Hors d’oeuvre and small plates add elegance and fun to any party. They look nice when set out on a platter and offer guests a variety of flavors to enjoy. Lacy Jo and I graduated from culinary school together and when it came time for her graduation party she was already busy with her fancy new full time job so she asked if I would be the caterer. This party was so much fun to plan and put together! Lacy Jo already had an idea of what she wanted. She wanted to do all small plates. She even had ideas of what the dishes would be so I was able to take her ideas and just run with them! She did the custom cocktails and I did the food.
When planning a cocktail party it is important to take into consideration the wide variety of preferences that will probably be at your party.
Water – Always provide water with every menu
Tea – This is a great option if you anticipate having guests who choose not to drink alcohol. They deserve some variety in flavors, too!
Wine – I like to provide a selection of wines. A few whites and a few reds so guests can choose what they love. A sparkling option is always fun, as well.
Beer – I leave beer as an option depending on the type of party. A graduation party or a backyard bbq is a great place to offer beer. If this were a fancy wedding or holiday party I would leave beer off the menu.
Cocktails – Here is where you can get really creative. Offering a few custom cocktails is a great way to add your own individual flair to a party. Create your own mix, go with a color theme, or choose your cocktails based on the names.
For this party, Lacy Jo chose cocktails based on their colors and alcohol to appeal to range of preferences. Midori Melonball, Tropical Sunrise, and Berry Blue Mojito (recipes below).
The food for this party was just as exciting as the drinks. Remember that mushroom torte I told you about? We recreated those and baked them in mini muffin cups to make them bite-sized. I don’t what was more popular. The mini mushroom tortes or the five layer Greek dip!
Just like the drinks, when planning your hors d’oeuvre menu it is important to offer a variety of flavors, colors and textures to give your spread more eye-appeal.
Mini Mushroom Torte
Five Layer Greek Dip served with Pita Chips
Avocado Pesto-stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
Bacon and Goat Cheese-covered Grapes
Carrot Corn Risotto
Midori Melonball (makes 10 servings)
20 ounces Midori Melon Liqueur
10 ounces vodka
20 ounces pineapple juice
Mix all ingredients together. Serve over ice with orange slices or melon balls as garnish.
Tropical Sunrise (makes 10 servings)
20 ounces tequila
10 ounces triple sec
20 ounces orange juice
20 ounces pineapple juice
5 ounces grenadine
Mix all ingredients together, serve over ice with pineapple triangles as garnish.
Berry Blue Mojito (makes 10 servings)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
20 ounces Bacardi Razz
10 ounces Blue Curacao
30 ounces club soda
Place the mint leaves, sugar and 1 cup berries in a bowl or pitcher and crush together using a wooden mixing spoon or a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Serve over ice.