4 Tips for Throwing an Elegant Kosher Cocktail Party
Whether you're running a Jewish charity organization that needs to impress its donors or want to celebrate a family member's birthday with an elegant evening gathering, it can be tricky to throw a classic cocktail party that stays within the boundaries of Kashrut. Try these four tips for making your Kosher cocktail party the best one yet.
Choose Liquor First
A cocktail party is just a friendly mixer with some tasty cocktails, but not all forms of alcohol are officially Kosher. Here's a breakdown of what to expect:
- American Whiskey: In General, American whiskey does not require kosher certification unless it is flavored or aged in wine casks.
- Bourbon: In general, bourbon does not require kosher certification unless it is flavored or aged in wine casks.
- Rye: In general, rye does not require kosher certification unless it is flavored or aged in wine wasks.
- Canadian Whiskey: Preferable to have kosher certification.
- Irish Whiskey: Many Irish whiskies are aged in casks that previously held sherry, sauterne, port or other wines and, as a result, require proper kosher certification.
- Scotch: Many scotches are aged in casks that previously held sherry, sauterne, port or other wines and, therefore, require proper kosher certification.
- Standard gin is acceptable without kosher certification, even when containing juniper berries and other botanicals. This would not include sloe gin, which is a liqueur and does require proper kosher certification.
- Rum: Unflavored white rum is acceptable without certification unless the label indicates it was finished in wine casks. Dark or flavored rums do require proper kosher certification.
- Vodka: Unflavored vodka is acceptable, without certification, unless the label states that it is produced from grapes, wine, milk, lactose or whey. Flavored vodka requires proper kosher certification.
- Tequila: In general, unflavored tequila does not require kosher certification unless it is flavored or aged in wine casks.
- Brandy/Cognac: All forms of brandy and/or cognac require kosher certification.
- Vermouth: Vermouth requires proper kosher certification since it is made from wine.
- Wine: All Wines require proper kosher certification.
- Beer: All standard unflavored beers, domestic and imported, light, dark and non-alcoholic, with no additives are acceptable, even with no certification.
All other types of liquor and liqueurs must be certified as Kosher if you plan to use them for your event. Don't forget to stock up on Kosher certified flavorings and mixers since most of the flavoring products used for drinks are not Kosher.
Decorate with a Flourish
Once you've assembled your cocktail supplies, you can move on to the decorating. Keep it classy and go with a simplified theme, regardless of the occasion. Fresh flowers go a long way in making an empty room feel fit for a party, and it's easy to find the right colors to match your theme regardless of the season. Stick to the basics with the settings and let the decorations shine. For example, use basic glassware and plain white plates rather than colorful table settings. This allows your decorations to fulfill their role instead of making the room seem cluttered and overly full.
Bring in Live Music
As long as you have the budget for it, consider hiring at least a three-piece ensemble to perform live music for your cocktail party. It really takes the event over the top and makes it a special evening. It's less expensive than you think to hire live musicians, as long as they're located relatively near your party location so there aren't any travel fees.
Hire an Experienced Caterer
Finally, look for a caterer that is experienced in Kosher catering. It's simply impossible for a regular catering crew to try and remember all the rules and regulations of keeping Kosher while they're cooking and serving the appetizers. PaNosh Kosher Catering is the best choice if you're in the Chicago area. Not only do we know all the ins and outs of Kosher cooking and drink preparation, we also have a Rabbi overseeing our work to double-check everything meets the requirements. Your Kosher cocktail party will go off without a hitch after you hire us. Call us today to find out if we're available to help you with your next catering event.