The holidays are an especially busy season! So many events, so many family gatherings! Sometimes it’s hard to carve out a little friend time with all the travel and craze. That’s why hosting a holiday happy hour is the perfect way to gather round with your crew and catch up between the madness.
Happy hour doesn’t have to be overly complicated, in fact you can keep it just to an hour or two….and just a handful of friends for that matter. All you need are some classy drinks, a few design details and a platter of noshy bites to turn your home into festive function.
Here are three of my favorite ways to make your home base happy hour feel extra special while still being very easy to pull off! Cheers to surviving the season and sneaking in quality (sanity) time with friends!
Kickoff With a Cocktail
Nothing says welcome to happy hour with a drink placed quickly in your hand. Save yourself some hassle and set up a make your own Shrub Cocktail Station where guests can experiment and create their own concoctions. This gives you more time to interact with your guests with catchup conversations rather than running around making sure everyone’s glass is full.
Shrubs are incredibly easy to make and can be made with a variety of fruits and herbs. For this party we have created a trio to be paired with bourbon & ginger beer: Cranberry ginger, blueberry thyme, and apple spiced cider. Make sure to stock up with a few bottles of soda water, shrubs also make for a uniquely flavored mocktail! Grab the shrub recipes here!
Special touches that don’t break the bank
You don’t need to over spend on expensive party decor. Happy hour can be both chic and casual. That’s why this simple DIY to create one of a kind gold embossed cocktail napkins will earn you major hosting points. Nothing better than feeling fancy, while not stressing that your guests are staining the good linen.
What you’ll need:
- White or solid colored paper cocktail napkins
- Embossing heat tool
- Embossing powder
- Watermark Ink Pad
- Letter or holiday themed stamps
How to get it done:
Simply stamp your design using watermark ink onto your napkin, sprinkle embossing powder over stamped area, making sure all of your design is completely covered. Shake off any extra that doesn’t adhere. Using the heat tool, carefully wave over the powdered area for a few seconds until powder becomes shiny and smooth. Set aside for a few minutes before stacking or using. This would be an awesome DIY for paper drink coasters too!
Serve up Something Unique
One handed bites are key when hosting a happy hour. Besides, everyone loves a pretty little appetizer and there’s no need for you to be planning a four course meal. You’ve already cooked Thanksgiving aaaaaand Christmas suppers (not to mention an over the top Friendsgiving in between) so it’s time to flex those culinary skills in an effortless bite-sized package.
34 Degrees Crisps offers a range of sweet and savory, flavorful crackers for a fabulous building block that make for a unique treat! To boast unexpected flavor pairings, try creating a sweet cheese appetizer with 34 Degrees Chocolate and Vanilla crackers. Heck, these 34 Degrees crackers are the key to effortless entertaining – so you can just eat them straight from the box or set next to a bowl of dip if you need to simplify your cooking game. We get you! But just in case you’re feeling like winning host of the year, here are two flavor combinations to consider.
34 Degrees Chocolate cracker with blue cheese, fig, thyme and edible gold.
Rich and decadent, this is the perfect bite for everyone’s sweet tooth. Herbaceous notes from the fig and thyme help round out the chocolate flavor from the cracker. And don’t forget a fleck of edible gold on top, because…holidays!
34 Degrees Vanilla cracker with a Drunken Goat cheese, honeycomb, hibiscus and pistachio crumble.
Pistachios and goat cheese are fast friends in the flavor department and the addition of honeycomb really sweetens the deal. By adding hibiscus powder, there’s a slight floral note which pairs nicely with the fresh cracked pepper. All these flavors are incredible when on top of the vanilla cracker that isn’t overly sweet.
Ready! Set! Are you ready to entertain!? I know you can find the energy to create a simply chic event in the midst of all this craze. So set up your holiday playlist, or just press play with the help of 34 Degree’s holiday playlist, and go grab a few boxes of their crackers in the deli department of your local supermarket. I suggest keeping them on hand year round for any last minute merriment…because sometimes the best gatherings are the spontaneous ones.
Happy Holidays Friends!!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of 34 Degrees. The opinions and text are all mine.