Holiday hosting 101

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Your guide to hosting holiday (or anytime) guests

You got a little excited and decided to throw a little holiday get-together, and now you’re frazzled. 

Whether it’s your first fete or your 100th, hosting at the holidays has its share of stresses. 

Sometimes you just need a little roadmap to boost your motivation — and that’s what I’m here for. 

No one will notice your baseboards. 

I admit I hire someone to help clean my house every month (this is one of the best splurges we’ve done — it’s a brain-saver, and I love her). I always am sure to schedule her for after the event rather than before. I do a quick declutter and surface wipe-down, get some fresh flowers, and call it a day. 

Make easy batch cocktails

It’s a rule of thumb to offer guests a beverage within 5 min of arrival. However, unless you’re posted at the door or the bar the entire time, this can be difficult. 

I like to create a mini DIY setup and let guests help themselves (that way they’re also not put on the spot to choose their beverage!). 

“Mule Bar”

This is my favorite and one of the easiest. You’ll want an ice bucket (of some kind) for the ice, slice some lime wedges and put them in a ramekin, then ginger beer (ZerØday’s is my personal favorite — buy it by the crowler when they have it, brewery only usually. If you can’t get it, Gosling’s is the best commercial made variety).

Then, offer up a variety of liquors. I usually prefer the classics — HOLLA vodka for a traditional Mule; Meyer’s Dark Rum for a Dark & Storm — but my friends also enjoy a “Kentucky Mule,” which subs bourbon — Try Midstate Distillery’s to keep it hyperlocal (A Pennsylvania Mule perhaps?).

For our old New Year’s Day parties (not sure if or when they’ll ever return, but I sorta miss them), I’d also set up a DIY Bloody Mary Bar and a Mimosas bar. The former never really took (which surprised me), but sparkling wine and mix of purees or juices is also always a hit.

To make it even easier, fill your sink with ice and stock it with canned cocktails from Tattered Flag and the Tröegs Winter Anthology. Done and done.

RG Hummer Meats + Cheese

Everyone just wants to graze. 

Skip a big fancy main, and turn your entire table into a giant meat and cheese board. 

R.G. Hummer Meats + Cheese, located at the Broad Street Market, has everything you need to create the ultimate meat and cheese plate. 

You want a sampling of snackable, interesting meats, like soppresatta, capicola, salami, prosciutto. Grab some sweet and spicy meat sticks, cut them into bite-size and sprinkle around the board.

Cheeses: you want a mix of hard and soft cheese, and R.G. Hummer has them all. Brie, bleu, aged cheddar. During the holiday season, grab a housemade cheese ball. Oh, and bonus points for spreads — pimento and port wine are faves and total crowd-pleasers. 

A variety of pickles, olives, mustards, honey or jams round out the spread! (Check out neighbor Radish & Rye for some great selections.)

Oh, and don’t forget to grab crackers and slice a baguette! 

Music

Right now, we’ve got some holiday feel-goods playing on vinyl — Charlie Brown Christmas, John Legend, A Very Special Christmas (so vintage!) or a super fun Christmas pop playlist (I really dig holiday tunes by Sia, Taylor, Ariana Grande, effing Gwen and Blake (obsessed and mortified by my deep love of “You Make It Feel Like Christmas”), Jonas Brothers, the Biebs, and yes, Hanson.)


Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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