Tapas Recipes for the Perfect Christmas Party

Festive-Looking, Easy-to-Eat, Make-Ahead Tapas

With so many fabulous tapas, how did we choose which ones to recommend for a holiday party? First, the tapas had to have a "wow" factor – very colorful, or a special flavor. Second, they had to be easy to eat at a cocktail party – not a drippy, hard-to-hold mess. Last, most (if not all) of the preparation could be done ahead of time, so you'll have more time with your guests. This is the formula for the perfect Christmas tapas party!

We recommend staged servings. Set out two tapas every thirty minutes, essential if you are planning an open-house or drop-in style affair. Below each item on the list has a brief description, as well as serving suggestions for a larger party.