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Three Inspiring Ways to Break Out of Your Entertaining Routine

The Glenlivet

Mix up more than just the cocktails with these creative party plans.

Created by HARPER'S BAZAAR and Hearst Media for The Glenlivet.

There's a reason your kitchen cabinets are stocked with serveware and every requisite drinking vessel from champagne flutes to highballs and hammered copper Moscow Mule mugs. You're a natural born entertainer; the member of your group most likely to send out the invite for Friendsgiving, New Year's, and it’s-been-a-minute-since-we-had-a-dinner-party Saturday.


But even the hostess with the most cheese boards gets tired. And if you've found yourself in a party planning rut as of late, allow us to toss you a lifeline. We've dreamt up a few new (easy) ways to mix things up—both with your themes and the Glenlivet 12 Year Old single malt you'll be pouring. Here are three, er, neat ideas to get the party started.

1. Sip and Sauté

Upgrade your usual dinner party by having your attendees channel their inner "chefluencer." Sign up for a virtual cooking class that will deliver all necessary ingredients to your door and set you up with a pro, via video call, to expertly guide your group through whipping up a multi-course meal. To ensure that everyone gets a chance to chop, stir, or sauté, set up several cooking stations (hot plates can work!). Split the group into teams by having everyone pull a whisky stone from a multicolored set.

Nothing whets an appetite quite like the scent of a five-star meal in progress, so keep your company sated by putting out a chic spread from the start. Oysters and shrimp cocktail are a good choice to set the mood for an evening of elevated cooking. Arrange platters alongside The Glenlivet 12 Year Old on the rocks for a gourmet grazing table.


The prep work and cooking is bound to get frenzied—in a good way—so, to offset that, you’ll want to keep the decor clean. Think: crisp linens and elegant rocks glasses. For a sweet finish, pile up pre-wrapped loaves of banana, pumpkin, or almond poppyseed bread for everyone to take home and enjoy for breakfast when they can't imagine stepping foot back in the kitchen so soon.

2. Eat, Drink, and Compete

Throwbacks are all the rage, so for a fun twist on game night, invite your crew to turn up with a favorite pick in hand. And here's how you can bring your A-game: Provide a few classics such as backgammon, checkers, and Parcheesi, then set up your guests in a round-robin style tournament. (The Internet is full of sites to help you set up your bracket.) Once the competition heats up, time outs will be scarce. For uninterrupted gameplay, keep a few elegant yet low-effort appetizers like prosciutto-wrapped melon, marinated olives, and crudités close to the vest—or field of play, rather—by arranging everything on a chic bar cart. And what better way to serve up your signature drink? The vintage-y theme calls for an updated take on a crowd-pleaser classic, like an Old Fashioned made with The Glenlivet 12 Year Old.

As a nod toward the victory your guests will be seeking, fill your space with a few gold pieces. A precious metal ice bucket, gold serving trays, and board games in metallic hues look especially stylish against an emerald felt tabletop.

THE GLENLIVET OLD FASHIONED

• 2 parts The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
• 2 tbsp honey or 1/4 part simple syrup
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• Orange peel

1. Add The Glenlivet 12 Year Old and honey or simple syrup in a glass
2. Add two dashes of bitters
3. Stir with large ice cube
4. Garnish with orange twist

3. Cocktails and Crafts

Tap into your crew's creative side with a night of artistry. Assign each guest their own station with a project, like a canvas they can paint with three different shades of one color or a terrarium they can design, marking their place with a labeled succulent. Then fill a main table with other succulents plus rocks, moss, sand, flowers, and anything else they might need to DIY their own design.


Capture the beauty of everyone's efforts with the easiest-ever Instagram station: Drape a platform with a luxe linen and a few well-placed florals and votives so everyone can show off their works of art.

Genius can't happen on an empty stomach. Spark creativity with individual charcuterie platters served in terrariums (dare we call it jar-cuterie?) and, of course, a craft cocktail: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old whiskey sours made with lemon juice and simple syrup.

THE GLENLIVET WHISKY SOUR

• 2 parts The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
• 1 part lemon juice½ parts simple syrup
• Optional: ½ parts egg white*/aquafaba

1. Build in shaker
2. Add ice and shake again until well-chilled
3. Strain into glass

* Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.


Photographed by Jenny Huang, Prop styling by Beatrice Chastka, Food styling by Tyna Hoang