A Marvelously Mad Retro Cocktail Party
Host a glitz and glam evening with a nod to a bygone era with classic cocktails and an assortment of delicious nibbles inspired by 1950's & 60's Americana.
I will admit, I might be just a little obsessed with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. There I said it! Everything from the brilliant character of Midge, the set design, and meticulous costuming has captivated me from episode 1. So, it’s no surprise that I was a little bummed like so many other fans to hear season 4’s 2020 Hanukkah debut was postponed. Now here we are a year later and while filming for season 4 started in early 2021, it is not likely the show will release before next December (2022). How on earth will I survive? Suddenly, inspiration struck as I asked myself “what would Midge do?” Why not host a fabulous retro cocktail party using The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and maybe a dash of Mad Men as theme inspiration? Voila! The Marvelously Mad cocktail party was in the works.
Anyone who knows me can attest, I need very little reason to get glammed up. Also, I just might have accumulated an embarrassment of festive clothing options over the years that echo the styles from the 1940's - 1960's, so that takes care of what to wear. The menu, however would require a little more effort. I really wanted to embrace the mid-century era and feature recipes that are lesser known today, but would have been must have's back then. I enjoyed the process as creating the cocktail and food menu was almost as entertaining as the party itself. I scoured the internet, perused vintage magazines, and old cookbooks researching popular dishes, culinary styles and finding fun recipes to re-create with a modern twist. I knew two things for sure there must be a gelatin mold and something made with SPAM. For the gelatin mold, this was a no brainer! Giada de Laurentiis’ Raspberry Prosecco Tulip would be the belle of the food ball. However, I chose to use Gloria Ferrer sparkling Blanc de Noirs in place of the prosecco called for in the recipe because it is less sweet and imparts a beautiful blush color in the gelatin.
The only thing left to do was to set the scene. Thanks to Pandora Radio, anyone can be a masterful DJ creating all sorts of playlists to suit any mood or theme. I ultimately decided on Swingin' Christmas and Frank Sinatra stations. As for decorations, I simply could not resist the Pop Party mid-century atomic motif cocktail glasses at World Market. In fact, they may have more than a little to do with my desire to host this soiree. But that's just between you and I. Of course, if you want to go real-deal vintage, then check out Etsy. I was like a kid in a candy store ogling all the mid-century collections listed. Truly, I found World Market to be a treasure trove of mid-century décor which made adding little touches like matching cocktail straws and coasters super easy.
The cheery colors and gold accents of the atomic pattern were just what this party needed. Glasses this happy deserve a super special cocktail to match. To celebrate the profound joy these glasses radiate I created The Pineapple Upside Down Cake cocktail. The subtly sweet whiskey cocktail with hints of cinnamon and spice and vibrant pineapple was a hit with the crowd. You can whip up a pitcher of this cocktail in advance so you can spend more time mingling instead of bar tending.
Hopefully this will inspire you to host a marvelous holiday party of your own.
Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!
Classic Gin & Tonic featuring Ginny’s Gin
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Cocktail featuring Heritage Distilling BSB
Onion Dip & Crudités
Savory Turkey Lit'l Smokies in Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Sassy Sriracha Shrimp Cocktail
Sweet & Spicy Rumaki
Hawaiian SPAM Skewers
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