Party in Five: Holiday Cocktail Party

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Photo by: Melanie Grizzel, Camille Styles ©2012. Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Melanie Grizzel, Camille Styles, 2012. Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

We here at Cooking Channel love a good party. But throwing a memorable event requires more than just gathering some food and drink. We show you how with just five main “ingredients” (including recipes, big-impact decorating ideas and easy DIY elements) you can throw a party that feels like it has a cohesive theme — minimal work required.

There’s no doubt about it: My favorite thing about the month of December is the flurry of cocktail parties that take over my social calendar. Although I’m usually one to host more casual, laid-back get-togethers, the holidays just seem to call for a bit more glitz, so I’ve decided to celebrate the season with a super festive cocktail party in shades of glamorous gold and vibrant jewel tones. While this party may not look carefree, planning it is much simpler than you'd think. With classic globe ornaments, gold confetti and a handful of DIY projects, this shindig is cost-effective and can be pulled together in a flash.

To host your own holiday cocktail party, you'll need five essential ingredients:

• Colorful metallic ornaments
• Seasonal cocktails
• Hors d’oeuvres for passing
• Festive gold stir sticks
• Cocktail Recipe Coasters

Click here to see the party in action, and get tips for hosting your own holiday cocktail party:

Description or Caption: Cooking Channel Holiday Cocktail Party in glamorous jewel tones with a penguin motif and candy cane cocktials, bar snacks, hot chocolate, ornaments and champagne.

Photo by: Melanie Grizzel ©2012. Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Melanie Grizzel, 2012. Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

The Menu

At this occasion, the bar (and the drinks) are at center stage. I always keep a bottle of Prosecco or champagne on ice and encourage guests to help themselves — what’s a holiday party without some bubbly? But the real showstoppers are the signature candy cane martinis (shaken, not stirred), flavored with ginger and garnished with crushed peppermint and a sprig of fresh mint. For a delicious non-alcoholic option, serve piping hot cocoa with a variety of mix-ins like marshmallows, crushed peppermints and whipped cream.

For a sweet and salty bar snack that’s easy to assemble, collect chocolates, nuts and dried fruit from the bulk food section of the grocery store, and place your custom combinations in small bowls on the bar and cocktail tables.

As for the real food, maintain the spirit of a classic cocktail party by passing one or two hors d’oevres around the room on trays. Manchego Quince Skewers are perfect for passing while Baby Baked Fingerling Potatoes are an irresistibly miniature savory snack. Last but not least, Chevre, Fig & Walnut Tartlets are literally dripping with vibrant colors and seasonal flavors.

Camille Styles is the founder and editor of lifestyle blog, where she shares creative enterta ining ideas for parties and everyday life. She also owns Camille Styles Events, a design and planning firm that transforms ordinary events into extraordinary experiences.

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