A festive party guide that will impress your boss and Minni maasi, too
Everything you need to craft unforgettable celebrations
The festive season is a party hopper’s favourite time of the year. Mapping out who is hosting a party, when and where, what are the appetisers? Are we doing a bonding activity? Will you be stuck listening to a drunken neighbour’s supposed trick to winning every card game? We’re not complaining. It’s that time of year when your once-boring neighbourhood transforms into a sparkling wonderland adorned with lights, laughter and the promise of unforgettable parties. The air is filled with the smell of fresh mithai, and the spirit of togetherness and revelry warms our hearts.
But then it hits you. You’re not going to be an attendee for too long. You will be hosting a party soon enough, and find yourself at a crossroads. Your family craves nostalgia and tradition, your girlfriends thirst for adventure, and for your colleagues (and boss), nothing less than magnificence will do.
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill parties, where slapping together chips, dip and leftover wine from your last movie night with your partner will suffice. It’s a time to get creative.
We’ve curated celebrations for all the unique crowds that are likely to gather under your roof when you’re hosting a party. Each ready to discover the alchemy of different cocktails, delectable cuisine and fun games that go beyond your standard teen patti. Whether it’s your NRI uncle flying in after years abroad, your boss and her super boss you’re trying to impress or the friends you haven’t seen in months.
You are the conductor in this grand orchestra, and we’re here to help you create the perfect symphony for your family, friends and colleagues.
A family fiesta where memories collide
Let’s start with the heart of it all – our family. Spending the festive season with family can sometimes feel like being in a Bollywood film, complete with some drama, laughter, music and, of course, unforgettable moments. But at the end of the night, when everyone is talked out, you realise there’s nowhere else you’d rather be. You want to create an atmosphere that’s not only delightful, but also nostalgic.
Whip up a cocktail that’s as special and timeless as your cherished memories – a Negroni. A simple yet elevated classic that’s about to become a new family tradition.
Classic negroni recipe by Times Food
- Campari 30 ml
- Gin 30 ml
- Sweet vermouth 20 ml
- 1 orange peel
- Add the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass.
- Take a chilled glass with the crushed ice cubes. Pour the Campari mix into this glass.
- Garnish with the orange peel and serve.
Dig into the family archives and serve up an array of comfort foods that have been passed down through generations. Consider mom’s secret biryani recipe, dadi’s famous samosas, and the only dish Papa proudly mastered–tandoori chicken.
Create a feast that not only pleases the palate but also transports everyone back to those cherished family dinners.
Is it even a family gathering if no one sings? You could set up a family-friendly activity like Tambola, but there’s no better game for a family gathering than antakshari. There’s always that one uncle who breaks into ghazals, and the childhood memories and stories that accompany pretty much all of them.
A toast to your ride-or-die girlfriends
Your group chat has been blowing up ever since it was announced that an all-female version of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara was in the making. If only your conflicting schedules allowed your girl gang to vacation together. Use this occasion to take your friends on the Euro trip that never makes it past the ideation stage.
diwueray’s collaboration with Netflix’s Emily in Paris gave us some great cocktail recipes to try. All eyes may have been on Emily in the show, but we’re throwing convention out the window and going with the fun and floral Mindy cocktail.
Mindy by Tanqueray
- 60 ML Tanqueray London Dry
- 20 ML Lavender syrup
- 150 ML Premium Tonic
- Add 60 ML of Tanqueray London Dry Gin to a glass.
- Add the lavender syrup, and top it with tonic.
- Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and some dried lavender buds.
We’re going all-in with tapas, those delightful, bite-sized flavour bombs. Think of it as a mix-and-match adventure for your taste buds.
We’re talking Spanish patatas bravas, bruschetta with an array of scrumptious toppings (you can give a desi twist to these too), mini sliders that are big on taste and a spread of dips with freshly baked bread. It’s all about savouring the variety, sharing plates around and discovering flavours together.
Sip and paint is precisely like it sounds, combining two enjoyable pastimes with your friends. Sip on your Mindy cocktails while creating art together.
Sip and paint sessions are not about creating masterpieces but rather, about having a good time and spending it with the people you love. It’s a great way to unwind, destress and put together paintings for a mood board of the dream vacation you will all definitely go for.
A workplace soiree unlike any other
This is the soirée where we elevate the evening and dress to impress the stoic boss who speaks fewer words than a talking parrot. The ambience is all about elegance, where you want to seem a little bougie, but also like you’ve pulled this off as effortlessly as you would the next big client pitch. But you don’t want to keep things too formal, either. The festive season is about togetherness, after all, and bonding with your colleagues won’t just impress your boss, but make going to work feel less like, well, work.
This takes the coffee martini to the next level. Your guests get a delicious drink but also a bit of a show. And nothing says ‘I’m a strong and competent employee capable of handling tough tasks’ than setting things on fire – and controlling it.
Caramelised sugar and rum mixed with coffee and coffee liqueur? Sign us up.
Flaming Spanish coffee by Kate MacDonnell
- 151-proof rum 21 ml
- Triple sec 7 ml
- Coffee liqueur 44 ml
- Freshly brewed coffee 89 ml
- 1 wedge lemon or orange
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- Whipped cream and ground cinnamon (optional)
- Pour the sugar into the small bowl and run the lemon wedge around the lip of your tempered glass. Then, dip the glass lip in the sugar, turning to cover the entire lip.
- Pour the rum and triple sec into the glass.
- Carefully set the alcohol on fire. Holding the stem, slowly turn the glass to allow the flames to caramelise the sugar rim.
- Add the coffee and coffee liqueur. Your flames should now be extinguished.
- Optional: garnish with a spoonful of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Or add a wedge of lemon or orange to the rim of the glass.
Make the culinary experience of the night a fusion of cuisines that match the diversity and vibrancy of your professional peers.
Think fluffy naans topped with truffle oil, masala mac and cheese and quesadillas stuffed with samosa filling and some hari mirch ki chutney on the side. End with some kulfi or, you could even freeze some mango lassi in popsicle moulds, and everyone’s going home with a happy belly.
Given that you spend most of your day with your colleagues in a professional setting, crunching numbers and collecting Excel sheets like they’re seashells after a beach holiday, you can let loose a little bit. It’s a time for celebration, after all.
In this episode of Spacelift, Tweak founder Twinkle Khanna shows us how we can set up a DIY cocktail station at home that will help your coworkers let their hair down and experiment with spirits, flavours and toppings, and come up with their own quirky cocktail creations.
If you get your boss in a good enough mood, you could turn the cocktail-making into a competition with some extra paid leave days as a prize. We should warn you that things could get extremely competitive, but also a lot more fun.