Of all the holiday parties on the calendar this December, we have to say “Cookies and Cocktails” is one of our new faves. We love the idea of taking the traditional cookie exchange and glamming it up. With sweet treats, a little libation and a lot of celebration, we just can’t help ourselves — particularly at this time of year. Gather your girls, fire up the ovens and ready the glassware because this is one sweet party your friends won't want to miss.
Whether you are a cookie exchange pro or looking to start a new tradition, we've compiled a few tips to keep planning and prep easy.
Mail the Invitations:
Don't let your holiday invitation get lost in an email junk folder. Help your party stand out from the rest with a colorful printed invitation. We love the excitement of receiving invitations by mail and your guests will appreciate the gesture.
Find the Perfect Cookie Recipe:
We're loving the recipes in our new book, Cookies & Cocktails: Recipes for Good Times (seriously, we want to try them all), but we've also included a link to some of our favorite resources to up your holiday cookie game.
Choose Your Signature Cocktail:
No Cookies and Cocktail party would be complete without signature cocktail. We personally love setting up our famous Swoozie's Bubbly Bar — complete with pink champagne and fresh fruit. If bubbles aren't your thing, check out Yummly for curated recipes that will be perfect for your group or browse some of our favorite holiday cocktail lists below.
Hostess tip: if making a large batch of a cocktail or punch, do not add the alcohol or carbonation until right before the guests arrive. You might even consider making multiple batches throughout the night. This will keep the drinks fresh and keep your party from falling flat.
Ready Your Decorating Station:
Take your cookie exchange up a notch with a glam cookie decorating station. Make your dough ahead of time (we are obsessed with this simple sugar cookie recipe) and sit out at room temperature. Pre-mix icings in vibrant colors — pink, orange and turquoise are always crowd pleasers — and set out sprinkles, edible glitter and sanding sugar.
Hostess tip: Offer a prize — like our Grandma's Goodies Dishtowel and Spatula set — for the best decorated cookie of the night. Your guests will love to showcase their creativity!
Set the Table:
While the sweets and treats will play the star of this party, it is also important to create a fun backdrop to really make them pop. Clear a table or countertop and lay down a table cloth or table runner so guests know where to set their creations. We suggest our Black Stripe Table Runner which will give the party an elegant feel and contrast nicely behind the colorful cookie designs. Set out holiday-inspired platters or cake stands out to create a “scene” for the cookies.
Hostess tip: Don't forget to provide placecards so every guest can showcase the name of their special treat. We suggest our Gold Glitter Scalloped Placecards to make everyone's dish sparkle.
Create a Playlist:
A pre-planned party playlist will help to keep the mood festive from beginning to end. There are so many great holiday playlists right now on Spotify (we love the Jazzy Christmas playlist) or Pandora (The Swingin' Christmas radio station had us in the spirit in no time) or create your own on your iPhone or computer.
Hostess tip: have your guests submit song requests with their RSVP and create a personalized lineup that is sure to excite.
Provide Recipe Cards:
Place recipe cards around the room so guests can easily share their recipes. Our printable recipe cards are easy to print and serve as a great conversation starters too!
Time to Sip and sample!
Now is the time to sit back and enjoy a night with your friends. Sip, sample, and above all, savor the moments this holiday season
Are you attending a cookie exchange or holiday party? Check out last week’s blog on some great hostess gift ideas!
— Swoo Crew