A Creepy & Classy AF Modern Halloween Cocktail Party
Hello cool weather and dark nights! I can’t believe it’s actually fall here in Denver (finally!) and it seems like the entire place switched from fresh summery fruits, bright florals, and upbeat energies to pumpkin spice everything, fall leaves, and canned jams and jellies. Overnight!
To celebrate the change, I teamed up with Emilie Aries from Bossed Up and Lyndse Yess from LY Floral Studio to throw a cocktail party for our close friends in Denver. With a Halloween theme anchoring the party’s aesthetic, we still wanted to push for a more sophisticated, classy festivity. No more Redbull and vodka with plastic pumpkins and ‘on trend’ costumes for us ladies. We wanted to celebrate - Grown-ass Woman style! Well… more like young urban hipster millennials focusing on yummy drinks and delicious food for entertainment and style.
How to make a modern, but creepy cocktail party you ask?
Well first let’s talk decor and color. Yes you can go with the traditional autumnal colors of Halloween, but to add a bit more class and sophistication, opt in for deep lush colors, modern black details, and metallic accents. When you can, add in real dishware, platters, and silverware to give it that adult charm. You can even mix and match coordinating pieces if you don’t have enough placesettings for everyone. Just make sure to stick to the color theme, style, and overall aesthetic.
I then suggest spending a little coin on sassy throwaways. These pieces really add character, and of course sass, to the party. They don’t have to be a large investment, but jump in to add that extra touch of personality.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget a little floral or greenery. Lyndse recommends you go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s to find whatever’s in season. These stores tend to have a fresher and more interesting selection of florals and greens than most other grocery stores. The darker, the better, to create a spooky vibe.
Next step. Make some crazy delicious cocktails!
As the cocktail gal in the group, I was in charge of whipping up a few drinks for the crew. I will say, if you head over to Pinterest and search Halloween Cocktails, you will get bombarded with mostly weird, overly creepy, and even kinda gross-to-look-at recipes (think - college style shots). So… I went in a different direction. I chose two, totally different combos, that reflect on my first few decor notes and really take your typical Halloween cocktail up a level. They are either a deep lush color full of depth or focused on the fall vibes of the season.
My Up All Night Cocktail was a fun spin on your classic red wine and my favorite morning drink - coffee! Yes, this combo sounds crazy and who would try this? But apparently it really took off a few years ago. I’ve somehow made it into this industry without mixing two of my favorite drinks before. So I dare you!
To make this drink, all you need is your favorite red wine, brew up your own delicious coffee, and mix in some classy vodka. If you are a sweet coffee drinker, you’ll probably want to throw in a little simple syrup too. I nixed the syrup for this one, but added in coconut vodka instead. Oh so good!
And if you need another excuse to try this, it has a health bonus. The combo of coffee and wine make up one hell of an antioxidant-rich concoction. Beware though, that first sip will take you by surprise. You’ll definitely get all those wine notes up front, then it will slowly turn to rich coffee and sweetness.
Bonus Tip: The deep reds of this cocktail paired nicely with Lyndse’s floral details - win! If you start to cross over textures and colors from one element to the next, your whole setting will be cohesive and Instagram ready.
For the other cocktail, Don’t Give a Fig Cocktail, I wanted to really dive into the fall theme. I was on the hunt to find a recipe with rich flavors, spiciness, and (because I’m a designer first) something that was orange, warm-toned, and went with the other foods Emilie was presenting. Since fresh figs were nowhere to be found, I had to adapt and mash up a few recipes. Have you tried fig preserves or fig butter?! If not, grab some for this cocktail or for your next PB&J. It won’t disappoint. Then instead of serving them in your normal sized cocktail glass or coupe, I wanted them to fit into the buffet setting as appetizers as well. They’re pretty flavorful so I used a few vintage cordial glasses so guests could take a sampling rather than jumping in fully to a large glass. And if spiciness isn’t your jam (ha - pun intended) you can use a white rum and a sweeter jam instead.
And lastly, make some kickass appetizers and dessert!
Emilie knocked this part outta the park! To tie the whole shebang together she focused on really good food that pulled from a more sophisticated halloween approach. There’s no need to sacrifice taste just to make something creepy or on theme. She whipped up an incredible moody and dark cheese board, a gooey and tasty cheese dip, and little orange sweet potato bites. Then, to top off the night, she went above and beyond and created some show-stopping desserts. Mini Cranberry Cheesecakes (which I happily ate three of) and an Apple Pie Bread were brought out to finish off the party!
I’ll admit, I’m not one to give great advice on these tasty treats. My oven has only seen a frozen pizza in the past few weeks. You’ll need to head over to the Bossed Up Blog where Emilie expands on her hosting skills and food making processes.