3 Recipes For A Great New Year's Eve Cocktail Party
Think you've got everything ready for your big New Year's Eve party? Not unless you charge in armed with my delicious New Year's Eve cocktail party recipes! This year we'll be serving:
Bacon-wrapped, blue-cheese-stuffed dates
Brie en croute with strawberry preserves and toasted walnuts
Ready to make this New Year's Eve the most scrumptious ever? Then let's get started!
1) Shake 3 to 4 drops of bitters onto each sugar cube. Let soak for 30 seconds.
2) Your friends in the living room have gone silent. They're planning something. Dammit.
3) With the sugar cubes properly soaked with bitters, place a cube in each Champagne flute. Add 1 ounce cognac to each.
4) You just wanted this to be a simple affair. Have some drinks, eat some food, count backward from 10, then everybody goes home.
5) Be in no way surprised when you hear a scream ring out from the living room, followed by a series of exaggerated gasps. The hijacking of your party has begun.
6) In the living room, find your friend Michael face down on the floor with another friend, Vanessa, fake-crying over his "dead" body.
7) After Vanessa cries, "He hath been MURDERED!" in an astonishingly bad English accent, whisk the word "fuck" in a bowl with a dollop of contempt until soft peaks of anger begin to form. Speak the "fuck" immediately, topped with a sprinkle of disappointment.
8) Say, "All right. How have you people decided to take this night from me?"
9) Roll your eyes in a clockwise motion when your buddy Edgar (also in a terrible English accent) decrees, "THERE IS A MURDERER IN OUR MIDST! Who shall take lead of the investigation and bring this MURDERER to justice for his or her heinous crime?"
"Don't look at me."
10) When he asks you, "Will it be ... YOOOOU who solves the crime?" say no. Explain to Edgar that his love of theme parties has gone too far. He throws too many of them, and everyone else is way too OK with that.
11) When Edgar asks, "What ever do you mean?" say, "Your foam party last year -- everyone got pink eye. Your summer Luau -- you didn't need to slaughter the pig in front of us before you roasted it. Children cried. Last week's Christmas party did not necessitate the hiring of little people to play elves. I walked in on an elf shitting in your toilet tank. These parties never go well. I don't see how the murder mystery thing can fare any better. Sorry."
12) When Michael wakes from the dead to say, "What a buzzkill ..." and Edgar, seething with rage, calls him an idiot for breaking character, say, "See. That's what I mean. Too serious. I'm done."
13) Top off the flutes with Champagne. Add a maraschino cherry to each glass to garnish.
14) When the lights go out, followed by a much more believable scream than the one from before, actually feel impressed by the performance going on in the living room.
15) Mix 3 ounces shame with 1 ounce regret.
16) Place the cocktails on a serving platter, and take them to your guests. As you begin to say, "Guys, look, I'm sorry," be taken aback by the sight of Edgar covered in blood with a knife stabbed into his heart. Barely notice how the atmosphere of fake fear in the room has become very real.
17) Ask, "Wait, now I've got to solve his murder too?" and then be stricken with genuine fear when Stephanie says, "He's ... he's actually dead," after she checks his pulse.
18) Shit your pants. (This step can be taken literally, if desired.)
Bacon-Wrapped, Blue-Cheese-Stuffed Dates
1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
6 ounces blue cheese
1) You've ended up in the kitchen. You don't remember how you got here, but there's an oven preheating to 375 degrees over there, and you seem to have been cutting small slits along the length of the dates for the past several minutes while your friends have been yelling at you.
2) Cut. Knife. Oh god. Edgar.
3) Awaken from your state of shock to hear your friends yelling in their terrible English accents. Ask them why they're still speaking in their accents when their friend is dead in the other room.
4) Call Stephanie crazy when she says, "The show must go on. It's what Edgar would have wanted."
5) Feel like nothing makes sense anymore as Michael says, "It's sad that Edgar's dead, but he took this theme party stuff far too seriously. You saw how he chastised me. He's been doing that for weeks in rehearsal."
6) As you stuff blue cheese into the dates, say, "You rehearsed this?"
7) When everyone stares at you like an idiot for asking such a question, turn and angrily wrap each date with a half-slice of bacon. Skewer with a toothpick to hold it all together.
8) Realize that the mechanical rhythms of cooking are the only thing sedating you enough to not kill everyone in the room and move to Ecuador to start a new life under the name Scovy Leasure.
Is this a Scovy sighting? You'll never know!
9) As you arrange the dates on a baking sheet, say, "OK. Well, if you guys are soooo insistent upon continuing the stupid game, let's start the investigation phase right now, starting with you, Michael."
10) When Michael, filled with delight, explains, "Well, my character was a local baker (and known philanderer) named Nigel Poopywell," cut him off.
11) Tell them there is a murderer in their midst. A real one. Someone in this kitchen killed Edgar. "This isn't a game, played for kicks while we get drunk waiting for this shit year to end," you say to the eager faces before you. "One of you is a killer -- and I'm gonna sniff you out."
12) Put the dates in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
13) Light a cigarette. Take a drag. Begin: "Sounds to me like you and Eddy had some drama between you, right, Mikey?"
14) "Sir, my name is Nigel Poopywell, and Edg- uh, I mean, Lord Lynwen Lordsly and I got along swimmingly. Usually. Sometimes. Oh, hell: He was a dirty bitch, to be frank. But he certainly didn't deserve to die. Lightly tortured, sure. But murdered? Heavens no."
15) Dig into Michael's story: "So, your little ... tiff -- what was it about?"
16) "A gentleman need not divulge details on a tiff, as you call it, between men of honor."
17) Say, "Lemme guess: He was bossing you around, criticizing every move, every choice. Suffocating your brilliance, your creativity, or some such trash like that?"
18) When Michael harrumphs with indignation and says, "Sir, you haven't the slightest clue as to the nature of our relationship," move your line of questioning to Vanessa.
19) Ask, "How about you, honey? What was your relationship with the party man like?"
20) When she says, "I am Cordelia Fothergill, daughter of Baron Gunther Dubois Fothergill, and I will not be accused-"cut her off. "Answer the question, sweetheart."
21) "I would never. I was Lord Lynwen Lordsly's lover. I cared for him a great deal."
22) "Yeah? For real or for fake? I ain't playin' games, doll!" When she says, "Both!" roll your eyes very hard at the gasps released by Michael and Stephanie.
23) Through gritted teeth, with words dripping with poison, Vanessa, Cordelia, whoever this loony dame thinks she is, says, "Yes. 'Tis true. Lord Lynwen Lordsly and I copulated on occasion."
24) When Stephanie shouts, "Foul wench!" put her in your investigative crosshairs.
25) Ask, "Lemme guess, Steph: You been porkin' the Lord too?"
26) "Yes -- Lord Lynwen Lordsly and I, adorable yet scrappy street filth Pippa O'Rorke, had been together a time or two. I thought he was beginning to love me ... that is, until word reached me of yet another who hath been speared by the Lord's lance. HOW DID HIS DICK TASTE, MICHAEL?"
27) When everyone argues among themselves, realize you've quickly lost control of this investigation. You'd rather be anywhere else right now.
Scovy, is that you? Who knows!
28) Remove the dates from the oven. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Brie En Croute With Strawberry Preserves And Toasted Walnuts
1 sheet puff pastry dough
8 ounce wheel of Brie
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup strawberry preserves
1 tablespoon water
1) As your terrible friends argue among themselves, down another flute of champagne and light up another smoke.
Imagine the revolver is a sugary cocktail with a cherry in it.
2) Think it through. Edgar was a prick, but everyone loved his prick. None of them have what it takes to off a man in cold blood like that. Or do they? They've all got the motive, but the willingness? Nah.
3) Ponder this as you chop walnuts.
4) Toss the walnuts in a pan over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes. The walnuts should be fragrant and slightly darkened. Set aside.
5) Lightly flour your work surface as your friends scream at each other. Unfold the pastry dough onto the floured surface.
6) Spread the preserves on the dough, leaving 2 inches around the edges. Sure seemed like you had more preserves than you currently do.
7) Lay the brie in the center. Top with the toasted walnuts.
8) Fold the pastry dough into the center, pinching the folds together as you go.
9) There was definitely a lot more preserves than this.
There was mad preserves, yo.
10) Carefully lift the dough and place on a baking pan covered in parchment paper.
11) Crack the egg in a bowl. Add water. Whisk to blend.
12) Yeah. That jar was brand-new.
13) Evenly coat the dough in the egg wash.
14) Someone got to that jar before you -- someone who's supposedly lying dead on the living room floor right now.
15) Bake for 20 minutes or until dough turns golden brown.
16) Head back into the living room, with everyone in tow. Shout, "You lying sack of shit!"
17) Edgar, covered in preserves, sits comfortably in a chair, alive as he ever was. He applauds as you enter.
18) "Hello to all of you, and welcome. You've reached the end of my game." Still in his goddamn English accent.
19) When Stephanie says, "But ... your pulse ..." and Edgar replies, "Yes. A small trick I learned in my time with a clan of con men in Cairo," and then in his American accent says, "It was actually a YouTube tutorial," side with Michael when he says, "Wait. So you can break character all you want with no repercussion?"
20) "Why, of course. I am the architect of your amusement, after all. I am the creator of the party and its theme. All of you are simply cogs in my party machine. Like sheep, you all follow. Except you," he says, looking at you. "For you, I had to concoct something a bit more ... dramatic to get you to have fun for once. Admit it -- you did have fun, didn't you?"
21) When he laughs after you say, "I'll admit: I did have some fun. I think my favorite part was when you were dead," laugh with him. Explain: "Because, see, when I was playing your little detective game, I dug deep into everyone's motivations. Found out some things. They found out some things."
22) Tell him everything. Watch his smirk fade into a nervous quiver.
23) Say, "See, these folks here, they all wanted you. And you made them feel wanted right back. But you can't get up in everyone's guts and tell them it makes them special. That just ain't nice. So now they're here to throw you a party: a wake.
24) Back away as your friends close in around Edgar. Be back in the kitchen by the time the screams begin.
25) Remove the brie from the oven. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting.
10) As time marches inexorably toward the New Year as your friends beat the hell out of Edgar the man-slut, prepare some snack plates.
9) Offer them towels to clean their hands of blood.
8) Offer them a seat at the table.
7) Hand them all a champagne cocktail.
6) Raise your glasses to the sky, and make a toast. "To the cutting of fat from our lives, and to the death of parties, themed or otherwise." Clink the glasses and take a sip.
5) When Stephanie says, "We're going to have to move. Change our lives, our names," mention that everyone here's already got a name to fall back on.
4) When Michael says that you don't have a name, mention that you most certainly do.
3) When Vanessa asks what the name is, tell her.
2) "Scovy Leasure. Ecuador's number one private detective-slash-appetizer specialist."
You may know Scovy's identity, but you will never find him.
1) Have a hearty laugh with good friends. Case closed.
0) Happy New Year.
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