Are you already stressing about the holidays? Well, yes, because it is a super stressful time. But it is also a really fun time and a great excuse for catching up with old friends and showing off your hosting skills. And don’t forget, a holiday party can also serve as the perfect time to network or promote something you have been working on (or perhaps even form an impromptu focus group.)
Two women who have built an amazing brand together and also know a thing or two about entertaining are designers Emily Current and Meritt Elliott. The creative team, that first met in college, were drawn to each other’s innate and whimsical sense of style with not only their clothes, but also interior design. This led to them forming Current/Elliott in 2008 in Los Angeles and the rest is history. Over the years their styling clients have come to include Emma Roberts, Jessica Alba and Sarah Silverman. Though they parted ways with Current/Elliott in 2012 it didn’t slow them down at all as they went on become members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and published their book A Denim Story: Inspirations from Bell-bottoms to Boyfriends by 2014. The next year they launched their multi-category women’s collection, THE GREAT and just this past year they collaborated with a little company called Pottery Barn on designing collections for their Teen and Children’s arms. Here are some of their best entertaining tips, as part of a collaboration with Cointreau, to help you out this season. “As Cointreau does, we share a passion for creating experiences that leave a lasting impact and inspire others to entertain at-home through The Art of La Soirée. We believe a soirée is an inspired gathering brought to life with fresh cocktails, style and good friends and family,” the team said.
- The Art of Entertaining: There is nothing we love more than bringing together our closest friends and family for an at-home soirée. Over the years, we’ve learned that there is an art to entertaining and believe what truly elevates a gathering is a delicious cuisine, fresh and festive handcrafted cocktails, tasteful décor and great company. This holiday season, we’ve been inspired by retro glam design elements with a touch whimsy and we’re infusing this throughout our soirées.
- Set A Theme: Every memorable at-home soirée begins with a creative story. Just like when you’re designing a space in your home, start with a color (orange!) or an idea (a warm winter cabin!) and let everything from your cocktails to your bar cart reflect the narrative.
- Bar cart: A well-curated and stylized bar cart is the perfect opportunity to introduce your guests to your event thematic and spotlight any specialty cocktails you plan on serving your guests. The bar cart is the big reveal of your soirée and a perfect way to surprise and delight by serving beautiful cocktails to your guests. Style your bar cart the same way you’d style an outfit – classic with fun and unexpected touches, try adding a holiday twist with copper accented glassware, seasonal flowers, a little sparkle and the essential spirits, like Cointreau
- Floral Accents: Florals add aroma and a beautiful splash of color to your at-home soirée – and an artful wink to a special occasion. For the holiday season, we love mixing a variety of winter greens, lush white accents, and oranges for an element of surprise.
- Food: Much like styling an outfit, you should always serve your food and cocktails with style and ease. A good rule of thumb is to keep things light and choose meals that everyone can enjoy. For an easy (and delicious!) starter, we like to serve a pear and goat cheese crostini – a three-step guest favorite. And something warm is always nice during the chillier months, such as a pasta entrée where you can add the vegetables (and meat, if you choose) all into one filling serving!
- Lighting: Candles create a warm and relaxed environment– we like to add lots and lots of candles to elevate our soirée and they can set the perfect ambiance through their scent. Year round, we love to incorporate hints of pine and winter berries to help create a festive yet relaxed environment. Remember to light your candles 30 minutes to an hour beforehand so they fill up the room before guests arrive.
- Style: Don’t forget to dress for the occasion! When putting together our holiday entertaining look, we love comfort with a little glam. Start with a festive blouse or a pair of leather leggings, then finish with a bold lip and the perfect blowout.
And here is their recipe for Cointreau Cider!
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Bourbon
0.5 oz. Lemon Juice
2 Dashes Angostura
How to make:
Combine all ingredients in an Irish coffee glass
Top with hot apple cider
Garnish with orange slice