Mardi Gras is one of those fabulous holidays that beckons everyone to celebrate. Unlike Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday is a fun time for everyone, which in my opinion makes it the best holiday in February.
The only problem is that the older I get, the less interested I become in plastic beads and hurricane glasses filled with rum. After my first visit to New Orleans earlier this year, I came back inspired to host a more sophisticated soiree for this year’s Mardi Gras celebration.
By channeling more of the French Quarter and less of the Bourbon Street vibes, you can pull off a (dare I say) classy Fat Tuesday cocktail party.
Mardi Gras is all about indulgence, opulence, and over-the-top hedonism. With a little planning (and help from your KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender), you can cater to a party of any size and still have the time to enjoy the festivities yourself.
First, plan ahead by picking up some themed décor items. I decided to decorate using jewel-toned peacock feathers, intricate masks, and metallic serving pieces. One of my favorite inexpensive ways to add a little color to a tablescape is to use sequins. I know that sequins don’t really scream “sophistication,” but used sparingly they provide a unique celebratory impression.
Rather than use the traditional triad of purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras decorations, I stuck to varying shades of purple to play up the royal opulence. A handful of purple beads and sequins goes a long way towards adding a sense of festivity to the occasion. I dusted off all of my silver and gold serving platters, trays, and bartending pieces to add a bit of old-world charm to the scene.
No proper Fat Tuesday celebration would be complete without libations. Depending on the size of your party, you could shake up individual cocktails, host a build-your-own-Bellini bar, or whip up a big batch of champagne punch.
I decided to go all out and tackle all three! We served a lavender twist on the classic French 75 cocktail, blackberry-orange Prosecco Bellinis, and a Pineapple-Ginger Rum & Champagne Punch.
I wanted to be able to enjoy the party, so I used my KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender to get a head start on the prep work.
For the Bellinis, I used the “s” shape bell blade attachment to puree a mixture of frozen blackberries and Cointreau.
Next, I used the chopping attachment to sauce some fresh pineapple and ginger for the champagne punch. I love how I don’t have to worry about any splashing or sloshing; no last minute wardrobe changes needed!
If you want to plan a fun activity, provide an array of masks and accessories for your guests and set up an impromptu photo booth. You can make it as simple as hanging a white sheet for a backdrop and providing a tablet to use as a camera. You’ll love looking through the photos the next day; just remember to use the golden rule with tagging those images on social media!
Lavender French 75
Makes 4 servings
2 1/2 ounces gin or cognac
1 1/2 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lavender extract
1 1/2 cups ice
8 ounces champagne
Lemon peel (for garnish)
Pour the gin (or cognac), lemon juice, and lavender into a cocktail shaker and top with ice. Shake briskly for 30 seconds.
Strain evenly into four coupe champagne glasses. Top each cocktail with two ounces of champagne.
Garnish each glass with a piece of lemon peel.
Makes 10-12 servings
2 cups frozen blackberries
4 ounces Cointreau
2 (750ml) bottles of Prosecco
Place the frozen blackberries and Cointreau into the pitcher provided in the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender kit. Attach the 13” long blending arm and the s-blade attachment. Puree on speed 5 until well-combined and smooth.
To make a Bellini, place two tablespoons of the blackberry puree into the bottom of a champagne glass. Top with 4 ounces of Prosecco and gently stir.
Pineapple-Ginger Rum & Champagne Punch
Makes 16-18 servings
5 cups chopped fresh pineapple (about 2 medium pineapples)
2 inches fresh ginger root
2 cups white rum
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup simple syrup
2 (750ml) bottles of Champagne
Working in two batches, place the pineapple and ginger root inside the chopper attachment bowl of the KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series 5-Speed Cordless Hand Blender. Attach the hand blender and pulse on speed 5 until the pineapple and ginger are pureed.
Pour the pineapple mixture to a fine mesh strainer placed over a large bowl. Use a spatula to press the mixture through the sieve. Transfer the strained juice to a large punch bowl or pitcher.
Stir the rum, orange juice, and simple syrup into the pineapple mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
When ready to serve, gently pour the champagne into the punch bowl and give the mixture a stir. Garnish with frozen pineapple rings if desired.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*