MAKE FESTIVE ENTERTAINING EASIER WITH COCKTAILS AND CANAPES COURTESY OF THE OYSTER BOX
Pictures Sally Chance
What’s not to love about the season to be merry? Entertaining doesn’t have to be stressful, some of the best ideas are actually the simplest. Simplifying Christmas takes pressure off you as the host and creates a relaxed atmosphere – with more time to enjoy yourself instead of breaking out in a sweat. Limit your “to-do” list, spend less and make use of what you already have. And don’t forget to prioritise prepping to make sure you can mingle and make memories in your home, with your friends and family on the day itself.
Hosting a successful holiday get-together is easier if you focus on something more casual, so throw a cocktail party instead of planning a formal sit-down lunch or dinner. With a help-yourself buffet full of delicious canapes – with everything ready in advance, you can simply keep refilling plates as they become empty – you avoid being stuck in the kitchen as well as serving. And the last thing you want is to spend your own party fixing drinks, so set up an easy-to-make cocktail bar with pre-cut garnishes, a variety of spirits and mixers, and Christmas-inspired cocktail recipes. Encourage your guests to make their own drinks, and don’t forget a big bucket of ice.
Here are ideas for festive nibbles and refreshing, easy cocktails to serve your guests.
• Mince pies • Iced Christmas cake pops • Caramel profiteroles • Candy cane chocolate brownies.
• Potato, onion and bell pepper croquettes • Cranberry and brie puffs • Prawn and lime mayo tartlets • Cranberry and sausage tartlets • Gammon pies.
Apple Pie Martini: vodka, apple juice, cinnamon spice.
Frozen Mistletoe Margarita: tequila, triple sec, cranberry. Jack Frost: spiced rum, coconut milk, pina colada syrup, blue curacao.
Boxing Day Punch: gin, elderflower, citrus, rooibos. White Christmas Martini: vodka, white chocolate liquor, vanilla, cream.