Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic
 

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Feeling Golden

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

The sun is finally shining in Atlanta.

Madea and me are loving this weather.

In honor of the sun shining, I am posting gold things today.

I bought these gold beauties on a recent shopping trip in Tampa with bestie Holly (we saw U2, too, but that’s another story).

There’s no place like gold…

And Eric and I finally got around to bottling up the limoncello that has been brewing for months in the pantry (note to self: don’t let it sit so long next time).

The homemade stuff is on the left.

 

Here’s a fun recipe for a yummy cocktail to make with your limoncello. Limoncello Gin Cocktail with Grilled Thyme.

What’s making you feel golden this summer?

xoxo, Patti

 

Tiki Drinks

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

This coming weekend we will gather to celebrate our dear Valerie’s birthday with a tiki bash.

I think this is the perfect drink, shared by my friends at everyone’s party invitation go-to, Evite.

Doing the Pink Flamingo!

You’ll need these for your drinks

 

I would add more rum than this calls for, but that might just be me. In fact, I would use coconut rum because that’s how I roll.

What are you drinking this summer?

xoxo, Patti

 

 

 

The Chad – It’s A Drink!

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings,

St. Simons Island was a swoony dream. I can’t wait to share all my secrets.

For today, I will leave you with a cocktail I enjoyed when I visited. It’s called the Chad. It was created by, well, you know, The Chad.

Take a look at the recipe here and make one (or three) for you and some friends this weekend. It is divine! Click here to watch the real life Chad show you how to make it! I love that southern accent.

Oh you are going to love this!

Make a Chad or two and welcome the month of May! More to come!

xoxo, Patti

Dinner Parties 101 and Traveller Bar

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

With spring in the air, I am dying to start planning some outdoor parties. Our new (100+ year old) house has a gigantic front porch that faces a very busy and loud road, but I’m still determined to throw a porch party (or three) this spring to bring together friends old and new for adult beverages and fun conversation.

What do I do for inspiration? Why, I do the same as you – I read dinner party blogs! I love this one, Cup of Jo, who gathered tips from tons of party givers. I even learned a new tip or two.

Warmer weather makes us want to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Or a drive to somewhere indoors. Recently, Eric and I enjoyed a night out at Saltwood, the hotel restaurant at the Loews Atlanta. I am swoony for a hotel bar and restaurant and Saltwood did not disappoint. Incredibly charcuterie, and gorgeous craft cocktails at their new Traveller Bar, which may be gone by now. It’s a pop up! Take a look.

Traveller Bar, as seen in LA. It looks the same in Atlanta! 🙂

And here in Atlanta. Photo credit, Eater Atlanta

I will admit, instead of having dessert in the restaurant, we retired to the bar for another cocktail. So good. Special thanks to our sweet friend, Rachel Peavy, who is the PR Maven for the Loews Atlanta. It was so much fun running into her and catching up.

Go forth, and entertain your friends. Mix up some fresh lemonade and add a bit of grenadine to make it pink and then some vodka to make it boozy. It is such a lovely springtime cocktail! Here’s a great version!

xoxo, Patti

 

 

How To Be The Perfect Guest

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

I am asked so often what is the best thing to bring to a dinner party. So many lovely answers. No one ever seems to ask what not to do.

But I am happy to clue you in. Shall we begin?

  1. Never show up early. Ever. Your hostess is putting the finishing touches on everything (including her face). Don’t be early. We expect to give you a 15 minute window to arrive after the announced time. Five or ten minutes late is perfect. We will greet you at the door with a smile and cocktail and welcome you warmly. Showing up early is akin to setting the cat on fire or knocking over an entire bottle of red on a crisply ironed white linen tablecloth (but even that is more tolerable than showing up early). Don’t set the cat on fire, please. And it bears repeating – don’t be early.
  2. Do show up with a small something for your hosts. Wine is always welcome. Bourbon is even better. A couple of fluffy cinnamon rolls for your hostess to enjoy the next morning is so sweet. We love homemade treats. And if you are bringing a beer, something unusual or local is sure to please. What not to bring? Please, for the love of all that is southern, please do not show up with flowers that are not in a vase. The last thing your hostess wants to think about is running around looking for something to put those flowers in.  Also, do not bring a dish that you have not been asked to bring. This is a no-no for a couple of reasons: A. this dinner has been scrupulously planned, right down to the olives & nuts served with cocktails, and B. all of her serving dishes have been coordinated with the table. If you show up with pimento cheese sandwiches on a flowered tray, she (I) might fly into a silent rage. While smiling. We southern hostesses always smile.
  3. Introduce yourselves to the other guests as they arrive. Especially if your hostess has to duck into the kitchen for just a moment. Ask how they know the hosts. That always gives you something to talk about. She has put you all together for a reason and thinks you will be fine friends by the end of the night. If you are shy, think of it this way – you are going to meet your new best friends and it’s way more comfortable.
  4. Have an interesting or funny story to tell. Keep it short. Keep it clean.
  5. Read the crowd. Is everyone drinking and then drinking some more? Well, then. Go ahead and have that third gin and tonic. Is it a school night and the group is having a cocktail before dinner and either a glass of wine or beer with dinner? Follow suit.

That’s a good start. Let me know your favorite ideas. Oh! And here’s a look at our homemade limoncello. Next time we make a double batch. This disappeared in no time. Serve it in a gorgeous cut glass decanter. Or bring some to your hostess. Before serving, put in the freezer so it is ice cold when your guests enjoy it. YUMMY!

Lemon & vodka, ready to mix with the simple syrup.

xoxo, Patti

When Life Gives You Lemons…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Good Morning Darlings!

It’s February. Which means winter. It also means it’s my birthday month!

I needed a pick me up to hold me over until my Florida vacay in 10 days (please let it be warm and sunny!) and I had a surplus of lemons I was going to use for that detox drink that gets Beyonce to her fighting weight.

But I never got to making those detox drinks and the lemons were waning.

You know I’m always up for a party, so I decided to use those sunny little orbs to make my first ever batch of limoncello!

First, we have to find a terrific recipe. I found this precious blog called Garden Betty and decided to follow her recipe for my first foray into making adult bevs. Go follow her and get her recipe and then we can make limoncello together!

Aren’t lemons the happiest of fruits? So sunny and they smell soooo good.

So sunny and fresh!

You have to zest them all and then you can’t just leave the juice – those lemons need to be juiced, too! I ended up with about 3 cups of juice from 15 lemons. I can’t lie, Eric juiced most of the lemons. He’s the best.

Thanks, Eric for juicing all those lemons!

You put all the zest into a glass gallon jar and add a liter of vodka. For some reason, friends have been gifting us with vodka, so we have a boodle at the house. It looks like this.

I bet that is so tart!

At second glance, that may be bigger than one gallon. Anyhoo. The jar goes into the dark pantry for 6 weeks.

Have you ever made limoncello? Tell me all your stories!

xoxo, Patti

Ready, Set Bubbles!

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

NYE 2017 is just days away – how will you celebrate?

We will celebrate in a very different way this year. A tiny little fete’ for 8.

If you have been following me for any time at all, you know my absolute go-to for bubbles is Segura Viudas Brut Cava. Honestly, it’s as tasty as wines that are 3 times the price and its $8 price tag allows me to buy in bulk (truly, I have 3 cases at the house – you never know who will stop by!) My friends can always count on me to provide them with a glass of bubbles. Life is a celebration, drink it in. Does that sound cheesy? It’s okay to be cheesy!

When the lovely folks at Segura Viudas got in touch about their new Reserva Heredad (SRP $25), I jumped at the chance to try it. Look how fancy the bottle is!

THE Drink for NYE 2017

With only a few faves gathering, a few bottles are affordable and why not spoil your besties? We will be feasting on roasted veggie lasagna bathed in bechamel sauce, yummy garlic bread, crisp salad, caviar and a surprise dessert.

The pop of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad will be our soundtrack as the clock strikes midnight.

It should be your go-to, too! Happy New Year!!

xoxo, Patti

ps – Check out the fabulous music video on their site. It will get you all revved up to party! 🙂

Gifting Wine

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings,

Halloween is now behind us and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. For me this means lots of dinner parties and when you are invited, I know you always want to arrive with a gift. You cannot go wrong with wine (unless, of course, your hosts are recovering alcoholics, allergic to grapes or are staunch beer drinkers who never drink wine – know your audience, darlings.)

EOD Cellars Wine is a charity wine that is made possible through a partnership with Tackitt Family Vineyards and the EOD Warrior Foundation. Profits from the wine sales go directly to the EOD Warrior Foundation, which are used to help current and past EOD warriors and their families. EOD stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the disarming and disposal of bombs. EOD technicians are highly-trained military members serving in the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force who are responsible for disarming, rendering safe and disposing bombs. The EOD profession is one of the most dangerous occupations in the military.

 

EOD Wines

EOD Wines

Over Black Friday weekend, Tackitt Family Vineyards will be offering free shipping on all of their fantastic and award winning wines, including those with the EOD Cellars label, making it even easier to give the gift of wine this holiday season. Enter ‘EOD’ for the promo code in the coupon block to get free shipping.

For those giving wine gifts this year, it’s a good idea to keep a few etiquette tips in mind, including:

  • If you are not familiar with specific taste preferences of those you are giving the wine to, it’s always best to stick with classic varieties. Giving someone a simple white or red wine is usually a safe bet.
  • Don’t expect the host to serve it that night or right when you give it to them. They may have other plans in mind, and it is your gift to them. They can stash it away and serve it when, and to whom, they wish.
  • It’s a good idea to stick a note on the bottle, letting them know you put some thought into the selection. If you are choosing an EOD Cellars Wine, for example, it’s a nice touch to write on there that you thought they would appreciate the selection and the mission.
  • You may want to give something with the wine, with good options being to consider pairing it with a good chocolate, cheese, Spanish olives, dried fruits, or almonds. Another nice option is to pair it with a special hand painted wine glass or small wine pairing book for their collection.
  • Wrapping it in a wine bag is optional, but if you choose not to use one, then it’s a nice touch to add the hand-written note and a ribbon or bow.

I love the idea of wine gifting with a purpose. Later this week, I’ll be discussing some of my favorite local Georgia wines.

Tis the season!

xoxo, Patti

Cube The Ice at Alma

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Eric and I recently visited Escape The Room, right downtown on our beloved Peachtree Street. It was an hour of finding clues to unlock the locks that held us captive. We had one hour.

Good thing that door opens automatically after 60 minutes. We did not solve all the clues.

Sleuthing is thirsty work. We hopped across the street to Alma Cocina, for the Lay of the Land margarita and some chips & salsa.

The bartenders are new. Kit is the only one who knew how to make it! Luckily for us, Kit had returned to Alma as Beverage Manager and was in the house to whip up said Lay of the Land margaritas. They are spicy and sweet all at the same time.

Lay of the Land and chips & salsa consumed. Now what?

We spied a gentleman at the bar enjoying a giant ice cube and a shot of tequila. Kit, what’s that?

It’s THE CUBE! Ice cubes made with fresh ingredients and paired with a shot of different tequilas to enhance the experience.

We needed THE CUBE. I tried the cube made with pineapples and Eric chose the cube made with coffee and maple syrup.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

Our cubes and tequila shots.

They come with tiny little spoons to break up the cube after you pour the tequila in. Or you can shoot the tequila and wait for the cube to melt, but that seems silly.

Go see Kit at Alma. Get THE CUBE. Impress your friends. Be cool.

xoxo, Patti

Time to Get Valentining

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Good Morning Darlings!

Is Valentining a thing? It is now!

How will you celebrate? E and I like to stay home away from the crowds and cook a romantic meal together. Complete with cocktails, of course.

Flirtini – isn’t that a fun name? It just makes me want to kiss and hug my sweetie! Here’s the recipe:

Flirtini

FLIRTINI
Time to get your flirt on!
2 oz. Van Gogh Raspberry Vodka
Splash of cranberry juice
Chilled Champagne
Float with champagne chilled to the top of the glass.
My friends at Van Gogh Vodka are always on the cutting edge of yummy cocktails with their flavored vodkas. Love them!

 

Oooh, and who doesn’t love chocolate? A Chocolate Almond Kiss would do the trick!

Chocolate Almond Kiss – with extra kisses!

 

CHOCOLATE ALMOND KISS
2 oz. Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1 oz. Hazelnut Liqueur 
1/2 oz. Dark Crème de Cacao
Splash of Cream 
Shake vodka, hazelnut liqueur and dark crème de cacao into a cocktail shaker with ice. Top with a splash of cream and garnish with a sprig of mint.

 

For dinner, I’m thinking a nice spaghetti, like in Lady and The Tramp.

 

Little candlelight, some nice pasta. Amore!

What are your plans?

xoxo, Patti