NYE party dull? Watched TV as the ball drops too many times? Don’t despair. I have an idea. Next year, (and we all hope for a better 2021) have a Roaring 20s party. The 20s were all about opulence and excess. Sometimes, I think I’d have liked to live then—especially if I was a friend of the young Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, later Edward VIII, who, after his abdication, was the Duke of Windsor). Ahem. Back to the subject. There are several sites that offer Art Deco decorations, so party on.
But, you say, no one dresses up anymore. Well, that just happens to be my soap box. I love formals and wearing them. What is it about a tux that scares modern man? The 2000s is an era of t-shirts and jeans. Bah. If you think you can get away with it for your NYE party, request invitees to wear tuxes and gowns. If they’d rather stay home than dress-up, leave them sitting in their living room watching the ball drop, missing the food, champers, and fun. Kidding. Politely ask them to wear cocktail attire. Dressing up transforms a regular party into a festive occasion. Besides, it’s New Year’s Eve. At a Roaring 20s party, sequins, beads, and pearls are as mandatory as the champagne. What would Gatsby say!
Gatsby would’ve catered in Oysters Rockefeller and Clams Casino, but you can do something as delicious and impressive without hiring a serving staff. A charcuterie board isn’t difficult to make, and when it is done right, it makes for a nice presentation and a delicious centerpiece. Choose three different cheeses, three different meats, add some figs, grapes, a few rosemary sprigs and voila. There you have it—the focal point of the table.
Serving oysters is a simple way to impress your guests. The seafood itself looks super fancy, and all you really need is ice, lemon and a knife. If you want to click it up a notch, add cocktail sauce or mignotte (shalotts, red or white wine vinegar, a pinch of sugar; salt and pepper to taste). Even though it sounds rather posh, mignotte comes together in a snap.
MAKES ¼ CUP
cup red wine vinegar
tablespoon minced shallot
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
large oysters, freshly shucked
Stir vinegar, shallot, and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over oysters.
Serve your favorite vegetables with a garlic-infused mayo, otherwise known as aioli. Your friends will think you are the gourmet. For the eve of a brand new year, tossing a few chips into a bowl isn’t going to do the trick, but you can come up with a gorgeous that would please Gatsby himself and won’t require servants.
When people hear champagne, they assume expensive, but there are amazing options right at your grocery store that are that perfect price point and taste as good as Dom Perignon. LaMarca Prosecco and Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut are two recognizable labels that are perfectly delicious bottles for under $15 at Kroger. If you can find Gruet Brut or JCB no.21, both are very good for under $25. These sparkling wines won’t break the bank.
Try adding a dash of Chambord, a dark berry liqueur. When mixed with champagne, the combo is called a “Kir Royale.” It’s the swankiest-sounding drink, considering it’s only two ingredients. Plop in a raspberry for garnish and watch your guests top off their glasses all night long.
Have you made reservations for champagne brunch on New Years’ Day? Remember the Roaring 20s were all about excess! Hope you had a very happy NYE with oysters and champers (maybe from a fountain?)
In my books, the heroes aren’t afraid to wear a tux, and they all look sharp in their finery.
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