January 4th, 2016

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

In December, I decided I would host a Christmas cocktail party for a few good friends from work. I dressed up, got my apartment holiday-ready, made a playlist of my favourite jazzy covers of Christmas classics (mostly Michael Bublé, Ella Fitzgerald, and She & Him), designed a menu of custom cocktails, and laid out a spread of cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, crackers, and more. { See what I wore here. }

Since my apartment is small, I don’t have space for a Christmas tree, nor do I have the storage space for seasonal decor that’s only out for one month a year. Instead, I kept the holiday decor very simple, by lighting a few holiday-scented candles and creating a festive design on my gold framed chalk board.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

This framed chalk board was a fantastic Etsy find, and I use it throughout the year to write my favourite inspiring or funny quotes. If you follow me on Instagram (@saradujour), you’ve probably seen it featured a few times already.

Before we dive into all the food, let’s talk about drinks.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party |Sara du JourSee My Bar Cart Essentials | Build a DIY White + Gold Bar Cart

Below is the cocktail menu I created, featuring a few classic cocktails, and a few custom drinks I designed. The most popular one by far was the Spiced Rum Apple Toddy (click for my recipe), as well as the Berry Cream Soda – recipe coming soon. I’m hoping to post recipes for all the remaining drinks you see on this menu eventually. {Get my Rose Gin and Tonic recipe.}

Christmas Cocktail Party Drinks Menu | Sara du Jour

I think it’s nice to have a signature drink at a cocktail party, it makes each evening you host unique and memorable. Mine was this Spiced Rum Apple Toddy, since it was Christmas, after all.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

If you’re planning to make a batch of Spiced Rum Apple Toddys for your own party, make sure you stock up on cinnamon sticks – I got these for a good price at my local Bulk Barn.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

I found this red buffalo check mug at Winners – it was from a line of holiday products all with the same design, where the proceeds go towards charity. Similar here.

Okay, now let’s talk food. Here’s a look at the whole cheese board and charcuterie spread:

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour
Gold serving tongs | Gold cutlery | Marble + Wood domed serving tray

Cheese plates and assorted charcuterie (cold, cooked meats) are my favourite thing to serve at a party because they seem impressive, people love them, and they’re incredibly low-effort. All you need to do is choose a few yummy items and arrange them attractively on boards. Then you can relax and enjoy the company of your guests without having to worry about what’s on the stove.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

Because I enjoy entertaining, over the last few years I’ve collected some pretty serveware, like dishes, various cheese boards, and serving accessories. I’ll link the things you see here throughout the post.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

There are a whack-load of photos in this post, strictly for the food-porn factor. I hope you love food photos as much as I do!

Feel free to pin any of these for future party-planning ideas. And while you’re at it, meet me on Pinterest.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

I chose a selection of cheeses from soft to firm, with a variety of flavours.

My Cheese Plate Cheese Types:

  • Brie
  • Boursin soft cheese with garlic & fine herbs (this stuff is divine!)
  • Blue cheese
  • Gouda with jalapeño
  • Mild cheddar cheese
  • Soft goat cheese with blueberries and vanilla

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du JourSlate tray (Zara Home) | Feather cheese knives

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

I found these Langholm Cheese Knives on sale at Anthropologie recently, after having had them on my wish list for almost two years. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

In addition to the cheese selection, I tried to supply an array of other nibbles to choose from, with all different kinds of tastes and textures.

Cheese board + charcuterie ideas:

  • Cheeses (soft, firm, goat, cheddar, brie, gouda, and blue cheese)
  • Meats (I served prosciutto, Genoa salami, spicy cacciatore salami)
  • Nuts (I chose almonds and walnuts)
  • Fruit (red & green grapes, dried apricots, and pomegranate arils)
  • Bread/crackers (assorted crackers, Waterthin parmesan & garlic cheese twists, and Raincoast Crisps cranberry & hazelnut crackers)
  • Fig spread
  • Assorted deli olives
  • Hummus (drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika)
  • Baby sweet dill pickles

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du JourHosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du JourHosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour
Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du JourFaceted marble cheese board (similar)*

*This faceted marble cheese board seems to be over $100 everywhere I’ve seen online, but I got mine for only $14 at Homesense! If you live near one, I recommend taking a look.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour
Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

These Waterthins Parmesan & Garlic cheese twists are amazing, as is this fig spread, from Croatia (where my mum’s from). I always make sure to serve this at parties. It goes so well with brie.

If you like this mug, check out my DIY Gold Sharpie Mug tutorial.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

For dessert, I served a few pieces of my Dark Chocolate Christmas Bark, with goji berries, pistachios, pecans, and more. Get my recipe for it at the link.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour
Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

This goat cheese with blueberries and vanilla is one of my all-time favourite foods. And since it’s make from goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk, it shouldn’t upset the stomach of any lactose-intolerant guests.

Hosting a Christmas Cocktail Party | Sara du Jour

The party went really well, I thought, as it was a truly wonderful group of people. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have met so many awesome, talented, and hilarious people – all in one place.

We passed the evening with a few rounds of spiced rum apple toddys, a fair amount of office gossip (what else happens when you get people from work together?), and lots of shared laughter that went on until about two in the morning. (Sorry, neighbours.) It was the perfect way to end the year before going our separate ways for the holidays and not seeing each other again until January.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope you’ve all had a marvellous month full of relaxation, happiness, good people, and yummy things to eat. Here’s to more of that in 2016! x

– Sara

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2 comments

  • Lisa

    This seems like one awesome cocktail party! I can imagine the effort you put into preparing all of this and I’m inspired to try something like this myself :) Hope to see more of your blog posts soon!)

    • http://www.saradujour.me/ Sara du Jour

      Thank you so much, Lisa! I hope you do give it a try! x