or set out plain blinis or crostinis with various toppings so guests can help themselves.

  • The food is the main bit, of course, but a stunning table set-up is just as important. Dress your grazing table with sprinklings of golden confetti for a little glitz and glamour, and mix and match different types of serving platters to add character  marble trays will elevate the proceedings but wooden boards provide a nice rustic touch. 

 

 


THE DRINKS


  • What’s a New Year’s Eve party without lots and lots of fizz? Take your pick between champagne, prosecco, cava and, if you want something a little different, cremant, and make sure you put some aside for midnight toasts. Nothing spoils the party mood like running out of booze so to keep guests merry, buy a little more than you think you’ll need.  

  • Forking out on all the drinks yourself can get expensive so cut down on costs by asking your guests to BYOB. Ensure you've got enough glasses and some non-alcoholic drinks for those who prefer their morning-after to be hangover-free. Hot mulled apple (made with juice rather than cider) is a great festive option that won't disappoint. 

  • We suggest taking a DIY approach and creating a dedicated drinks station. A home bar with rows of sparkling glasses is such a crowd-pleaser and takes the sommelier duty off your shoulders. The wow factor lies in the details, so think about easy add-ons like lime wedges and olives on cocktail sticks, and garnishes such as maraschino cherries and rosemary sprigs.

  • Don’t forget about decorating your bar area – stocking it with just alcohol is not enough. Deck it out with iridescent tinsel, disco ball baubles and even garlands (yes, garlands past Christmas are okay) to turn your bar cart into an extra festive focal point that'll make your party pop. We’ll see you in 2020.

     


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