New Year’s Eve 2013: Party-Perfect Pieces

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time for a soiree that encourages liberal sipping and snacking. Host a party with good food and great friends for a rewarding alternative to hitting the town on NYE.

Shop all of the celebratory table supplies on our New Year’s Eve Styleboard.

A well-laid buffet is an elegant yet easy option for New Year’s Eve. The casual setup invites socializing and mingling, allowing guests to help themselves without the structure of a sit-down meal. A tablescape of clear glass and acrylic serving pieces mixes well with metallic accents for a modern, opulent look. White plates complete the table with a fresh feel.

Champagne is an undeniable must-have for New Year’s Eve, and few things are as elegant as a graceful flute filled with effervescent bubbly.  However, many people wait until midnight for a champagne toast, so other drink options earlier on are a good idea.  A glass punch bowl is a lovely way to please a crowd. A martini setup with shaker and glasses is also a striking offer for guests who love a cosmopolitan vibe.

Don’t forget to stock your buffet with sparkling juice or mineral water for guests to enjoy the bubbles without the alcohol. A homemade infused simple syrup, such as lemon ginger syrup or vanilla cardamom syrup, can add flavor to both vodka martinis and sparkling water for a special touch.

A fun New Year’s tradition for revelers of all ages is the Spanish practice of eating 12 grapes at midnight. The grapes are professed to bestow good luck throughout the 12 months of the coming year. Making skewers for your guests with 12 grapes each is a fun way to get them in the mix. Added to a tall flute of champagne or sparkling grape juice, they make an ideal garnish. Attach a bit of metallic fringe to the end of skewers, secured with clear or decorative tape, for extra dazzle.

When it comes to New Year’s noshing, fondue is back! A quintessential party food, fondue encourages creativity, as the sky is the limit when it comes to sauces and dippables. For a savory selection, a classic sauce with Gruyere cheese creates a delectable finish for bread, crackers, and vegetables. Lightly steam vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, or green beans before placing on the serving tray for a melt-in-your-mouth experience.

For a sweet treat, make a chocolate or caramel fondue, and serve with fruit, angel food cake bites, brownies, sugar cookies, marshmallows, and pretzels. A great solution for presenting both flavors is a fondue set with savory cheese sauce, and a chocolate fountain for the sweets.

Desserts or appetizers stack up for a mouth-watering display with a tiered serving piece. This versatile glass design can accommodate all sorts of finger foods from shrimp cocktail with lemon slices to mini cupcakes and petit fours.

Finish the table setting with silver and gold decor. Forego the cheap plastic or paper decorations and gather metallic and mercury glass accents for a luxe look.

Appetizer plates with glass holders invite guests to move about with one hand free, and yet have food and a drink at their fingertips.

Don’t forget about the music! A prepared playlist can create a smooth segue into party ambience, punctuated with the iconic midnight song, Auld Lang Syne. Add a few party hats and noisemakers, in addition to your friends, and get ready to serve up good times and great memories as you ring in the new year!

Augusta, editor

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