In Australia, we unofficially start the silly season next Tuesday with the running of the Melbourne Cup (it’s the race that stops a nation, after all). But no matter where you are in the world, silly season is fast approaching and your social commitments are about to get extreme.
With this in mind we thought that a somewhat low key cocktail/dinner party would be appropriate for this week; a calm before the storm, shall we say.
So our advice is to gather your closest friends and make food, conversation, friendship and of course cocktails your priority.
Inspired a little by Reese Whitherspoon’s new book Whiskey In A Teacup, we thought it might be fun to take a somewhat southern-style approach to it all. After all (politics aside) the south and its commitment to hospitality are meant to be about just those very things.
Now of course in the South, they do that with a shotgun in one hand, hot rollers in their hair and a glass of spiked sweet tea in the other, but the same principle applies where ever you are.
The thing that is most appealing about a southern-style party is that these are a people that take both their food and their drinking very seriously.
While hospitality is paramount, the food and cocktails are not fussy and could perhaps be described as more in the style of comfort food. So while the food will be good, it certainly won’t take away from the conversation and memories that a night like this can bring.
After all, have often do you ever get the opportunity to use sayings like “that dog won’t hunt’ and “Bless your heart’ in sentences where they would not seem odd.
When holding an intimate dinner party, there are a few tips to remember.
- Set the table in a casual manner with plenty of room for everyone to see and talk to one another
- Make sure that everyone connects and mingles, so seperate couples and introduce singles
- That you create a playlist that embraces the mood you want to create.
- That everyone leaves their phone at the door, so they are not tempted to use it all night
- Prep what you can beforehand but remember everyone wants to be involved, so let people help
Here are some typical southern-style dishes that are not only easy to make but your guests will love
We start with Cheddar Biscuits
Then onto the very Southern Shrimp & Grits
And some cooked Baby Kale
and what Southern-style dinner party would be complete without a Mississippi Mud Pie
Finally, we have some Cowboy Cookies to go with the coffee.
We really couldn’t do a southern-style dinner party without a few key cocktails, primarily a Bourbon & Sweet Tea
But of course, we also couldn’t forget a Mint Julep
This list is taken from the book Whiskey In A Teacup.
If you are unsure what you’ll talk about, then we have a few articles that can provide some fun facts for you and your guests.
The 10 Commandments of Southern Entertaining
14 Takeaways From Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-Accented Lifestyle Memoir
Why The Story Of Southern Food Is As Much About People As Dishes
How spending time with your friends is better for you than being with family
How to Host a Dinner Party