New Year’s Eve is a time to spend with our loved ones celebrating life, new beginnings, and future endeavors. What better way to pass the New Year celebration than with a fabulous, cozy theme party in the privacy of your own home? Invite your friends and family to enjoy this intimate foodie-driven New Year’s Eve experience with some amazing theme party menu ideas.
Food Tasting Theme Party: Every New Year’s Eve we have a food tasting theme.
One year we tasted 4 different steaks marinated with 4 different marinades:
- Paul Newman’s Italian Dressing
- Grandpa’s Marinade (Get the Marinade Recipe)
- Olive Oil, Rosemary, Salt, & Pepper
- Salt & Pepper only
We cooked each steak the exact same way. Sliced the steak so that everyone got a bite. The guests tasted the 4 steaks and then rated them to see which marinade they liked best. Afterwards, we told them which steak had which marinade.
This New Year’s Eve we’re going to taste sausages! We’ll buy 7 different types of sausages. Cook them all the same way. Slice the sausages into rounds. Put a toothpick in it. Everyone gets 1 slice of each sausage. They rate the sausages. Afterwards, we tell each person which sausage they liked the best!
Another New Year’s Eve, we had a root beer float tasting contest. We had 5 different brands of root beers. Filled 5 shot glasses for each person with the root beer. Added in 1 tiny melon-ball scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to each shot glass. Everyone had 5 mini root beer floats. They rated the root beer and we told them which brands they most enjoyed afterwards. Tasting parties are great!
Cuisine Theme Party: Another New Year’s Eve we did an Italian-themed party (thanks to my husband’s influence).
- Bagna-Caoda (it’s hot oil with anchovies and garlic dip, like fondue-style, where you dip veggies such as Napa cabbage, red and green bell peppers, and sliced zucchini into the hot oil, anchovie, garlic mixture over a flame. The hot oil cooks the veggies. It’s delicious!)
- Caesar salad
- Caprese salad
- Garlic Bread
Cooking Class Theme Party: One New Year’s Eve we did a Thai-cooking class themed party. I had previously taken a Thai cooking class before, so I learned how to make the dishes that I taught my guests. We made 4 dishes:
- Tom Yum (spicy tomato soup)
- Basil Chicken
- Pad Thai
- Banana with Coconut Milk for dessert
I provided all the ingredients and laid them out on the counter in 4 piles so each couple could make one dish with my guidance and assistance. The couple chopped the ingredients, mixed the spices, and cooked the dish. After making one dish, we’d all eat the masterpiece. The 4-course meal took us 4 hours to eat. It was interactive, fun, and relaxing! A great time to bring in the New Year!
Stuffed Theme Party: Make a menu where everything on the menu is “Stuffed”
Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
You can get creative with a ton of different ideas for any theme party.
Drink Taste Test: Remember to include your drinks, too! Have a rum, tequila, or vodka taste test. For example: Buy 4 different types of rums (I buy the airline size bottles at Bev Mo so it’s cheap because when doing a taste test, you’re not drinking a ton. Everyone can share 1 shot worth). Label each shot glass A, B, C, or D. Make sure you know which shot glass matches up to which brand. Everyone takes a tiny sip of each shot glass. They rate it on a paper and describe why they rated it that way (i.e. smoky, too sweet, etc). Afterwards, you let everyone know which brands they prefer. It’s a great way to learn about new brands and see if classic brands are still worthy.
Have a lovely New Year’s Eve! May you celebrate in foodie-style with your favorite type of themed party.
Happy New Years!!!
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN