'@how-to-entertain' on Serious Eats

The Best and Worst Wines for a Potluck

I once threw a potluck where five people brought green salad and two brought cookies. Period. Even with the revelers manage to cover the courses, the flavors are a trip around the world: Indian curry, Greek salad, Tex-Mex enchiladas, Swedish meatballs, Mama's Lasagna. The unifying theme, if any, is diversity. So what about that wine? What can you take to a potluck that'll taste good amid the noise of flavors, textures, and styles? More

7 Cocktail Party Tips from Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey, NYC

It's not often you get to ask the cocktail elite for advice about parties you throw at home, but at the recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Sasha Petraske, the proprietor of New York's acclaimed Milk & Honey, opened up the floor to questions. And this top barkeep has been thinking a lot about home cocktail parties lately—he's working on a book on the topic. Here are a few gems of advice that Petraske offered for those looking to serve delicious drinks at their next shindig. More

How to Plan for Holiday Cocktail Parties

Once again, it's the holiday season, that crazy time of dinner guests, food preparation, gift giving, and wacky relatives. Is it any wonder we could all use a strong one? If your plans involve hosting a cocktail party this season (or pouring a few rounds of cocktails on Thanksgiving day), you might want some advice to help you cope. If you feel yourself starting to panic, relax: careful planning and a few tips should help relieve the stress. More

5 Great Punch Recipes from Los Angeles Bars

Perhaps spurred on by last year's publication of Dave Wondrich's Punch, these convivial, sharable concoctions are seeing a decided resurgence. We like to think of them as the bar's equivalent to the family-style meal. We recently toured some of Los Angeles' best bars in search of truly delicious punches that you can make at home for holiday parties and family dinners. More

7 Great Pumpkin Cocktail Recipes for Halloween

Your costume's ready, down to the fake blood and creepy contact lenses—but if your Halloween party doesn't include a pumpkin cocktail, it's really not complete. We asked a few of our favorite bartenders, including Jessica Gonzalez of Death & Co. in New York, Rhiannon Enlil of Cure in New Orleans, and Adam Robinson of The Bent Brick in Portland, OR, to help us out with a few delicious pumpkin-spiked drinks to help you celebrate. Check out the drinks (and get the recipes) in the slideshow. More

Thinking Big for Summer Party Drinks

The large-format drink is the savior of the summer party. When everything heads outdoors starting with Memorial Day weekend, pitcher drinks and cooling punches seem especially welcome, and they can make hosting a barbecue or backyard get-together much more convenient. More

Cheers! Sparkling Wine for New Year's Eve

You can't ring in the New Year without bubbles. (Go ahead and toast with sparkling cider or a non-alcoholic punch dosed with club soda—it's the fizz that counts.) If you're not shelling out for real Champagne, there are a dizzying array of options. Luckily the Serious Eats team has sorted out the delicious from the drainpours and now present to you our top choices in bubbly for ringing in 2011. More

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