Food & Drink

Ro’s Recipes: Holiday Party Nibbles & Cocktails


Holiday cocktail parties have a completely different tone than other parties during the year—no matter how celebratory. There’s a latent sense of accumulated necessity to gather in communal festivity. I think it’s akin to an urge to light up the deeply hibernating ancient earth: to capture the spirit of the planet and harness it to make joy in the darkness of the winter solstice.

The nibbles offered at holiday parties must be copious, varied, and exciting. This is a festival, not a perfunctory office gathering. Certainly serve some of your pleasing stalwarts, but also ring in the changes with new and intriguing nibbles to assure your guests’ fascination. Cover all the food groups with your menu, since most guests will treat the party as dinner. Offer a balance of meat, fish, and vegetarian items with a few starchy-fatty items to line the tum so the guests are not inadvertently overcome by over-imbibing too fast or too many cocktails.

Speaking of which, offer featured cocktails along with wine and the usual bar liquors to mark the season and put some jolly into your glass. I suggest a cocktail to be offered during the savory portion of the menu. And if you want to offer a few little sweet munchables at the end of the night, a hot toddy will serve to smile people on their way.


Hot Spiced Apple-Rum Toddy


Yield: 1 drink


6 Tablespoons rum (Mount Gay or Myers’s)
3 Tablespoons Tuaca liqueur
9 Tablespoons apple cider
1 scrape fresh nutmeg
1 short cinnamon stick


Heat the apple cider. Add rum and Tuaca liqueur. Pour into glass or mug.
Scrape nutmeg over it.

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