Love is in the air at The Sievers! Each year Ryan and I celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with a quiet home-cooked meal in an intimate vignette set up in our own home. We typically watch a Disney movie (Cinderella is my all-time favorite!), enjoy a decedent dessert, and pop a bottle of really good wine. We love being in love! This year we are going to do something different by hosting a cocktail party to celebrating with our BFF’s. It will be an evening filled with delicious nibbles, fabulous Champagne, and lots of laughter. Not only will our soirée be memorable, it will be filled with completely store-bought items from my local grocery store. This night will be about being with friends and not being in the kitchen (well, except to get more Champagne!).
A successful party is not measured by how many items you make from scratch, but rather how much laughter fills your home! For my St. Valentine’s Day cocktail party I designed the evening around a completely over-the-top salty and sweet nibbles tray and glamorous rosé bubbles bar. Let me walk you through the Champagne bar:
The Bubbles Bar
Start by selecting your Champagne flutes. I like to use a different design for each guest to reflect their personality and to help them remember with flute is theirs. Use a tray—I chose silver—to set the flutes on. This will make even the simplest glassware feel more special, while also adding a bit of sophistication and sparkle to your bar area. A tray will also “contain” the flutes and help to visually organize your bar top and keep things from looking “strewn about all willy-nilly”—I use this professional entertaining phase all the time.
Next, choose your favorite Champagne. I prefer a Brut Rosé which is flavorful, complex, and dry, making it both versatile with food and delicious by itself as an aperitif.
I prefer to set out only one bottle of champagne at a time in a small ice-filled bucket. Opening a bottle of champagne has such a celebratory feel about it, so I like to do it in front of everyone. This also allows each bottle to stay as fresh as possible.
Candles, candles, and more candles! I have a collection of candle holders that range in size. I love mixing them and using different heights to get a more dramatic feel.
Paper cocktail napkins are the perfect way to help carry through a theme. I found the most “romantic” tray I had and used that to hold heart-themed napkins.
Finally, I scatter crystals all around the flutes, Champagne chiller, and bar top. They really do add a depth of glamour, and they reflect the flames of the candles.
The Nibbles Tray
Start by selecting your tray or platter. I love this silver spinning server for cocktail parties. It has many different sections which makes arranging food so simple. Guests can spin the tray for easy self-service regardless of where they are sitting on the sofa.
Next, it’s time to shop! I went to my local grocery store and chose things that were different in texture, flavor, and color. For this party, I wanted to create a completely over-the-top selection of nibbles, while still trying to incorporate very recognizable St. Valentine’s Day-themed foods. I choose things that are salty, sweet, and savory. My go-to items are:
Freshly baked baguette
Salt & Pepper Potato Chips
Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar (for dipping)
3. Lastly, set out small plates and napkins. A vase of scent-less flowers (as to not compete with your food) finishes out the look. Et voila—it’s party time!
Idea: If you don’t have a spinner server try using small bowls set atop a tray or just a large platter.