Holiday-Style Spirits

December 15, 2015 – Chris Nease here! I’m showing you how to host an easy cocktail party including food, drinks and even sweets! I’ve partnered with ALDI to share my ideas and tips. Send out those invitations and start planning here.

There are so many great excuses to entertain during the holidays, I just love it! One of my favorites that we used to do in our old town was a Girls Gift Exchange. It was small and relaxed, and the gifts weren’t more than $10. With that as my inspiration, I created a small cocktail party buffet with items mostly purchased from our local ALDI.5

The idea is to host a late afternoon-early evening get together with food that’s easy to prepare but has a sense of elegance. Cocktail party food shouldn’t be overly complicated but should be full of flavor.

Since the Christmas tree is at the center of holiday entertaining, bring in a folding table and set it up in the same room like I’ve done here. If you don’t have a place to put a table, use what you already have like book shelves, side tables or entertainment consoles.

Nothing says entertaining like a cheese and charcuterie platter! ALDI has a fantastic selection of cured meats and specialty cheeses for the holiday. I particularly love the Specially Selected Iberico Ham*! I also included prosciutto and cheese wedges.

I filled out the tray with other items from ALDI like blue cheese-stuffed & Stuffed Queen Olives, cherry peppers stuffed with herb feta, nuts, and crackers.

Have you noticed everything is “truffled” this year? Truffle oil, truffle salt, truffle popcorn, etc. It adds a gourmet touch to anything and has an interesting flavor {and aroma}. I added ALDI’s Specially Selected Truffle Goat Cheese* along with a couple of prepared tapenades {olive and roasted red pepper} for a delicious treat.

I made crostini slices using their rolls. A slice topped with the Truffle goat cheese, a dollop of tapenade, and a slice of Iberico ham made for a fabulous combination of flavors.2

I also put out a small bowl of Specially Selected Black Truffle and Olive Oil Kettle chips*. Don’t think chips are just for football games. With such gourmet flavors as truffle oil or porcini & rosemary oil, they are elevated to a new level perfect for cocktail party entertaining.

No party of mine is complete without booze. The selection and prices on wine available at ALDI is really fantastic! For the holiday they have some exceptional values on Frei Brothers Cabernet and Veuve Cliequot Champagne*!

Fill in with a variety of other red, white, and sparkling wines.

The holidays are the one time of year that I get really excited about sweets and desserts, so I set up a sweets station in an adjacent room. Keeping the rule of simplicity I purchase holiday sweets from ALDI that I could just open and serve. This included hot drinks as well.

I made a cookie plate filled with a variety of seasonal offerings from ALDI: Café Bistro Spekulatius Spice Cookies* and chocolate-dipped wafers and cookies.

8I created a sweet mix of Specially Selected Popcorn* & nuts, with Specially Selected Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries* and chai spice covered nuts. A terrific combo all available at ALDI.

TIP: provide small paper cups or bags for guest to fill with their treats. This makes it much easier to walk around or sit on a sofa with it.

Since we already have wine for sipping with appetizers, I wanted some hot beverages on the sweets table. Brew some hot coffee {make it decaf if you like} and serve in a pretty coffee pot along with seasonal creamer flavors like Specially Selected Peppermint Mocha and Salted Caramel Mocha*.

Include hot mulled Cherry wine too. I love drinking hot mulled wine at Christmas and these are already spiced and bottled, and ready to heat and drink. Keep it warm on the stove or in a crockpot.

Holiday entertaining should be fun and allow you to focus on the guests and the fun. Incorporating these ideas for an easy cocktail party using Specially Selected items from ALDI will let you do that.

Cheers to EASY entertaining!

Availability and price of alcoholic beverages vary by store.

*These are Special Buys and Seasonal Items. Products are available while quantities last. All products may not be available in all stores. Prices subject to change.

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