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Cocktail Party: New Twist on the Classics

Go ahead, invite people over. Our ready-to-host menus are impressive and delicious—and easy to pull off, we promise. Read on for recipes, chef’s tips, presentation tricks and shortcuts. Who’s going to have fun at this party? You.

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Cocktail Party 
Maybe you have a dinner date with friends coming up, or theater tickets with your favorite neighbors, or you’re just in the mood to get the whole gang together. In any case, it’s a great excuse to host a low-effort, high-glam-factor classic cocktail party. Our menu centers around six recipes that put a new twist on time-tested drinks, and we’re serving them alongside a spread of sophisticated store-bought bites.

Mix all six or pick just a few. They’re easy, we promise.

Purple cocktail in champagne glass with silver rim

Violet’s Fall
Who could resist this color? Fans of the Aviation gin-and-crème-de-violette cocktail will want to try our tequila-laced update with a bright dash of ruby red grapefruit liqueur.

Fools Rush In
Inspired by go-to brown spirit drinks like the Whiskey Sour and the Manhattan, this cocktail stays true to the spicy flavor of rye whiskey—but gets a drinkable update with a few sweet additions (think pear liqueur).

Briar Patch
We’ve updated the old-school Daisy cocktail with raspberry liqueur and Falernum--a rum-based cordial with hints of cinnamon and clove--for a subtle nod to fall.

Passion Punch
Apple cider and homemade spiced grenadine add seasonal flare to our bourbon-based punch.

Late Blossom
The supreme ease of this elegant, more interesting take on the Champagne cocktail makes up for the fact that it’s the only one on our list you can’t batch ahead of time.

Concord Mule
Adding a little grape juice brings some fruity fun to the well-loved Moscow Mule, and the classic mug presentation is always a hit

Party Tip: Not into playing bartender all night? Batch drinks into group-size quantities several hours before the party, then let guests serve themselves from chilled decanters.

Master the presentation and you’ll serve these snacks for years.

Charcuterie and cheese boards: the classic, crowd-pleasing cocktail party fare that everyone’s happy to see. Present a balanced and beautiful spread with our menu suggestions for just the right mix of meats, cheese and accompaniments.

Chef’s Tip: For maximum flavor and enjoyment, allow cheeses to sit out and come to room temperature for at least two hours before party time.

Party Tip: Use cheese markers to list the name, origin and type of milk for each cheese.

Find more CrateParty menus in the entertaining section of our blog, plus find everything you need to host on crateandbarrel.com.

Print Recipe
Violet’s Fall
Votes: 56
Rating: 3.38
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Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce pamplemousse liqueur ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/4 ounce crème de violette
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 grapefruit wheel to garnish
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 ounces blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce pamplemousse liqueur ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/4 ounce crème de violette
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 grapefruit wheel to garnish
Votes: 56
Rating: 3.38
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Instructions
  1. In cocktail shaker, combine handful of ice, tequila, pamplemousse liqueur, crème de violette and lemon juice. Shake thoroughly.
  2. Strain into chilled coupe glass, garnish with 1/4 grapefruit wheel and serve.

Print Recipe
Fools Rush In
Votes: 10
Rating: 3.9
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Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces high-proof rye whiskey
  • 5 ounces pear liqueur
  • 5 ounces ginger syrup
  • 7 1/2 ounces lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • Candied ginger to garnish
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces high-proof rye whiskey
  • 5 ounces pear liqueur
  • 5 ounces ginger syrup
  • 7 1/2 ounces lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • Candied ginger to garnish
Votes: 10
Rating: 3.9
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Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In glass pitcher or decanter, stir together high-proof rye, pear liqueur, ginger syrup and lemon juice. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Set out chilled cocktail mixture, ice bucket filled with 2-inch ice cubes, 6 to 8 rocks glasses and small bowl of candied ginger.
  3. Allow guests to pour their own cocktail over a single 2-inch ice cube, and garnish with candied ginger.

Print Recipe
Briar Patch
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.25
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Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce London Dry Gin
  • 1 ounce raspberry liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce falernum
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • 4 Raspberries to garnish
  • 1 lime wheel to garnish
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce London Dry Gin
  • 1 ounce raspberry liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce falernum
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 2 ounces sparkling water
  • 4 Raspberries to garnish
  • 1 lime wheel to garnish
Votes: 4
Rating: 4.25
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Instructions
  1. In cocktail shaker, combine handful of ice, London dry gin, raspberry liqueur, falernum and lime juice. Shake thoroughly.
  2. Strain into ice-filled highball glass. Top with sparkling water, and garnish with fresh raspberries and lime wheel to serve.

Print Recipe
Passion Punch
Votes: 4
Rating: 3.5
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Servings
1 gallon
Ingredients
For the spiced pomegranate simple syrup:
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon Whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole star anise
  • 1 lemon peel
For the punch:
  • 1 liter bourbon
  • 32 ounces apple cider
  • 16 ounces spiced pomegranate simple syrup
  • 8 ounces falernum
  • 24 ounces lemon juice freshly squeezed
To garnish:
  • 1-2 blood oranges thinly sliced
  • 1-2 clementines thinly sliced
  • 6-12 kumquats thinly sliced
  • 1-2 apples thinly sliced
  • pomegranate seeds
  • Star anise
  • cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
Servings
1 gallon
Ingredients
For the spiced pomegranate simple syrup:
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon Whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole star anise
  • 1 lemon peel
For the punch:
  • 1 liter bourbon
  • 32 ounces apple cider
  • 16 ounces spiced pomegranate simple syrup
  • 8 ounces falernum
  • 24 ounces lemon juice freshly squeezed
To garnish:
  • 1-2 blood oranges thinly sliced
  • 1-2 clementines thinly sliced
  • 6-12 kumquats thinly sliced
  • 1-2 apples thinly sliced
  • pomegranate seeds
  • Star anise
  • cloves
  • Cinnamon sticks
Votes: 4
Rating: 3.5
You:
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Instructions
For the spiced pomegranate simple syrup:
  1. In medium saucepan, bring pomegranate juice, water, turbinado sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise and lemon peel to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, strain out spices and lemon peel; refrigerate until needed.
For the punch:
  1. In large plastic or glass container, combine bourbon, apple cider, spiced pomegranate simple syrup, falernum and lemon juice. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours until needed.
  2. Thinly slice blood oranges, clementines, kumquats and apples. Reserve half of the sliced fruit and pomegranate seeds, and divide the other half into small bowls. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Thirty minutes before guests arrive, pour punch into large punch bowl with large ice cubes, and garnish with reserved half of sliced fruit and pomegranate seeds. Set out punch glasses and small bowls of remaining fruit, star anise, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Allow guests to serve themselves.

Print Recipe
Late Blossom
Votes: 7
Rating: 3.71
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Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 3/4 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 4 ounces dry sparkling wine
  • 1 orange peel thinly sliced to garnish
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • 3/4 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 4 ounces dry sparkling wine
  • 1 orange peel thinly sliced to garnish
Votes: 7
Rating: 3.71
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Instructions
  1. In Champagne flute, add orange bitters and elderflower liqueur, and top with dry sparkling wine.
  2. Twist orange peel over top of glass to expel fragrant oils. Drop peel into glass and serve.

Print Recipe
Concord Mule
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
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Rate this recipe!
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Concord grape juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 ounces Ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge to garnish
  • 3 Concord grapes to garnish
Servings
1
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Concord grape juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 3 ounces Ginger beer
  • 1 lime wedge to garnish
  • 3 Concord grapes to garnish
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
You:
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Instructions
  1. In copper mug over ice, add vodka, Concord grape juice and lime juice. Top with ginger beer.
  2. Garnish with lime wedge and Concord grapes to serve.

Print Recipe
Bourbon-Spiked Caramelized Nuts
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
3 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups mixed nuts
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon amaro
  • 1 tablespoon Rosemary chopped, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
3 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups mixed nuts
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon amaro
  • 1 tablespoon Rosemary chopped, plus sprigs to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
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Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In mixing bowl, toss nuts with bourbon, brown sugar, amaro, rosemary, black pepper and salt.
  2. Transfer nut mixture to rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until caramelized.
  3. Allow nuts to cool, then transfer to small serving bowls or ramekins, and garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Recipe Notes

Nuts can be roasted up to 4 days in advance.


Print Recipe
Spiced Cerignola Olives
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
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Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Cerignola olives
  • 3 sage leaves plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon pickled chilies
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange juiced and zested
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • sea salt
Servings
2 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Cerignola olives
  • 3 sage leaves plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon pickled chilies
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 orange juiced and zested
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • sea salt
Votes: 5
Rating: 3
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine olives, sage leaves, pickled chilies, olive oil, orange juice and zest; toss thoroughly. Season with black pepper and sea salt to taste.
  2. Transfer to small serving bowls or ramekins, and garnish with sage leaves.

Print Recipe
Charcuterie and Cheese Boards
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.33
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Servings
6-8
Ingredients
Charcuterie:
  • 2-6 ounces sopressata
  • 2-6 ounces prosciutto
  • 2-6 ounces pâté maison
  • 2-6 ounces spicy dried chorizo
  • 2-6 ounces mortadella
Cheese:
  • 2-6 ounces fresh soft cheese such as burrata, stracciatella or mozzarella
  • 2-6 ounces bloomy-rind or semisoft cheese such as Brie or Camembert
  • 2-6 ounces hard cheese such as Parmesan, Comté, Gruyère or manchego
  • 2-6 ounces blue cheese such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Cabrales
  • 2-6 ounces ash rind cheese such as Garrotxa, Kunik or Humboldt Fog
Accompaniments:
  • Ginger jam or citrus marmalade pairs well with fresh soft cheese
  • Butternut squash jam or curried chutney pairs well with bloomy-rind or semisoft cheese
  • Flavored or grainy mustard or Italian mostarda (pairs well with hard cheese)
  • Dark chocolate or honey pairs well with blue cheese
  • Dried fruit such as apples, raisins or cranberries (pairs well with ash rind cheese)
  • Irish butter seasoned with fleur de sel or Maldon salt
  • Pickled pears
  • Confit oranges
  • cornichons
  • assorted crackers
  • baguette sliced and lightly toasted
  • Black pepper grissini
  • Croutons
Servings
6-8
Ingredients
Charcuterie:
  • 2-6 ounces sopressata
  • 2-6 ounces prosciutto
  • 2-6 ounces pâté maison
  • 2-6 ounces spicy dried chorizo
  • 2-6 ounces mortadella
Cheese:
  • 2-6 ounces fresh soft cheese such as burrata, stracciatella or mozzarella
  • 2-6 ounces bloomy-rind or semisoft cheese such as Brie or Camembert
  • 2-6 ounces hard cheese such as Parmesan, Comté, Gruyère or manchego
  • 2-6 ounces blue cheese such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola or Cabrales
  • 2-6 ounces ash rind cheese such as Garrotxa, Kunik or Humboldt Fog
Accompaniments:
  • Ginger jam or citrus marmalade pairs well with fresh soft cheese
  • Butternut squash jam or curried chutney pairs well with bloomy-rind or semisoft cheese
  • Flavored or grainy mustard or Italian mostarda (pairs well with hard cheese)
  • Dark chocolate or honey pairs well with blue cheese
  • Dried fruit such as apples, raisins or cranberries (pairs well with ash rind cheese)
  • Irish butter seasoned with fleur de sel or Maldon salt
  • Pickled pears
  • Confit oranges
  • cornichons
  • assorted crackers
  • baguette sliced and lightly toasted
  • Black pepper grissini
  • Croutons
Votes: 6
Rating: 3.33
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. At least two hours before guests arrive, arrange charcuterie on one serving board.
  2. On another serving board, arrange cheese and accompaniments. Leave soft cheese whole, and cut hard cheese into bite-sized pieces. Use cheese markers or labels to identify each cheese, origin and milk type.
  3. Along with cheese knives, place the charcuterie and cheese boards next to each other so guests can create mini sandwiches, if desired.

Comments

  1. Derek Dewitt

    My wife and I have been looking for new drinks to try out but none have really caught our attention yet. I like the sound of the Briar Patch because it has hints of cinnamon and clove. My wife loves cinnamon and the fall so this might be a great choice for her. Thanks for sharing!

    September 20, 2017 | Reply
  2. Debbie Caputo

    There must be a mistake with the measurements for the Violets Fall cocktail. The amount of Creme de Violets is so small that it comes out a dull almost grey color because the cocktail pictured is vibrant purple which is not possible using the listed ingredient measurements.

    September 24, 2017 | Reply

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