Holiday Cocktail Party

Celebrate the season by throwing a glamorous Christmas cocktail party featuring glitzy accents, a signature holiday cocktail and bright jewel-toned colors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Set the Scene

Invite friends and family to don their glitziest getups and toast to the holidays at a glamorous cocktail party. This fête is all about the cocktails, so the bar will set the stage for an evening overflowing with snacks, bubbly and holiday decor in a rich jewel-toned color palette.

Your Party Plan: 5 Ingredients

To throw this chic gold- and jewel-toned cocktail party, you'll need just five essential ingredients: easy Cooking Channel appetizers, DIY printable coasters, candy cane martinis, festive stir sticks and ornaments.

Raising the Bar

A bar decked in confetti, glittering ornaments and plenty of bubbly screams festive — but in a subtle way. This jewel-toned flower arrangement in a modern geometric container was designed by Austin-based Pollen Floral Art. Match the pinks, purples and reds of the flowers by piling holiday ornaments of the same palette into glass apothecary jars and scattering them about the table. Confetti looks neat and purposeful when tossed down the center of the table like a runner.

Put a Penguin on It

Choose a small, whimsical motif and incorporate it into details throughout the party to create a cohesive theme. Dapper penguins make the perfect party emblem — after all, they're always dressed in their black-tie tux attire! Transform fuchsia napkins with a penguin-shaped gold stamp, and jazz up plain-old stirrers by dipping small penguins in gold paint. Once they're dry, apply the penguins to wooden stir sticks.

Making the Rounds

Rather than setting up a buffet, maintain the elegance (and mobility) of a classic cocktail party by passing hors d'oeuvres around the room. These beautiful goat cheese, port-wine-fig and walnut tartlets are the perfect conversation starter with their mix of sweet, salty and nutty flavors.

Get the Recipe: Chevre and Walnut Tartlets

You Say Potato ...

Downsize everyone's comfort food favorite — the loaded baked potato — by following Kelsey's lead and filling baked baby fingerling potatoes with sour cream, chives and, of course, bacon. Make sure to prepare extra, as these taters will go fast.

Get the Recipe: Baby Baked Fingerling Potatoes

Skewers With Sass

Quince paste — a tart, jelly-like paste made from the yellow fruit — pairs perfectly with full-bodied Manchego cheese, while chopped almonds add sweet, nutty flavor and crunch. Prepare these skewers in just 10 minutes, and top each with a festive "pom" made from gold tinsel to make these bites the life of the party.

Get the Recipe: Manchego Quince Skewers

Bottoms Up

Having a signature cocktail is like tying a bow on your party: It adds that polished, finished touch. This candy cane martini — with muddled mint sprigs and crushed candies on the rim — couldn't be more perfect for a wintry holiday celebration.

Get the Recipe: Candy Cane Martini

DIY Coasters

Scatter these pretty white, red and pink coasters throughout the room to announce your signature cocktail to guests.

To make these coasters: First, purchase a pack of 4-inch-diameter white paper coasters and a pack of thick-stock 8.5 x 11-inch paper from any paper or party supply store. Print this coaster template onto the 8.5 x 11 sheets, cut out the rounds, then glue the recipe templates to the white coasters using spray adhesive.

Prepare additional coasters and tie stacks of them with a colorful ribbon to give to each guest as a fun recipe favor.

Download the cocktail recipe coasters template here.

Cozy Cocoa

An important cocktail party rule of thumb? Always offer guests a nonalcoholic beverage option that feels as indulgent and special as the bubbles and booze. Create a custom cocoa bar by setting out teacups, crushed peppermints, marshmallows, mint sprigs and whipped cream to encourage guests to make their own.

Get the Recipe: Hot Cocoa

Quick Fix

Transform an ordinary living room into a cocktail party space by renting just a few high-top cocktail tables. This gives guests a place to rest their drinks and bites, and it encourages them to mix and mingle throughout the entire room (not just by the bar). Rental tables can be unsightly, so cover them with linens in coordinating colors, like this metallic gold and black fabric. Stash a few ornaments at the center of each table and, if you'd like, additional jewel-toned floral arrangements.

Up, Up and Away

In the same way that a chandelier can transform a room, hanging decor from the ceiling will add that final wow factor to your party. This ornament mobile is easy to make and can be hung without risk of permanent marks on your ceiling.

Start with an assortment of different-colored and -shaped ornaments, and attach ribbons cut at varying lengths to their crowns. Spray a classic embroidery hoop with the same gold paint used on the penguins and, once dry, tie the ends of the ribbons around the hoop with secure knots. To suspend from the ceiling, loop fishing wire around the mobile in two locations, then attach the wires to two Command hooks stuck to the ceiling. (The hooks can later be removed, damage-free.) For this party's color palette, look for ribbons and ornaments in shades of white, gold, pink or red.

Next Up

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