This Dinner Will Get You Laid – A Full On Cocktail Party

Lincoln Center and a cocktail illustration for the perfect easy Oscar Cocktail party plan

There can be few occasions sexier than a cocktail party; little black dresses, sparkly earrings, high heels safe in the knowledge that not a lot of walking will be required, too much champagne …

And that happy moment tottering home when he offeres you an arm because your shoes are as skittish as stilts, when you examine the events of the party – who wore what, who said what to whom.  You walk past a deli. Look at each other. Double take. Turn around. Walk into the deli, conspicuous in your glad rags, and sit for an hour lingering over coffee and cheesecake, unwilling for the night to end. Head home past a violinist busking outside the Lincoln Center – what’s that tune? Could it be  “Just the way you look tonight”? No, it’s an unlikely classical version of “Welcome to the Jungle,” but somehow the romance manages to survive it …

I’ve written before about the process of building up a menu for a cocktail party. This one is mostly a make ahead task, with a bit of reheating and assembling to do on the night.

Cocktail Party Menu:

In advance:

  • Make very mini gougères – the smaller the cuter the better – tsp sized (freeze until needed if you’re making this really in advance). Line up on a baking tray, ready to heat up
  • Make the rosti and line up on a baking tray, ready to heat up. Cook the bacon, crumble and set aside
  • Make the truffled mushroom mixture, make the bruschetta base and top with the mushrooms. Arrange on a/ baking tray ready to be reheated
  • Tidy, get out glasses, make the cocktail and chill, fill ice buckets, uncork wine, decorate the room, set out bowls of kettle chips, nuts, etc
  • Make the cucumber rounds and arrange on platters
  • Make the endive salad bites
  • Top the brownie squares with a blob of whipped cream mixed with Nutella and arrange on a platter
  • Make the cocktail and set up the drinks, check there’s ice etc

During the party:

  • Heat up the gougères, and the truffled mushroom bruschetta. Heat up the rosti and top with the sour cream and crumbled bacon (or caviar)
  • Serve the food – not everything at once. Some cucumber, then some gougères, some tomato then some bruschetta, some rosti, some more cucumber …
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