Let’s get real: there’s nothing worse than heading out on a cold winter’s evening to a cocktail party that ends up being a stuffy and boring affair, right?! We’ve all been there and it’s no fun. However, when a cocktail party is done right and feels relaxed, playful yet luxe and indulgent at the same time, it can be the best fun ever! So, I was delighted to team up with Absolut Elyx to share my tips for throwing a stylish cocktail party inspired by their Swedish heritage. These party ideas and Swedish cocktail recipes are perfect for an intimate gathering or a much larger event – no matter the size, what’s important is that at the heart of the cocktail party (and those tasty Swedish cocktail recipes!) is a feeling of playfulness and luxury touches! Click through after the jump to get the lowdown on throwing a super fun and stylish Swedish-inspired cocktail party, and three Swedish cocktail recipes!
COCKTAIL: Fall Breeze
– 2 parts Absolut Elyx
– 2 parts cranberry juice
– 2 parts spiced apple cider
– 5 part lemon juice
HOW TO MAKE: Add all the ingredients into a shaker and fill with ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice and pour into the pineapple base. Garnish with apple slices and cranberries. This cocktail is best served in the Elyx Pineapple (seen above) and enjoyed by drinking through a copper straw in the top.COOKIES: Traditional Swedish Pepparkakor
– 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
– 2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ground cloves
– 1 tsp ground ginger
– 1 tsp ground cardamom
– 1 cup unsalted butter
– 1 cup of white sugar
– 1/2 cup brown sugar
– 1 egg
– 3 tsp molasses
HOW TO MAKE: Sift the flour together with the baking soda and spices in a bowl. Then, beat the butter together with the white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Next, mix in the egg and treacle until smooth before gradually sifting in the flour mixture until evenly blended. Divide the dough into four equal portions and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a least an hour or overnight. Preheat an oven to 375F and lightly grease baking sheets. Using one portion at a time, work on a floured surface and roll out dough to 1/6 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place one inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven until set, about five minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. I made these using these super fun Elyx cookie cutters, which even spell out ‘Skål’ which means ‘cheers’ in Swedish – perfect for a cocktail party! Plus, they pair perfectly with these delicious Swedish cocktail recipes.COCKTAIL: Holiday Cup
– 2 parts Absolut Elyx
– 0.5 parts blackberry liqueur
– 1 part lemon juice
– 6 x crushed blackberries
– x crushed raspberries
– Top with champagne
HOW TO MAKE: Combine the first five ingredients together in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake hard until ice cold. Strain into a copper cup over crushed ice and top with champagne. Garnish with a blackberry and orange twist. Serve this cocktail in copper julep cups for a luxe touch.This was my favorite cocktail and it was certainly popular with the guests at the party, too! I’m going to be making this for many years to come. Don’t you love it when you find a new favorite that you instantly know will become a staple part of your cocktail arsenal?COCKTAIL: Swede Iced Tea
– 2 parts Absolut Elyx
– 3 parts iced tea
– 1 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 3/4 part maple syrup
– 2 parts ginger beer
HOW TO MAKE: Fill gnome with cubed ice add Elyx, iced tea, lemon juice and maple syrup. Stir to mix and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lemon slice.The Swede Iced Tea is a fun one to serve out of the copper gnomes – they are the perfect dash of playful whimsy. Simply, make the cocktail, pour into the gnome and then place the hat back on with a copper straw through the hole for drinking.Great cocktail parties are when the conversation flows as effortlessly as the drinks. As the bar cart is often a place people will gather around during the party it makes sense to make it the star of the show! For a show-stopping look, consider coordinating your bar cart with the color scheme of your drinks and party decor.For this Swedish inspired cocktail party, I took the lead from the beautiful copper detailing of the Absolut Elyx bottle for a luxury copper look and feel to the bar cart. This approach meant that the bar cart felt well matched the to Swedish cocktail recipes. To give the bar cart more prominence in the space I added the copper gnomes as these brought height and unexpected whimsy to the cart, which commanded visual attention and made guests smile! By peppering your bar cart with conversational pieces like these it will make waiting for a drink fun and enjoyable for guests.Another simple trick to help your bar cart work harder for you to keep the party running effortlessly and smoothly is to add in a large serving platter or tray. You can then use this tray as a way to separate and group items together within the bar cart, from bar tools to serve ware, which keeps everything super organized. Plus, you can use it to style on pre-made drinks that can be carried around and served to guests who have broken out into different conversation groups at the party.The luxury expression of the signature spirit at this cocktail party brought substance and style to the Swedish cocktail recipes that were served. Born from a unique combination of traditional handcraft and cutting edge design, every part of Absolut Elyx’s production, from seed, to bottle, to distribution is meticulously performed within a 2.5km radius of the original Absolut distillery in Åhus, Southern Sweden. I continued that level of detail and luxury by decorating the party with luxurious copper details and glimmering, festive lights to encourage shimmer and shine across all the metallic elements.Place the bar cart at the centre of the party space, ideally surrounded by places to both sit and stand, so that groups of guests can gather and still have easy access to the bar should they feel like a drink. This also creates a natural gathering place – the heart of the party. Also, string bulbs from the ceiling as a way to make the party feel both festive and intimate. Decorating with warm and atmospheric lights will instantly set the party vibe and make guests feel more relaxed.As well as including conversation starters on the bar cart, consider also including a few fun touches elsewhere in the party space, too. For example, why not have some blackboards and chalk to hand so that guests can write down their “#heresto” – i.e. who or what they are toasting to at the party this holiday season. Not only does this encourage conversation between guests, but it’s a fun and informal yet meaningful and touching way for guests to connect and share pictures of themselves from the party.I hope you enjoyed these Swedish cocktail recipes (is there one that you can’t wait to try?) and cocktail party inspiration! Now, all that’s left to do is toast to a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy New Year for you all! Thanks for your warm and generous support throughout 2016, I am so grateful! Skål! // Posted in partnership with Absolut Elyx; all views my own.
I’m headed to NYC for the Holidays this year & can’t wait to stop by the Absolut Elyx Pop-Up, I’m obsessed with all of the copper in the collection.
@Will – So fun! You will love the pop-up at Bryant Park’s Winter Village, super festive and charming! The Elyx snowglobes are amazing as well 🙂
Yassss to all of this. Where’s my invite for the next one?
@Greg – Haha! Thank you!
Your styling is so beautiful Will. Looks chic and fun. And now I really want a cocktail lol. 😉
@Lacey – So sweet of you to say, thank you!
Stop! That gnome drinking cup is soooooo cuuuuuuute!
@Umi – Isn’t it totally adorbs?! It was such a hit at the party, too!
Now that’s a party! So fun!!!
@Jenn – Yay! ‘Tis the season!
YAY – S K Å L – that’s also how we say it here in Denmark. Love it all Will, so beautifully styled, perfect for my Simply Hygge magazine – coz it’s hyggeligt 😉
Have a fab day,
@Anya – Wow! That mean’s so much to hear from your stylish Danish eye, Anya, thank you. I have been really enjoying your Simply Hygge magazine, congratulations again on making it! 🙂 x
All that copper on the bar cart is giving me a bit of envy – definitely time to upgrade mine!
@Josh – Isn’t it amazing? Total statement piece and it pairs perfectly with the Elyx copper vessels and bottle, too!
You had a cocktail party and didn’t invite me 🙁
I expect a few months notice for the next one.
I guess I could forgive you, on this one Mr. Taylor!
@Kevin – Haha! I guess I need to have another party then! 😉
I’ll bring some Wisconsin cheeses for the party! And some other delicious things from Wisconsin (seeing as you’ve never been here!)
@Kevin – Ok, that sounds fun!
Wow! All so gorgeous. That copper bar cart is giving me ALL THE FEELS. Gorgeous post and it looked like a great party too! xx
@Kimberly – Thank you, lovely! Isn’t it gorgeous! There *may* have been some shrieks of delight when I found it…! 😉 x