Every year you spend a small fortune going out to a bar or restaurant for New Year’s Eve celebrations. And every year you can’t help but feeling a bit disappointed in the overall experience. Sure it was pretty fun but was it all that special? Why not change it up this year and host your friends at your place for an easy, yet memorable, New Year’s Eve party. It’s easier than you think, here’s our five steps to help you along the way.
1. Plan The Guest List Properly For The Perfect New Year’s Eve Party
Planning the proper guest list for a cocktail party shouldn’t be as complicated as your wedding but it does take a little more thought that just sending a Facebook invite to all your friends in the city. Consider how you think friends might get along from different friend circles. Are you throwing in a great mix of singles and couples? I mean everyone wants the chance to start of the new year with a kiss and possible new romance, so keep that in mind too. And when you send out that invite – be sure to include a start and end time (just so you don’t get any surprise drop ins at 3am). Include any notes like dress code, buzzer code and be sure to mention it’s drop in style (this always leads to more interesting and ever changing party crowd).
2. Ditch The DJ And Opt For Digital
Sure vinyl is making a comeback and you’ve got quite the collection. And yes, we know you see yourself as an amateur DJ. But DJ-ing your own party can become a headache pretty quickly. So instead create a digital playlist ahead of time, start off with some good mellow slow jams before building into more sing a long party jams for later in the night. Feel free to let your friends tap into your bluetooth speakers and throw on some songs from their own phones to mix it up a little. The right music is sure to keep a party moving and bumping.
3. Keep Decorations Simple
Many people go overboard for New Year’s Eve party decorations but we subscribe to keeping it simple yet chic. After all it should be about the guests, the food, and the drinks. Balloons are the cheapest and chicest way to update your space for the festivities. May we suggest a great backdrop of Mylar balloons and a giant champagne bottle balloon. And in a simple 2020 gold foil balloon set and you’re done. Call it a day and spend that extra time making sure your place is spotless (including your bathroom – they will notice).
4. Every New Year’s Party Should Have A Signature Cocktail
Every party should have a welcome drink or signature cocktail. We suggest making it fun and easy to drink – not too sweet and not too boozey. If you want to make it dead easy, create a holiday punch like a Brandy Punch. Or why not try your hand at a Pomegranate Margarita, it’s delicious and easy to make.
1.5 parts Patrón Silver
.75 parts Fresh lime juice
.50 parts Pomegranate juice
.25 parts Agave nectar (or simple syrup)
1. Chill rocks glass by placing in refrigerator/freezer or by filling with ice water and setting aside for 5 minutes (optional).
2. Measure and add all ingredients (except for garnish) into cocktail shaker.
3. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
4. Remove rocks glass from fridge/freezer or if using water, empty the glass.
5. Add fresh ice to rocks glass, then strain contents of shaker into rocks glass.
6. Garnish with a dehydrated (or fresh) lime wheel placed directly into the glass.
For the rest of your bar, keep it simple. Keep some bottles of bubbles (Kava, Prosecco, or Champagne depending on your budget) rose, and dry white wine chilled and ready to serve. Add in some reds to keep everyone happy. And while you’re at it, throw some beer in the fridge. Just don’t forget to include some great options for the non drinkers in the group (think Seedlip or flavoured soda water).
5. Make Sure Everyone Snack’s Well At Your New Year’s Eve Party
We would never suggest a full sit down dinner party for a first time host, especially not for New Year’s Eve celebrations. But that doesn’t mean you can just throw out a few bowls of chips and Chex mix and call it a day. This isn’t college anymore dear reader. Moreover, adequate snacks and nibbles means you will avoid your guests getting too tipsy. Keep it with a cheese and charcuterie board. These always look impressive and don’t take much work or planning.
Start with cheeses: Opt for a few classic hard cheeses (like Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Edam), add in some aged cheeses ( OKA, Gruyere or Gouda or Old Cheddar) and then mix in some crowd pleasing soft cheeses (think Brie, Camembert or even Boursin).
Next you need to add in some cured meats: Prosciutto, salami, sopressata, chorizo, or mortadella are all good options.
Kick it up with something savory or spicy: Think olives, pickles, roasted peppers, artichokes, tapenades, almonds, cashews, or spicy mustards.
Add some sweet: Think seasonal and dried fruits, candied nuts, preserves, honey, chutney, or even chocolate.
Offer a variety of breads: Sliced baguette, bread sticks, and a variety of crackers in different shapes, sizes, and flavors.