Holiday Hosting with BJ’s Wholesale Club

When it comes to hosting holiday gatherings, I typically tell myself I’m going to keep it simple and then somehow find myself down a Pinterest rabbit hole. 18 hours before the doorbell rings and guests start arriving, I’m sweating because my napkins don’t match my plates and has anyone seen my tablecloths?! However, I will say that with every passing year I’ve found ways to make one particular celebration, Christmas Eve, simple and festive so that I can enjoy the reason for the season {tablecloths not required}. As you heard last week, we’ve partnered with BJ’s Wholesale Club to bring you a few tips for hosting a perfect holiday gathering. Today I’m excited to share a few easy cocktail and snack ideas that are sure to make you shine as the host{ess} you were born to be!

What’s a party without a couple cocktails?

First up, we created a couple simple but super impressive cocktails perfect for your guests to sip while you’re putting the finishing touches on the party. Don’t forget to pour yourself one, too. You’ve earned it!

Bacon Whisky Spiked Cider

This Bacon Whisky Spiked Cider is perfect for anyone who likes to keep things classic but with a seasonal twist. The best part is that the whisky is incredibly easy to make and can {and should!} be prepared in advance so it means one less thing for you to do on party day. Cheers!

Cook the bacon until slightly crispy. I swear by cooking bacon on a cookie sheet in the oven {usually 15 minutes at 400 degrees} but you can prepare it any way you’d like. Let the bacon cool until room temperature and then pour the bacon along with the grease into a large mason jar or other container with a lid. Pour the whiskey into the jar and fill to the top. Close the lid and store it in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. When you’re ready to serve, strain the whiskey to remove the fat and bacon pieces – we used a coffee filter for this and poured it right into another mason jar for serving. To assemble the cocktail, combine two shots of the bacon whiskey with 4 oz. of apple cider. You can serve over ice or warmed, whatever you prefer for your gathering. Garnish with sugared cranberries and enjoy!

Next up is a holiday inspired version of a white wine spritzer. I got the idea for this from a seasonal flavor of Polar seltzer water that I picked up at BJ’s. Despite red wine being more winter appropriate, I drink Sauvignon Blanc all year long and it’s my party so here we are. A spritzer is great because it’s refreshing, and you can drink more of them without feeling too tipsy. Just call me a professional when it comes to wine cocktails.

Berry Sweet Wine Spritzer

Mix 4 oz. wine with 4 oz. seltzer and serve over ice. Garnish with fresh raspberries or any other fruit you’d like. You could also make this a few minutes in advance of your guests arriving by mixing 1 bottle of sauvignon blanc with 1 bottle of seltzer in a large pitcher. I told you it was easy. 😉

You can’t drink cocktails on an empty stomach!

Ah yes, food! Food is truly as important to any party as it’s counterpart the cocktail. Luckily, BJ’s has us covered with an amazing selection of ready-to-make appetizers and edible items perfect for an impressive charcuterie board.

As I mentioned last week, for Christmas Eve I like to stick to a menu of heavy appetizers and desserts. This way the preparation is simple, and everyone can go at their own pace. While I might be wearing a formal outfit, my preference is to keep the food and drinks relaxed and casual. The perfect mix of high and low 😉

For the charcuterie board I mixed a combination of traditional fruits, deli meats, cheeses, and crackers with a few unexpected hot appetizers from Wellsley Farms. We loved their Wellsley Farms Goat Cheese and Sweet Honey Bites and Wellsley Farms Cocktail Beef Franks are always a hit, both exclusive to BJ’s. In this case, I assembled the board and then added the hot appetizers after they came out of the oven and had the chance to cool a bit.

So, here’s to you! Thanks so much for stopping by. May your holidays be filled with lots of light, love, and yummy treats! And please drink responsibly.