Glamorous Holiday Hosting
This Glamorous appetizer recipe and accompanying set of Glamour-ish recipes are part of our 2022 Glam Holiday Hosting package, which is a choose-your-own-adventure style approach to building out your perfect party menu. For the full package and set of options, visit our Glam Holiday Hosting introduction page.
Glamorous Appetizer Recipe: Blini Bar
For you, the ideal meal is a table spread with a variety of beautiful small bites. Why have one taste when you can have multiple? For your glam party, no simple cheese ball or veggie platter will do—some glitz and glamour is in order. These pillowy Blini Pancakes are a perfect foil for the briny bite of the most decadent of appetizers—caviar. For the caviar, pick whatever suits your budget, from $20 tins of orange-hued salmon roe to Petrossian for over $100 a tin. Add smoked salmon or smoked trout to the spread, along with bowls of minced hard-boiled eggs, chives, and crème fraîche. Regardless of your choices, the elegance and retro-glam of this appetizer will be the focal point for your guests as they construct their own perfect bites throughout the night.
With your show-stopping appetizer figured out, you can pick from these Glamour-ish cocktails, entrées, and desserts to complete your party menu.
- Brandy Alexander: Brandy and cream combine in this great retro cocktail. If you don’t want to shake individual cocktails, batch out the mixture and let guests pour into a glass with a large ice cube. The dilution will be different than a shaken version served up, but it will save the hassle and be equally delicious.
- Batched Coquito: A cream of coconut based eggnog is a Puerto Rican classic and easy to scale up or down depending on the size of your guest list.
- Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Fill your kitchen sink to the brim with ice and stock it with mini canned cocktails from brands we love like Slow and Low and Tip Top. Add a few bottles of mini Prosecco or champagne like Moët for bubble lovers and some no-proof options like St. Agrestis’ Phony Negroni (Ghia and Recess brand cans are also staff favorites) to fill out the menu. Asking guests to each bring their own favorite mini-canned or mini-bottles of cocktails is a great way to get everyone involved.
- Batched Negroni: The negroni is a simple 1:1:1 cocktail meaning you can whip up and bottle a batch of it for as many as you need by simply combining equal parts of the gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari that makes up this classic drink. Try swapping in smoky Mezcal to replace the gin. Chill until party time, then set out the batched-bottle and provide ice, glasses, and some orange zests so guests can pour and garnish their drinks.
- Kir Imperial Bar: Sparkling wine or Champagne with a hit of raspberry Chambord. A cocktail so easy, you can trust your guests to make it. Just set out some bottles on ice and glasses.
- Crab Fondue: Once you gather the ingredients, this is as simple as dump, heat, and stir. If you don’t want to get a fondue pot, a small slow cooker set to low is a great way to keep the fondue warm. Lay out pieces of bread, cubes of salami, and a variety of veggies and boiled potatoes for a filling main.
- Braised Chicken: Braising meat is a surefire way to get a tender and flavorful meal, and the fact that this cooks in the oven means no need to stand over a stove watching and wondering.
- Leek Pie: Store-bought phyllo sends this easy to assemble sheet pan leek pie to a whole other level. No need to fuss over making pie crust, and the finished product is flaky and light.
- Skillet Pasta: Cozy and filling, this one pot meal can be made using frozen meatballs or your favorite meatless vegetarian brand.
- Clam Pasta: Our simple, yet satisfying recipe lets you serve your guests what some consider to be a restaurant-only meal. You can make the sauce in advance, and when you are ready to serve, simply toss in the pre-cleaned clams and boil the pasta.
- Affogato: Store-bought gelato or ice cream and some espresso is all you need to make this dessert. Offer guests some Amaro or Kahlua to spike their mugs.
- Sugar Cookie Bars: Infinitely customizable, this sheet pan version of the classic sugar cookie removes all the single scooping and multiple sheet tray fuss.
- Vegan Chocolate Mousse: These individual mousse cups are perfect for smaller gatherings, and this vegan version takes only 10 minutes of your time, chilling overnight so that dessert is ready to go when you are.
- Baked Alaska: Hear me out! This retro showstopper can be easy. Store-bought ice cream. Store-bought pound cake. Store-bought jam. Whip up the meringue before the guests arrive so that when it’s time for dessert, you can simply “frost” your ice cream log and bake. If you want to skip the oven all together, you can use a kitchen torch to brown the exterior and make the meringue with dry meringue powder, rather than fresh egg whites, for a foolproof result.
- Hot Chocolate Bar: A pot of cozy hot chocolate (store-bought packets are fine!) is the springboard for this dessert. Lay out a tray of marshmallows, peppermint candies, purchased cookies, and liquors like Bailey’s or Creme de Menthe and let guests build their own perfect mug. It’s also a great chance to encourage guests to contribute an offering to the hot chocolate dessert bar.