I just put up my Christmas decor and brought all the sweaters and egg nog because the season 'tis here. After putting up the tree and putting out the candy bowls, trimming the wreath and listening to carols it was egg nog time. And by egg nog I mean bourbon with splash of egg nog and milk in it (I use low fat milk so I don't overdo the high fat egg nog). I have a pair of lovely Budweiser flutes, I know it sounds strange but it's true, with the Clydesdales on them in their holiday regalia. The nog looked lovely in them.
Now is the time of year when many people will be in our homes, and to make them feel welcome it's important to have little things for them to enjoy. Bottles of wine, champagne, beer, and other spirits are a lovely addition to having guests over, and quite frankly can make it more bearable for everyone depending on the guest. As most of you who have watched Mad Men know- nothing beats a good bourbon in the house. I would suggest, for those of you who have no spirits, that you purchase a couple of staples. A good mixing rum (I just use Captain Morgan Spiced Rum), vodka (3 Olives is a great mixing vodka but I prefer Grey Goose as vodka is my favorite spirit) , and well known Whiskey or Bourbon. I prefer American- so a Jim Beam or a Jack Daniels are good choices others prefer Scotch or Irish Whiskey- MacCallan and Jameson are good options in that department. You should also keep a selection of mixers: Club Soda, Tonic, Ginger ale, Cola and Diet Cola. This way everyone can make SOMETHING that they would like to drink.
It's been my experience that women will gravitate to the vodka, low in calories and when paired with a club soda will not stain your clothes or teeth (remember this on New Years because nothing is worse than an expensive vintage dress with an expensive vintage on it that will NOT come out) and men will gravitate to the whiskey/bourbon. If you are stocking top shelf, it's in your best interest to play bartender/hostess otherwise your may find yourself with a Don Draper crawling across your living room with your irreplaceable vintage lampshade on his head and having to buy several bottles more just to get through the rest of the season.
As for treats, make things that are easy and not covered with gloppy frosting or filled with drippy cordials... while these may be delicious the chances of them being dropped on a vintage pillow or a throw that can't be laundered are astronomically increased. Also, they are just messy- if you make treats like that then package them up in a bag for people to take home so that the powdered sugar/sprinkles/frosting/syrup doesn't adorn you, your house, or your guests. It's also a lovely treat to send people home with a little something. Later this week I will post some delicious no-fuss no-muss dessert recipes for your holiday parties. So head to the store and then cozy up with a nice egg nog 'cause baby, it's cold outside...