How to host a fantastic festive drinks party

How to host a fantastic festive drinks party

In our last post we shared some tips on how to prepare for the arrival of your friends and family this Christmas, we decided to go a little further in helping you prepare for a fun and fabulous, festive drinks evening at home.

 

Set up a drinks station

There’s nothing better than kick-starting the festivities with a little extra festive ‘spirit,’ so follow this easy, step by step punch recipe that you can pre-prepare and set up alongside a drinks station – it will free up heaps of time for you not having to play hostess and mixologist extraordinaire at the same time. You might need to taste a few beforehand just to make sure you’re happy with them though!

What you’ll need:

  • red grapes
  • A bottle of Prosecco
  • 1L of cloudy apple juice
  • ice
  • 250ml sloe gin
  • 50ml Jägermeister
  • 1 ball stem ginger, finely sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 clementine, finely sliced
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon

What to do:

The day before your party, put the grapes in the freezer, and chill the prosecco and apple juice in the fridge. Just before your guests are due to arrive, place the frozen grapes and a generous handful of ice in a large 2-3 litre punch bowl and pour all the remaining ingredients on top. Stir gently to combine, then serve. This will keep nice and cool for up to 3 hrs before needing to add more ice. Sip, sip, hooray!

 

Festive snacks

Make sure you choose simple foods that can be prepared ahead of time. Have the platters and bowls assembled and ready to be pulled out of the fridge or have the cling film taken off at least 15 minutes before guests arrive. Simple finger food allows guests to graze, such as crackers, cheeses and a cut fruit platter, dips and chips or a crudite plate.

Here’s a great recipe for a festive cranberry salsa to serve with your cheese board:

  • Pulse cranberries and sugar in a food processor
  • Stir together with onions, cilantro and jalapeno
  • Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight
  • To serve, place cream cheese on a serving plate
  • Drain salsa; spoon over cream cheese
  • Decorate with a sprig of holly

 

Crank up some Jingle Bell Rock

What’s a festive party without some holiday music? Before guests arrive, dim the lights, turn up the holiday tunes, light some scented candles, string up the fairy lights and pour yourself a punch.

 

Stock up on festive props

Gather a bunch of Santa hats, reindeer antlers, Christmas crackers, silly glasses and other props to leave around the room and encourage people to wear or pose for fun photos. You could even set up an allocated photo booth area by the Christmas tree – there are plenty of photo booth apps available to download.

 

Get people in the giving mode

Set up a Kris Kringle present game and let everyone know the allocated budget beforehand – it’s a great ice breaker to start the party with as people get into the spirit of some light-hearted “gift giving” fun!

 

Plan ahead for the morning after

Let’s face it, you don’t want to be worrying about the aftermath of the party while you’re busy enjoying it and having fun, so take as much of that worry away by planning for the clean-up ahead of time. Clear an area, say in the laundry or another room near the kitchen, where you can fill trays with empty glasses ready to be washed, and if there isn’t a sink nearby use a bucket to empty the dregs into. Have some large, strong bin-bags ready for food scraps or disposable plates and napkins, and try to clear these throughout the party. Tidy as much as you can after the guests leave, so it’s not such a mission the next morning (you’ll thank yourself for it later!) And if you have any major spills on the carpet or couches there’s no need to get your tinsel in a tangle because we’ve got that covered too – try our stain removal tips or call in our carpet cleaning specialists to take care of the job for you. You could even think about booking your carpet clean in advance for the week after the party, to take even more pressure off.

Drytron are great in any carpet cleaning emergency. Our years of developing our specialised cleaning process ensure you’ll get back to your celebrations in no time. If you need to get the carpet experts in then give us a call in the Drytron Customer Care Centre on 13 12 50 or Book Online – the carpet cleaning specialists.


Prepare for your guests this Christmas with stress-free cleaning solutions!

Prepare for your guests this Christmas with stress-free cleaning solutions!

With family and friends arriving to celebrate the festive season together after being apart for so long (thanks Covid!), we thought we’d bring you some easy tips and tricks to ensure your Christmas celebrations run as smoothly as possible.

1. Prepare the guest bedrooms
We all know what happens to guest bedrooms when there is no guest… they end up being that ‘spare’ room where all the junk and clutter gets stored. This is your chance to get in there and do a full room makeover, to refresh and revive the space while getting it ready for your guests. We’ve got a list of 10 smart ideas for you. If you want to go the extra mile to make sure the room is up to standard for your guests add soft, cosy linen, fluffy bath towels, ambient bedside table lighting for reading, inviting rugs, cushions, throws and maybe some mini toiletries too!
 
2. Prepare menus & prep meals before hand 
Before all your guests arrive make sure you know of any dietary requirements so you can plan for those beforehand and avoid the rushed scramble to quickly put something together on the spot! Create a meal plan or schedule that covers the duration of your guests’ stay, do the grocery shopping before your guests arrive and prep as many meals as you can in advance: you can even freeze them if possible. This will mean you don’t have to be in the kitchen prepping and cooking meals all day long. If your guests are close friends or family you could even come up with a meal roster where everyone has days allocated to take turns doing the prepping and cooking. This is a fun and easy way to get everyone involved and also makes for some great bonding!

3. Get the Christmas decorations up
Sometimes all you need to do is add a little Christmas colour and sparkle. A few berry sprigs in a vase and some pine cones dusted with glitter work a treat. Everyone loves the smell of Christmas – grab some cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, ginger or orange scented candles. If it smells like Christmas it’ll feel like Christmas. And of course, don’t forget the tree! It always takes a bit longer than you think to get the decorations done so don’t leave it to the last minute if you can help it.

4. Kit out the kitchen
Whatever the occasion, people always tend to be drawn to the kitchen, which is often the only place in the house that is overlooked when preparing for guests! During the festive season, the kitchen is often busier with cooking for more people than usual which means counter space, equipment and oven space are in short supply. Check you have enough serving ware, cutlery and tableware for each guest, bearing in mind you don’t want to be doing dishes constantly. Lastly, make sure the essentials are easy to find; milk, tea, coffee, sugar etc as this will allow your guests to feel more comfortable and at home to help themselves.

5. Prepare the table for the big day
Styling your table doesn’t need to be detailed and in-depth, in fact it’s really not hard at all. All you need to do is choose a tablecloth or runner, which will be the base or foundation of your overall look. Next, put together an eye-catching centre piece, whether it be a flower arrangement, an ornament, candles, anything that complements the look you are trying to create. Lastly, layering your tableware creates a more refined festive table look, so make sure you use charger plates as well as your normal dinner and salad plates. As an extra, you could also include a personalised element for your guests, such as Christmas ornaments or crackers with their names on them.

6. Prepare for bad weather
Although we might hope for sunny weather, it’s a good idea to prepare for a few rainy, overcast days to avoid being stuck in the house with nothing to do! Get out all those all board games you have sitting in the back of your cupboard and pick out a few festive movies that can be enjoyed by guests of all ages so if the time comes, you’re prepared!

7. Clean your carpets, curtains and upholstery
Last but not least, an inviting home for your guests means nothing if your carpet and upholstery is in need of some cleaning. Whilst it may be the safest option to call a carpet cleaning professional if you have tough stains to shift, you might find our guide for DIY carpet cleaning and removing stains comes in handy. But if you’re running out of time in the run up to Christmas, call in the professionals and let Drytron take care of it for you.

Wishing you all the ‘merry’ best for your upcoming Christmas celebrations and we hope this helps you stay stress-free so you can enjoy the festivities as much as your guests do!

For more great tips visit www.drytron.com.au. Drytron are Melbourne’s couch cleaning experts. Save money and maintain your upholstery, curtains, and carpets with Drytron’s expert, friendly service. If you need to get your carpets, rugs and upholstery cleaned and looking their best, simply give us a call in the Drytron Customer Care Centre on 13 12 50 or Book Online – the carpet cleaning specialists.