Warm weather, sunshine, and my favorite party season are upon us. It is time for friends, food, entertaining, and good times. What better way is there to make our interactions with each other sweeter? Whether you are single or dating, a 20-something diva or 40-something goddess, sporting green Old Navy flip-flops or gold Louboutin sandals, theme parties are a great way to create an unforgettable experience for your guests.
It’s all about living the good life, or as I like to call it “The Life”, no matter what our budget or income bracket. When the good ole summer barbecuing starts to feel redundant and wear a little thin, here is an easy party idea to get you going. Arriba! Those inclined to party Spanish style should indulge in El Noche de Tapas y Sangria, the Night of Tapas and Sangria.
Tapas is the general name for a wide variety of appetizer-sized treats and snacks ranging from spicy to sweet. These appetizers can be either cold or hot and are often combined to make a full meal. The Tapas and Sangria Party is not a sit down dinner. This is more of a nosh and socialize on your feet, high energy fun affair.
Let’s get this party started right!
The Tapas & Sangria Theme Party Menu
Be sure that you have a mix of tapas to support vegetarians, meat-eaters, pescatarians and the like. Suggested tapas include: shrimp fritters, stuffed tomatoes, grilled shrimp with pineapple glaze, barbecued mini ribs, chicken croquettes and Catalan style beans. You’ll find great tapas recipes in the books and/or articles on cooking websites. The website, All Recipes, lists detailed recipes for at least 30 different kinds of tapas.
If someone has a unique dietary request like eating gluten-free or raw foods only then you might ask them to bring a dish for the table. However, proper party etiquette states that it is still your duty as host to provide for all of your guests to the best of your ability. On the other hand if each of your friends has a different religious culinary concern, allergy or diet plan then the Tapas & Sangria Party theme lends itself easily to a potluck soiree.
Spread the wealth and place the trays of tapas throughout the space since people will gather wherever the food is.
The Tapas & Sangria Theme Party Beverages
At a sangria party, it is all about your homemade sangria made from wine soaked fruit. Sangria is basically wine punch made with any fruit so the combinations are infinite. Sangria is traditionally made with cheap red wine but you can also get your sangria on with white wine. For example, white wine, cantaloupe and tangerines make a sumptuous sangria that is out of this world. Alternately, red wine with peaches, nectarines and cherries is delightful. Typically, brandy or rum is added to the mix for enhanced flavor.
It’s actually best if you soak the fruit in the wine for a couple of days but some hosts might invite guests to bring wine and fruit. Most experts advise that sangria makers don’t use a wine that is too expensive or too thin. Spanish red wine or White wines from Chile or Argentina give great results. You might also want to use club soda to cut the acid in individual glasses.
The Tapas & Sangria Theme Party Design & Music
Looking around Amazon, Crate & Barrel and other design shops I see that green, cobalt blue and many other azure shades are big this year. This works perfectly with your Tapas and Sangria party as cobalt blue brings to mind the Mediterranean. Make the party pop by picking up all blue glassware or decorative glassware for this festive theme.
If you have textured pillows place them around the room to accent the Mediterranean look. You can also use side tables with pillows that double as seats. I would also suggest that you add string lights to the walls to help achieve the perfect Spanish ambiance. Additional inexpensive decor, tableware and party supplies can be purchased at Dollar Tree or your local discount store.
In terms of music, I recommend perhaps some Ye-Ye Spanish pop music, classical guitar or new flamenco singers.
Party Bonus Tip
Put out a side table as your designated Dirty Plate Area. This way dirty dishes won’t be strewn throughout the party space grossing everyone out as you find the balance between hosting and enjoying the party yourself. After watching my parents slave away on many a Thanksgiving I have decided that whenever I am a party hostess I am a guest as well. In other words, aim to enjoy your own soiree.
Tapas and sangria equals joy, passion and fun so be sure to drink to all three!
Well, that’s all for now. As is often said, be good. And if you can’t be good, be safe. Party on!
Have you hosted or attended a party recently? Do you have any summer party theme ideas? Let us know about it!