Holiday Hosting Made Easy - 5 Sparkling Tips from SodaStream
The holiday season is a time for joy, laughter, and gatherings with loved ones, but we know holiday hosting can be stressful. Dietary restrictions, picky eaters, and ensuring you have everyone’s favorites, can make party planning overwhelming. Luckily, we've got you covered with 5 easy tips to make your hosting experience a bubbly, stress-free event.
1. Holiday Signature Drink
The 1st thing that a host offers an arriving guest is a drink, so why not have a signature, sparkling cocktail or mocktail ready for their arrival? An easy way to get a welcome drink to your guests effortlessly is to pre-mix the beverage so all you have to do is pour it in a festive glass. A holiday favorite is the Mistletoe Mashup. It's a simple, yet festive drink that will set the mood for the evening. However, the same principle could work for any beverage. You can find a whole library of holiday cocktails and mocktails on our recipe page here.
- Containers: Set yourself up for success with pre-measured containers. You’ll want:
- An easy to pour pitcher for the base.
- A large SodaStream bottle. Find options here.
Pre-mix the base. Add all the flavors together into a large, easy to pour container. Leave out the ice, alcohol, and sparkling water so your guests can customize their beverage. Mistletoe Mashup base ingredients:
- 1 part Grenadine
- OPTIONAL – 2 parts Vodka
- 1 Part Lemon-Lime (or Ginger Ale) Soda
- Add Sparkling. When a guest is ready for a drink, add 1-part pre-mixed base to 6-8 parts sparkling water. Add ice and alcohol per the desires of the guest. Then garnish.
2. Easy Cocktail Party Appetizer Pairings
No holiday gathering is complete without delicious cocktail party appetizers. Take your hosting to the next level and make your own cocktails to pair with your apps – but let’s keep this straightforward and stress-free. Here are 3 super simple, holiday-themed appetizers and cocktails that will impress your guests:
- Caprese Skewers: Thread cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, and basil leaves onto skewers and drizzle with balsamic glaze. The sweetness of the tomatoes and balsamic glaze will be the perfect balance to the bitterness of an Aperol Spritz Cocktail.
- Bacon-Wrapped Dates: Wrap pitted dates with bacon strips and secure with toothpicks. Bake until crispy and serve as a sweet and savory treat. The sweet and salty flavors of this appetizer pair perfectly with the bitterness of our New Old Fashioned.
- Cucumber Bites: Slice cucumbers into rounds and top them with a dollop of cream cheese, a small piece of smoked salmon, and a sprig of dill for an elegant appetizer. The hibiscus qualities of the cucumber pairs well with any Gin cocktail, like the Gin-Gin Situation.
3. Self-Serve Holiday Mocktail Drink Station
Add some sparkle to sober options and make your hosting job easier by creating a self-serve drink station that’s friendly for the whole family. Here's a 5-point checklist to ensure success:
- Simplicity: bubly drops are fool-proof essentials for ensuring an easy method of creating delicious, highly personalized holiday mocktails. Make sure you get a decent variety of the flavors so everyone can find something they love – or lean into their inner mixologist without creating a mess.
- Garnishes: Set out some great, versatile garnishes like lemon, lime, mint leaves, and maraschino cherries. Pre-slicing will contain the mess and keep kids away from knives.
- Ice: Everyone loves ice, so make sure you’ve got an abundant supply and a good ice bucket and tongs for serving.
- Drinkware: Holiday mocktails just hit different when they are in a specialized glassware, so increase your customization game with a variety of drinkware.
- Personalized Drink Tags: Don’t you hate when you put down a drink at a party only to forget which glass is yours? Worse yet is when you’re hosting, and guests keep leaving their cups around and picking up new ones. Save on cleanup and the planet by offering your guests drink tags to keep track of their glasses. You can make this fun with an artistic tag station as part of your self-serve station. Beads, washable markers and string are all ways of adding even more creativity to your custom holiday mocktail station.
4. Drinks & Traditional Food Pairings
Pairing the right beverage with your holiday feast is essential for a memorable dining experience. Here are 5 sparkling beverage pairings for 5 traditional holiday foods:
- Roast Turkey: Any cocktail, mocktail or sparkling water infused with lemon will offer a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors. Try a Citrus Kiss or Golden Hour to really enhance your guests culinary experience.
- Ham: Ginger-based drinks are the best complement to the savory sweet glazes of holiday ham. We suggest Dante’s Mule for a fun beverage full of complex flavors.
- Prime Rib: Don’t overthink this one and pair this classic, decadent dish with a Pepsi. Everyone likes their Pepsi a little different, so keep a variety of Pepsi beverage mixes around. A fun, easy take on the classic is the Pepsi Lemonade.
- Roast Vegetables: Roasted veggies are the perfect winter holiday feast accompaniment and nothing goes better with them than a sweet, earthy cocktail like our Blackberry Magic. We suggest adding some salty feta to your roasted veggies and some jalapeno to spice up your Blackberry Magic.
- Pumpkin Pie: The buttery crust and cinnamon notes of a great pumpkin pie deserve a decadent drink to round out your feast. Our rethink of the (New) Old-Fashioned, adds a touch of Pepsi that brings out those cinnamon flavors and sweetness.
5. Set Up a Self-Serve Food Station
Simplify your holiday feast with a self-serve food station. Here are 5 easy options your guest can help themselves to:
- Mashed Potatoes: This is an easy win for hosting that everyone loves. Keep the potatoes warm in a slow cooker and provide toppings like gravy, butter, sour cream and chives in separate, labeled containers.
- Stuffing: Offer both classic and vegetarian options, kept hot in chafing dishes.
- Cranberry Sauce: Serve cranberry sauce in elegant bowls with spoons for easy scooping. We love some jalapeno infused cranberry sauce.
- Salad Bar: Provide a variety of fresh greens, toppings, dressings, and protein options for guests to build their own salads. This is an easy way to accommodate a lot of different dietary preferences without having to make multiple meal options.
You can create a highly personalized holiday party with these tips to spend less time and energy on preparing, hosting, and cleaning and, instead, focus on cherishing these moments with your loved ones. SodaStream can add a sparkling touch to your festivities, ensuring that your guests and you have a delightfully customized, fizzy, and memorable holiday season.