How to Create a Cocktail Party Menu

If planning a dinner party sounds like too much hassle, try a low-maintenance gathering of cool nibbles and stylish spirits. Browse our mixed drink and finger food recipes, and you'll be hosting your own happy hour in no time.

The Menu

From the Bar: Gibson, Manhattan, Old-Fashioned, Martini, Mint Julep, Whiskey Sour

Snack: Polenta with Peppers and Onions

Snack: Antipasto Kabobs

Dessert: Chocolaty Tiramisu Parfaits

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The tiny cocktail onions in this drink may be an acquired taste, but over the years they've garnered a legion of fans.

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The secret of this concoction's success is the way the vermouth and bitters smooth out the bourbon for a surprisingly balanced drink.

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The only drink fit for a vintage Thanksgiving dinner is the classic Old-Fashioned. If you're not already a pro at mixing one together, our recipe will teach you how.

Your retro-loving friends will get a kick out of this tried-and-true mixed drink.

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Few drinks define classic cool like a chilled martini. Connoisseurs insist on having theirs served immediately -- before the ice has the slightest chance of melting and diluting the drink.

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Mint Julep


This Kentucky Derby favorite is a guaranteed hit with any bourbon lover.

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Whiskey Sour

Get our favorite drink recipes and learn how to make cocktails like this delicious whiskey sour.

Impress fans of this classic cocktail by making it the right way -- with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice instead of bottled sour mix.

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Bartender Trick: Perfect Lemon Wedges


Use a paring knife to cut a lemon through the stem end and then cut into smaller wedges.

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Polenta with Peppers and Olives


These hearty party bites work perfectly with marinated artichoke heart quarters, slivered pepperoni slices, chopped kalamata olives, and fresh herbs. Follow the next few slides for a close-up look at three of the recipe's core steps.

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Step 1: Cut Polenta


Use unflavored dental floss to cut polenta. Loop it under the polenta, then cross it over the top. Pull ends to tighten the loop and make a slice.

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Step 2: Baste Polenta Slices


Using a pastry brush, lightly brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over both sides of polenta slices. Arrange on an ungreased baking sheet.

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Step 3: Cook Peppers


Cook pepper strips in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally until pepper strips are tender.

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Antipasto Kabobs


These savory skewers will be the life of your party spread. Get creative. The final shape of these fun antipasto-on-a-stick appetizers is entirely up to you.

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Chocolaty Tiramisu Parfaits


Serve this well-loved dessert in individual servings for a fresh take on an old favorite.

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