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Our Tips for the Perfect New Year's Party

December 18, 2014

Here at Food52, we like to party. So we search for the best recipes and most beautiful things to make entertaining easier and more fun.

Today: How to throw the kind of party you really want -- New Year's Eve edition.

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In regard to New Year’s Eve, people either eagerly await the opportunity to drink Champagne while wearing sequins, or they consider it as over-hyped as high school prom.

Whichever side you take, we think New Year's can be the best party of the year for everyone. It’s all about the approach. (If you love it already, then we don’t need to convince you -- just pick up some of these Prosecco glasses and some party horns and start planning your outfit.)

If you’re on the fence, you’ve likely had some bad experiences. Maybe you've been spooked by bad party appetizers, or unsolicited midnight kisses, or forced Champagne consumption when you really wanted a beer. Allow us to let you in on a little secret: New Year's is just a mandatory party. And really, why fight that?

Here’s how to make your New Year’s Eve perfect, whether you like over-the-top celebrations or prefer a cold IPA, a fireplace, and pajamas. 


1. Décor 

Fancy: Consider a different take on the disco ball in the form of a silver piñata and pin up a fringed tassel garland that only takes minutes to hang.

Relaxed: Hang mason jar lanterns to make the party feel warm and festive, and set out beeswax candles for a toned-down alternative to sparklers.

2. Drinks

Fancy: Mix up a crowd-pleasing bubbly gin punch that you can make in batches, and set out Champagne opened with a saber (the ultimate party trick).

Relaxed: Keep things boozy with a mid-winter version of a margarita, because you can't go wrong with tequila, or skip the frills and offer beer (use this magnetic bottle opener to catch all the tops). 


More: Can’t get enough bubbly? Let us introduce to you mimosa gumdrops.

3. Food

Fancy: Start with fried oysters with saffron aioli to hit the salty-crunchy-buttery trifecta and follow with smoked salmon toasts on a copper-edged tray.

Relaxed: Give everyone what they want: pizza (extra points for homemade dough or using a topping of our favorite Oregon salami), followed by a giant skillet cookie -- because it’s only 2014 for one more night. Live it up.   

You have all the tools you need to choose-your-own-party-adventure -- just don't forget to raise a glass to 2014!

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.