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December 4, 2006

How to Throw a Party for Any Occasion

You know how to throw a good party, but do you know what drinks can top it off? Here, tips from the experts on making the most of each occasion by pairing it with drinks that fit the bill.

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Photo Credit: Philip Gay

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BRIDAL SHOWER: Offer up different options than simply the usual champagne. Tea cocktails, which is a mix of tea syrup and sparkling wine, is great to change things up. Another good option is kir (white wine with crème de cassis) or bellinis (sparkling wine with peach puree/nectar for something that’s more feminine/sweet/fruity/fun.

CO-WORKER PARTY: Dina Cheney, author of The Tasting Club, recommends a formal wine-tasting to break the ice. You can try starting with three red wines, ranging from light to full-bodied, and three white wines, ranging from dry to sweet, and pair them up with complementary cheese (like Gewürztraminer and swiss or Cabernet Sauvignon and blue cheese).

BEST FRIENDS PARTY: “If there’s a theme that unites you, re-create that moment,” says Karen Page, coauthor of What to Drink with What You Eat. “Serve something that bonds you again.” If you all have a love for France, choose a selection of French wines. If you know your buddies’ favorite drinks, it’s always a good idea to have those on stock, suggests NYC party planner Soraya Jallon. Or, have a variety. “I'd choose one to three featured drinks depending on the occasion and season at hand. Why not fun-flavored martinis?” says Cheney.

DIVORCE PARTY (What? Never been to one??): Think about it this way: an ending can be a new beginning too. And your friend probably needs her “spirits” lifted, so try wine or champagne — it’s festive and your celebrating a fresh, new start!

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