Every year, I usually have a few parties that, inevitably, take on a mind of their own. I have a ton of lovely guests, and I feel like I'm running around like a crazy person until the last minute. Don't get me wrong, I love having parties; if I didn't, I wouldn't do it. It's just that after a few years of hosting, I started to feel like I wanted to engage more than manage. I felt like I was missing out on time with my guests! The problem is that as soon as I wrap up one party, I start thinking about the next. It's just fun to come up with themes, music, decorations, and food! My solution to this conundrum came one day when talking to my friend, Marissa, about our love of baking.
A cookie exchange party is the perfect excuse to have your girl friends over, get some baking done, and throw in a couple signature cocktails. Signature cocktails are a staple at my parties. Not only are signature cocktails a way to make your party menu special, but they're also a way to cut down on expense. Rather than feeling like you have to have a ton of bottles on-hand to cover the tastes of all of your guests, you can limit your cocktail menu. I usually have 2 signature drinks (ex. one shot and one cocktail; or two cocktails; or two shots), and then I have a few bottles of wine. If it's a big party, I have a variety of beers, because I like to keep my guests happy. However, I don't go nuts with the liquor. In general, liquor is significantly more expensive than beer and wine, so that's why I limit my liquor to what I need for my signature cocktails.
For our party, Marissa and I decided to keep everything small and intimate. We got together for dinner; guests brought cookies to swap and a wrapped ornament to exchange; and everyone was handed a martini within moments of entering. Nothing says 'welcome' like a martini! When choosing what cocktails to serve, I always try to stick with the theme. Since the night was about our cookie exchange, I obviously went with cookie themed drinks. The Sugar Cookie Martinis have a fun sprinkle rim, and pack a huge punch. These innocent looking drinks are anything but innocent. They will have you having a Christmas rap battle with your friends before you know it. Errr not that we had a rap battle in my foyer or anything.
To top it off, we all had Snickerdoodle shots to mark the start of a great evening! I try to get things done ahead of time, and that definitely applies to these shots. I had a glass container filled with this mixture made the morning of the party. It stayed cool in the fridge, and were ready to go when it was party time! Super easy to make and so convenient to have it done ahead of time.
This shot is also deceptive, but let me remind you that it's a shot! Shots are usually more liquor than fluff, so that's something to keep in mind when serving these. This is also exactly why I gave my guests double-shot glasses of this concoction. Ok, that's not the only reason. I had to make sure that I had room for the whipped cream or Cool Whip. I suppose, if you were going to have a rap battle, this shot would also help you loosen up before taking the mic. Just a thought.
Here are the two signature cookie-inspired drinks used for our cookie exchange party:
Sugar Cookie Martini
What you need:
Mini round sprinkles
6 oz. vodka (vanilla vodka if you want yours super sweet)
3 oz. butterscotch Schnapps
3 oz. 2% milk
Pour water onto a dish and turn your martini glass over to wet the rim of your glass.
Pour sprinkles onto a separate dish, and place the wet rim of your glass onto the sprinkles. Roll the rim around in the sprinkles, until you get an even cover.
In a martini shaker, add ice, vodka, Schnapps and milk.
Shake, shake, shake!
Pour in your glass and bask in the glory of this pretty drink!
What you need:
Whipped cream or Cool Whip
Combine equal parts of your RumChata and Fireball in a shot glass.
Top with whipped cream or Cool Whip
Add sprinkles if you'd like. Keep the sprinkles small, because you don't want a choking hazard on your hands. People usually throw back shots and don't think about garnish!
These drinks are perfect for a Cookie Exchange Party, or an after-dinner drink. You really can't go wrong when you're working with these ingredients. Enjoy!