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“Don’t be afraid to experiment,” suggests Andrea Correale, president of Elegant Affairs. After all, who doesn’t love shrimp cocktail? Mini lobster rolls are sure to elicit “ohs and ahs” … Or oysters on the half shell served with caviar … Or get creative with bay scallop sashimi with truffles. On his cheese board, Michael suggests soft ripened cheeses, along with sliced figs, candied nuts, winter fruits and toasted bread. As an alternative, why not revisit the fondue craze from the 70s? What could be more divine than dipping pieces of bread into a lobster and sherry fondue served in a brass pot over a flame? For any cocktail party, Andrea says the rule of thumb is a variety of 8-12 passing hors d’oeuvres, with 12 pieces per person. If there’s no one to pass the hors d’oeuvres, a beautiful buffet table can do the trick. Using your space to its best advantage may mean re-arranging furniture so guests can move about easily. If possible, Corinne recommends setting up cocktails in one room with trays of hors d’oeuvres in different areas. But, if space is an issue, one table in the center of a room can beautifully display your menu choices. When choosing your serving pieces, Andrea suggests you “think out of the box for a more interesting presentation.” Demitasse cups or shot glasses are an eye-opening way to serve butternut squash or creamy tomato soup sips. After all, “greeting soups are a great entrance,” Andrea says. “They set the tone and warm up your belly on a cold winter night.” Creative serving may mean filling a large square glass vase with grilled pita and several

variations of hummus or tiny crock pots for lobster mac and cheese. Oversized martini glasses also make great serving pieces for many hors d’oeuvres. Garnishes on platters—whether carved vegetables, fresh herbs or flowers—can add pizazz to any serving tray. To create just the right mood, Corinne suggests you think about all of the senses working together. That means your favorite music, perfect lighting, delicious smells like cinnamon sticks, cloves and, of course, scented candles. Dessert is not a must for a cocktail party, but can be a perfect ending that will leave your guests with sweet memories of a great evening. Nothing like a hot chocolate shot and a warm chocolate chip cookie to send you on your way, says Corinne. The bottom line for hosting the perfect cocktail party is to be creative, relax and have as much fun as your guests! SE

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Profile for LuxuryRE

LUXURY Best of 2015 Issue  

Sands Point Modern Architectural Masterpiece, Entertaining at Home, Design Showhouse, Robert Beer, Costa Rica, Pet Bling and more

LUXURY Best of 2015 Issue  

Sands Point Modern Architectural Masterpiece, Entertaining at Home, Design Showhouse, Robert Beer, Costa Rica, Pet Bling and more

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