Hosting a Tasting Party – Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Try something different and unique for your next get-together – a tasting party! Jean hosts an annual holiday party for friends & relatives and a few years back she changed it up by having a Cocktails and Cupcakes party.  She made Josh’s recipe for Champagne Cupcakes and 3 other dessert varieties including these chocolate ganache and PB&J cupcakes, 6 savory types including peperoni pizza & baked ham & egg, and 4 cocktails. One of the crowd favorites was Gersky’s recipe for Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sours.
This got us thinking – why not change up your typical friends gathering to a themed tasting party? We’ve all been to wine and cheese tastings but there are so many other interesting foods and drinks that would be fun to try with friends.
Here are our tips, tricks and ideas for hosting your own tasting event that will be as easy to host as eating the delicious food you prepare:
1. Keep it small: For your 1st one – keep it small, inviting about 6-8 guests. A smaller group is conducive to sitting at one table together to savor and discuss the food and libations. It also allows the host to be with the guests instead of in the kitchen.
2. Select your concept or food: We all know about wine & cheese tastings but why not something different such as: Italian: breads, olive oils, vinegars & olives; desserts: mini cheesecakes, cupcakes, mousses, & parfaits; or German: wursts & mustards with crusty brown & rye breads.
3. Pair the drinks: Usually when having friends over, we serve variety of drinks including wine, beer and cocktails. The beauty of a tasting party is to pair the food with just one type of alcoholic beverages which makes the planning simpler. For example, Italian regional wines for the olive & olive oil tasting, dessert wines such as sauternes, moscato or ports, and German pilsners and lagers with the wursts.
4. Choose your serving vessels: We suggest one of these two options. The first is to serve the food family style on large platters which can be passed around the table one at a time. The second is to use some of the many tasting spoons, glasses and cups available at party stores (disposable) or home decor shops. In either case, pair one food item with one beverage at a time.
5. Email or snail mail an invitation: Rather than calling or texting friends, an invitation gives you the opportunity to talk about the theme of your tasting party. If your friends are like ours, they’ll offer to bring something so this is your opportunity to guide them to something that will fit the theme.
So, make your next gathering a tasting party. If you love the idea but don’t have the time or are inviting a large crowd, contact us!  Gersky’s is your party planning headquarters and we have the expertise to bring your party idea to life.
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Posted in Entertaining Tips, Tips & Tricks.