It will be a mix of savory and sweet -- was leaning towards heavier on the savory, but would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.
An after dinner cocktail party sounds a tad strange... people won't want to eat and not savory after dinner... hey, I just had meat, veggies and salad and now what???
Yes it does sound strange. Could it be a dessert party? A dessert table and champagne?
I wouldn't do savory after dinner. They already had their savory.
Dessert and champagne would be perfect. Maybe a charcuterie platter for those people who didn't eat for whatever reason.
I cannot imagine a cocktail party after dinner. Not sure what savories I'd include other than a cheese platter. Not very many desserts are UN-sweet enough for Champagne to compliment them.
I would do a few dessert bites, fruit, cheese and drinks.
The invites have already been sent out, so let's just call it a party that starts at 7. After dinner for most. There will be drinks (cocktails, but also wine and beer) and small bites. Thanks for your help!
Oh! That makes a HUGE difference... I think people responded the way they did because, with the wording of the original post, it could be interpreted that it was a given your guests had already eaten. I'd assume your guests will either have a late lunch or a snack around 4-5pm, so will still have some appetite; avoid anything too heavy, though, or you're likely to have some guests slipping into "food comas." Have an appetizing nut mix or some fried chickpeas on hand to munch on, plus some warm one-bite apps: bacon-wrapped dates, spiced shrimp skewered with artichokes or tomatoes or something, balsamic roasted cippolini onions... Lots of great options. Definitely include coffee and dessert though. Bonus if you can plan things that store well, in the worst-case scenario that you're stuck with tons of leftovers.
I would suggest after dinner cocktails since it is an after-dinner cocktail party.Offer an after dinner punch featuring a liqueur base, and a couple martini offerings. Perhaps one can be caramel sea/salt vodka and another a raspberry/chocolate martini.As for food, a nice platter of chocolate truffles and a cheese platter with more heart tastings like Stilton etc.
In dry counties you have to get drinks at private homes after dinner. Nuts and mints should be enough.
Take a look here: https://food52.com/contests...
Since we don't eat dinner until after 7:00 pm I would go with a lot of little snacks and a dessert table for those who have already had dinner. Figure about 5 to 6 one bite snacks per person and maybe cookies and/or brownies for dessert. With that many people try to do as much make-ahead as possible and keep it simple.
I don't even get off work until 7 and in today's world where the 9-5 routine has gone the way of the dodo, I don't think I'm the only one. So for me and perhaps some of your guests, it wouldn't be after dinner at all - it would be dinner. So my advice would be to offer one or two heartier snacks, perhaps a quiche or some kind of tart or even something like tea sandwiches, so that those folks will have something substantial to fill up on. Then fill in with finger foods and more traditional appetizers like veggies and dip, cheese, fruit, nuts and some sweets and coffee for those who have had dinner. That way you meet everyone's needs, no one has to starve while drinking (which can lead to unnecessary drama), and hopefully everyone has a good time.
Good luck - I hope you have a blast.
Whenever I host a cocktail-type party, whatever the hour, I always have a one-pot meal on the back burner (think red beans and rice type) for those who need something heartier, or the late-stayers.
That's a very good suggestion, especially for this situation, which wouldn't be after dinner for me either. I would expect food at 7!
I think some of your guests may expect savory items. Here are 2 I always serve: https://food52.com/recipes...
Both recipes can be easily doubled for a party. And you can use any type of jam you prefer, or an assortment of jams for a really pretty effect for the blue cheese savories.
And this is a divine shortbread that is nothing short of wonderful : http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/salted-lavender-rosemary-shortbread/
If you have a chafing dish cocktail or Swedish meatballs can be made ahead and are delicious. I know its old school but I do like crudité, cheese & meat platters for cocktail parties. Nut mixes as well. Lots of make-ahead appetizers on the site, check the best open house contest.
Seems you want a gathering where guests can hang out and meet one another and have great conversations. The question you asked, as I heard it, is how much food to serve for 25-30 people, then you said a mix of savory and sweet, leaning towards heavier on the savory. The cooks that responded with recipes gave you great ideas. And cocktails at the hour you are serving seem to call for savory. Bravo on inviting people to such a great party! Last night attended an event from 6 - 8 p.m. A few sweets, mostly savories. About 60 people attended, coming from work or wherever. Most people had not eaten, and those that had certainly did not have a 'sit down dinner'. A bartender prepared the cocktails, there was a menu to order from - 4 cocktails, and wine, soft drinks and beer. It was great.
These are great holiday bites. You can make them ahead, freeze them, and then reheat for 10 minutes just before serving. I made them for Thanksgiving and will make them today for Xmas Eve. http://cooking.nytimes...