New Year’s Eve With a Few Close Friends
For New Year’s Eve, a small gathering of your closest friends is all you need to ring in the new year. It’s the perfect opportunity to step into 2020 completely relaxed in the comfort of your own home. Make the most of the festivities by adding thoughtful touches that will make this New Year’s Eve memorable and truly special for every one of your guests.
Create a Custom Cocktail
With fewer guests comes the perk of being able to craft a signature cocktail that you can make upon request. Shake up your holiday with a beautiful pomegranate cocktail or keep ingredients out for a couple of easy-made mixed drinks that guests can create themselves. You may even try recreating your friend group’s tried and true favorite drink. Be prepared with sparkling water and fresh lime and lemon for non-drinkers, and still water for guests to sip throughout the night to stay hydrated.
Arrange a beautiful spread of cocktail glasses, champagne glasses, water glasses, linen cloth napkins, glass or ceramic serving plates, and oversized serving platters. Another upside of a small group is the ability to focus all your preparations on a select few friends and really personalize the experience for them.
In lieu of spending the day prepping and baking, opt for pre-prepared appetizers from your favorite local markets. Visit the grocery and pick up marinated olives, peppers and crudité. Create a simple whipped feta dip to enjoy with crackers. Arrange a spread of various pickled vegetables. Build a colorful snack board on a wooden cutting board or marble slab with sliced strawberries, whole blueberries, fresh figs, toasted almonds, shelled pistachios, dried apricots, and orange slices.
Set a casual but elegant atmosphere in the kitchen by placing the appetizers on the kitchen island or on the coffee table and inviting guests to help themselves. Guests will love creating and recreating their own plate throughout the evening and the locale of the food will become a natural gathering place for talking and eating.
Create a Festive Mood
What’s New Year’s without a little sparkle? Create a festive mood with sparkly touches: shiny garland, candles in mercury glass holders, and even a disco ball. Cue a playlist that varies between dinner party background music and upbeat jams that signal a holiday party.
Place unscented pillar candles and tea lights throughout the gathering room to create a sense of warmth, intimacy, and coziness sometimes referred to as “hygge.” Set out party games and coffee table books or a wooden puzzle. Stow assorted blankets, throws, and floor pillows so guests feel comfortable lounging as it gets late. If guests are inclined, gather near a television to watch the performances, commentary, and traditional ball drop in Times Square at the stroke of midnight, or initiate your own countdown and have glitter confetti and champagne glasses ready.
Pomegranate La Boheme Cocktail
3 ounces gin
2 ounces elderflower liqueur
3 ounces pomegranate juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 lemon twists
How to make it
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well.
Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
8 ounces feta
4 ounces cream cheese
1 clove garlic, grated on a rasp grater
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Freshly cracked pepper
How to make it
Combine feta, cream cheese, garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Turn the machine on and process until the mixture is smooth and airy. Transfer to a bowl and top with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked pepper. Serve with crackers or assorted crudité. This dip will keep, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days. It is best served at room temperature.