I was recently invited into the home of legendary Dita Von Teese with cocktail guru Kyle Ford for a cocktail seminar (virtually, but lets all just pretend I was there in person). Ms Teese welcomed us into her kitchen, flanked with bamboo cabinetry filled with vintage glasses, and lined with pink vintage-inspired wallpaper. Ms Teese also shared some of her best hostess tips and tricks to throwing a successful party.
The pair showed viewers how to set up a proper Cointreau Rickey Bar, complete with fresh berries, fresh mint, fresh lime juice, and Perrier to top off your cocktails. For those of you who have not yet enjoyed one of these tipples, let me tell you, they are wonderful. The muddled fresh and mint fruit makes the Berry Rickey not only a visually gorgeous cocktail, but also a delicious when prepared with Cointreau. The berry flavors work well with the natural orange oil used to make the liqueur, and make it fresh and refreshing. But fear not, booze hounds, Cointreau comes in at a mighty 80 proof, meaning, it will hold its own in any cocktail.
You're probably wondering at this point what makes a good hostess? Let me assure you it does not require you to wiggle around in a giant martini glass wearing tasseled pasties (although one could)! You should enjoy yourself at your party, so keep it simple and glamorous, Dita says. Pick cocktails with two to three ingredients so they are easy to make. After all, the hostess should be able to have a fabulous time, and shouldn't be spending the whole night in the kitchen. That would be quite a bore.
Set out a bar with fresh fruit in vintage silver bowls, and fresh mint in vases. Provide vintage inspired cocktail stirrers, ice cast into large cubes and chill in vintage silver ice buckets, and serve cocktails in unique vintage glasses to help your guest distinguish their cocktails from anothers'. Set up more than enough glasses ahead of time, and position them near your bottles of Cointreau and Perrier. Make the first round for your guests, but teach them as you go, so guests can help themselves when they're ready for another.
Re-vamp classic nibbles like deviled eggs with spices such as curry or paprika, and prep them before hand so you don't have to tend to them during the party.
Another one of Dita's party tips is to have fun activities for your guests. Her legendary parties include games, performances, and even hula hooping lessons. This will keep your guests entertained and make your party memorable.
Always buy fresh flowers, and don't forget to dress the part, Ms Teese is one to dress according to theme, as are her guests! One of her favorite party attires are vintage 1940's pajama gowns. She recommends being overdressed rather than under-dressed, after all, you never know who might arrive on your doorstep!
And when Mr Handsome does arrive on your doorstep, make him a Berry Rickey, a cocktail that is guaranteed to impress!
The Cointreau Berry Rickey
2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
5 Mint leaves
3-4 oz. Club Soda or Seltzer
Muddle the berries and mint in the bottom of a glass. Build cocktail with remaining ingredients and ice. Stir briefly. Garnish with raspberry and blackberry on a pick and a mint sprig.