Dear Party People,
I threw a party for my friend Erika on Friday. Erika is one of my oldest, most-cherished friends. I am a terrible picture taker at parties, so the images of the night are scarce. For the party, we forced everyone to wear hats. Here is Erika in hers:
For some unknown reason, I decided to dress like it was 1990. I know you’re envious of my Garfield shirt that reads “Nap Attack.”
Midnight brought a rooftop champagne toast, naturally.
I was too lazy to clean up after the party ended at 3 AM, so I left my apartment dirty and disgusting. I know it’s kind of weird, but I actually like waking up in the morning and seeing all the evidence of the previous night’s party. There’s something sort of glamorous and decadent about all the cocktail glasses and pieces of cake everywhere. Especially because I always make my maid clean everything while I go out to brunch with my huge group of friends. Just kidding, I don’t have a maid. Or friends. And also, I’m rarely allowed at brunch because I don’t like potatoes (Why does no one acknowledge that they’re so mealy and bland?!?).
I’m a fan of the handmade “Happy Birthday” sign. My mother used to say, if you love someone, you must make her birthday sign by hand. If you don’t you’re a terrible human being that should be burnt at stake like the witches during the Salem Witch Trials.
I used this giant painting as a backdrop for the table of hors d’œuvre, which were delicious but look disgusting in this morning-after image. Sorry.
The cake was purchased (don’t tell my mother) at Magnolia Bakery. I have a rule about Magnolia. If you are in New York it is unacceptable to go there because it’s for dork “Sex and the City” wannabes there. But if you’re in LA and you only have one hour to find a readymade cake, you’re allowed to go there (You can change this rule to suit your needs if you want. I do). The cake I chose was a delicious chocolate cake with French buttercream frosting. The reason the cake is so delicious is that it’s made of 98% butter (The frosting is literally just butter with sugar in it…. MMMMM!).
And now for the real party pleaser, the signature cocktail. Naturally I turned to Martha for this because I love her so much and she’s always has the best advice for throwing parties. I don’t know why but I’m obsessed lately with the idea of drinking punch out of Victorian punch bowls. No one drinks punch anymore. Why!?! It’s so festive and reminds me of grammar school dances. Except I suppose I wasn’t getting trashed on gin at grammar school dances. My life would have been so much more fun if I had. Regrets…
This cocktail is called Apple Cider, Cranberry, and Ginger Punch (recipe here). It is absolutely festive and the flavor is perfect for fall/winter parties. It’s also full of sugar and delicious spicy flavors that distract you from the amount of gin in it (sidenote: this is actually a great drink to make sans-alcohol for the non-drinkers in your life). I’ve decided the key to most great cocktails is fresh citrus juice, so however much the recipe says to use, multiply that by two and your cocktail will taste way fresher. You’re welcome.
Since Martha’s site showed the cocktail in the Marta Glass from CB2, I decided mine must be served from the same glasses so I ran out and bought some (CB2 is one block away, dreadfully convenient).
All in all, Erika’s party was a smashing success. Fun people, great food, lots of hugging, and a lot of punch-induced confessions of how much everyone loves one another. Only good things. Except when I awoke the next morning wanting to, like, gauge my eyes out with a vintage brass letter opener because I’d had one too many specialty cocktails. It was worth it though, the party must go on!