Summer Cocktail Series: Modern Tiki Party Inspiration

Tiki is making a comeback in a very big way – and we couldn’t be more excited! From bright colors to tropical design motifs (hello pineapples and flamingos!) – and of course the refreshing iced cocktails – a tiki party is the perfect way to celebrate summer with friends. Today we’re partnering with St-Germain to continue our summer cocktail party series with a modern tiki party!

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Let’s start with my favorite part: the invitations! Watercolor is the perfect complement for this laid back tropical party themeWatercolor artist Courtney Khail created the most beautiful watercolor party invitations and Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy worked her calligraphy magic in white ink on grass green envelopes in a very loose and informal lettering style. Such a gorgeous combination!

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We wanted a modern and sophisticated approach for our Tiki party – so we started with a clean white setting and layered in bright pops of color, wood elements, vintage midcentury modern glassware with gold details for sparkle – and brought in some exotic elements in the floral arrangements. Michele was also kind enough to allow us to use her beautiful midcentury home as our venue – thanks Michele!! I made a simple tassel backdrop from colorful ribbons in shades of blue, yellow, and purple to add a bit of color without overpowering the bar and cocktail display.

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Our drink menu included our spin on two classic Tiki cocktails – the Mai Tai and the Hurricane – and our take on rum punch (with coconut milk!) that we’re calling Shipwrecker’s Rum Punch. We’ll have all the recipes for you a bit later!

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The floral arrangements were so much fun to create! Since local flowers wouldn’t give me the tiki vibe we were going for, I focused on creating arrangements with a consistent color palette – in this case shades of pink and orange – and lots of texture. Our main arrangement (created in a coconut shell that I found at Party City) featured two kinds of protea, garden roses, cafe au lait dahlias, and eucalyptus leaves for extra texture. Smaller arrangements featured pink ginger flowers, orange pincushion protea (in wine glasses), more garden roses mixed with ferns to add some wild texture, banana leaves, and even a potted palm (which you can easily find at your local hardware store).

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Full cocktail recipes are coming up in just a bit!

Watercolor Invitations: Courtney Khail

Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Styling & Floral Design: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Bacardi and St-Germain. All content, photos, recipes, and words are our own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Party Paper: Valentine Crafting Party

Who said making valentines had to just be for kids!? I think throwing a little adult valentine crafting party sounds like the perfect way to spend a chilly February day! Provide cute supplies to turn into valentines… like heart sparklers and stickers, and little tags and cute printables. And don’t forget the sparkly decorations, and pretty pink cocktails too! —Kelly

Valentine Crafting Party Paper Party Paper: Valentine Crafting Party

No. 1 Swoon Banner from michiemay, No. 2 Glitter Hearts from Shop Sweet Lulu, No. 3 Heart Gift Tags from Seasprout, No. 4 Heart Sparklers from TOPS Malibu, No. 5 Party Horns from Shop Sweet Lulu, No. 6 Valentine Printables by Oh So Pretty for Sugar & Cloth

{images via their respective sources}

A New Year’s Eve Cocktail Dinner Party with St-Germain: The Recipes

New Year’s Eve. Is there a holiday that more loudly calls out for a cocktail party? (Hint: no.) Ring in the new year in style, impress your friends with interesting and well-crafted drinks, and celebrate without trudging outside in the cold. So here are some St-Germain cocktail recipes to try – or to spark your creativity. You still have a couple weeks left. Send out some invitations and start stocking up your home bar!

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Alliance Club Punch

1 Bottle (750 ml) Genever
1/3 Bottle (250 ml) Cognac or Brandy
8 oz St-Germain
4 Lemons
1 Cup Sugar

First, thinly peel the lemons and muddle the peels in the sugar to extract the lemon oils. Let this sit for an hour, then remove the peels, squeezing out as much sugar as possible. Juice the lemons, combining about 8 oz of fresh juice with the sugar, then muddle again to combine. Pour the sweetened lemon juice along with the Genever, Brandy, and St-Germain into a punch bowl. Add two quarts of cold water and top the bowl off with ice. Invite your guests to serve themselves from the communal bowl.

OSBP St Germain New Years Eve Cocktail Recipes Dinara Mirtalipova Alliance Club Punch A New Years Eve Cocktail Dinner Party with St Germain: The Recipes

Punch is pretty much the most perfect party drink you could wish for. It’s not particularly laborious to make a tasty, solid punch; a single punch can be enough to serve an entire party; and it brings your guests together to mingle as they refill their glasses. (This is why punch glasses should be tiny and demand frequent trips back to the punch bowl.) Punch has a terrible reputation thanks to years of abuse, so your guests might take some convincing. But a punch like this – boozy and sweet but not obnoxiously so, malty and complex from the Genever and St-Germain standing in for the punch’s traditional spice – should convince them. And feel free to play around with the recipe – just make sure to use full-bodied, pot distilled spirits. (You could replace the Genever with whiskey or maybe even rum, for example, but please don’t use English gin in its place.)

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The Entente Cordiale

2 oz Cognac or Brandy
1/2 oz St-Germain
Champagne
Lemon Juice and Sugar to Garnish

Add a splash of lemon juice to a chilled cocktail glass and swirl to coat the interior. Discard the lemon juice, then fill the glass with finely powdered sugar. Discard this too, leaving the interior frosted with sugar. Combine the Brandy and St-Germain in a mixing glass filled with ice, stir until chilled, and then strain into the sugared glass. Top with champagne and serve.

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The Entente Cordiale is a play on a classic drink, the Buck and Breck, named somewhat improbably for the winning presidential ticket in 1856, James Buchanan and John Beckenridge. Despite all that fancy brandy and champagne, it’s actually a pretty fun and bubbly drink – smooth from the brandy, crisp and fizzy from the champagne, with the champagne’s dryness balanced out by the floral sweetness of the St-Germain and the sugar garnish. It’s also a lot easier to make for a party than it sounds. Just measure out your ingredients into a large mixing glass and sugar your glasses before the party begins. Then, once it’s time to serve, add the ice, stir and strain into the prepared glasses, and top with champagne in front of your impressed guests.

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French 105

1 1/2 oz Gin
1/2 oz St-Germain 
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
Champagne

Combine the Gin, St-Germain, and lemon juice.  Shake with lots of ice.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass or champagne flute, top with champagne, and serve.

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The French 105 is our take on a classic drink, the French 75, invented in 1915 at the New York Bar in Paris. Like the French 75, the French 105 is named after an artillery piece – because this drink can pack a kick. It’s crisp and light and effervescent, and the gin and St-Germain lend a bit of floral flourish, but still boozy. This is another drink that’s pretty easy to prepare ahead in a big batch. Measure everything out ahead of time in a large shaker. Then, just before serving, add your ice, shake well, strain into chilled cocktail glasses, and top with champagne in front of your very impressed guests.

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Sparkle + Shine Mocktail

1/2 Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Grenadine
Sparkling Water

To make your own Grenadine, combine two cups of pomegranate juice and two cups of sugar, heating gently and stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.  Then add two ounces of pomegranate molasses and a teaspoon of orange blossom water, again stirring until fully dissolved.  Let the Grenadine syrup cool, then combine all the ingredients in a highball glass filled with lots of ice and serve.

OSBP St Germain New Years Eve Cocktail Recipes Dinara Mirtalipova Sparkle Shine Mocktail A New Years Eve Cocktail Dinner Party with St Germain: The Recipes

Ok, so not everyone drinks, but everyone can still enjoy the party. Sweetly-tart Grenadine syrup is a great way to whip up a fun mocktail – Shirley Temple, anyone? – but making your own Grenadine is a quick and easy way to elevate what could be a a phoned-in drink into a mocktail worth serving your guests. I like this one with tonic water, adding a bit of bitterness and depth. If you do this, I recommend adding a dash more Grenadine for balance.

All illustrations by Dinara Mirtalipova for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Calligraphy Cocktail Menu Cards: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

This post is brought to you in collaboration with St-Germain. All content, photos, recipes, and words are our own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

 p.s. In case you missed them, you can see our first three cocktail party posts right here: a housewarming cocktail party + recipesa backyard summer cocktail party + recipes, and a bon voyage cocktail party + recipes.

A New Year’s Eve Cocktail Dinner Party with St-Germain

Only a couple more weeks left in 2013! I always look forward to New Year’s Eve – both as an opportunity to celebrate with friends and as a chance to welcome change with open arms. Ever since I read The Night Circus earlier this year (so good!), I’ve been intrigued by the idea of formal midnight dinner parties. Invite a few close friends, give them an excuse to dress up in their best party clothes (something I don’t get to do nearly often enough), and have a wonderful evening full of great food and cocktails. And what better occasion for a midnight dinner than New Year’s Eve? So we’ve teamed up with our friends at St-Germain, Karson Butler Events, and Meant to Be Calligraphy to offer some inspiration for those of you planning some New Year’s Eve festivities: a cocktail dinner party!

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As always, let’s start with the invitations! Because we were aiming for something a bit more formal this time around, I decided to go with calligraphy from start to finish. Michele from Meant to Be Calligraphy created a stunning invitation in classic black ink on white paper and a calligraphy flourish on the back. We paired the invitations with slate gray envelopes (with a colorful DIY envelope liner) addressed in shimmery gold ink.

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We set up a side table as a makeshift bar to welcome guests with cocktails and appetizers – a little something to keep everyone happy through the countdown to midnight! We’ll be sharing the recipes a little bit later, but our menu included a cheese plate (a party requirement, yes?), a punch, a classic cocktail recipe, a champagne cocktail, and a mocktail for any designated drivers.

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Slate from Brooklyn Slate Company / Wood serving board from Target

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Vintage punch bowl set and ladle / Coasters from Linea Carta

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I’ve been obsessed with these constellation matchboxes for the longest time – they seemed like the perfect favors for a New Year’s Eve party! We paired them with gray and white striped favor bags from Shop Sweet Lulu with Michele’s calligraphy in gold ink.

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I found these heart shaped cards at Paper Source a while back (sadly no longer available in black), but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. Michele came up with the brilliant idea of giving them to guests to inspire resolutions for the new year and conversations with fellow guests. Michele wrote out phrases on each card, again in gold ink – they’re now pretty much my favorite thing ever!

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After midnight, time for dinner! Amber and Emily from Karson Butler Events created a backdrop of white streamers and a mixture of tissue paper fans and honeycombs in various sizes for a really beautiful layered texture. It’s so pretty against the white brick wall!

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I had so much fun with the floral arrangements! I created a single centerpiece for the dinner table with peonies, garden roses, black and white anemones, paperwhites, silver brunia, white hypericum berries, and seeded eucalyptus. Smaller arrangements with the same flowers were sprinkled around the bar, along with a large bunch of seeded eucalyptus and bay leaves in an antique metal pitcher.

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I also did a simple swag of greenery down the center of the dinner table using small clippings of seeded eucalyptus, bay leaves, olive leaves, hypericum berries, and gold spray painted pepper berries (for a bit of extra sparkle) – all tucked around the centerpiece floral arrangement and small mercury glass votives. No floral wire necessary! We also created a table runner using layers of burlap – a plain loose weave burlap over silver polka dot burlap from Joann Fabrics.

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Our place settings included place cards with Michele’s calligraphy in silver ink on slate gray paper, metallic rimmed plates with gray linen napkins, and gold flatware.

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Full cocktail and mocktail recipes are coming up in just a bit!

Styling: Oh So Beautiful Paper and Karson Butler Events

Invitations and Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy

Floral Design: Oh So Beautiful Paper

Location: Karson Butler Events Design Studio

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Foil Holiday Cards from Minted – and a Giveaway!

I’m getting ready to start my annual holiday card round up next week, but in the meantime I couldn’t resist sharing a few more of the beautiful new foil holiday cards from Minted! I’m already on the record as loving a healthy dose of sparkle during the holidays, and I love that Minted works with independent designers around the world – including a few familiar faces around here like Moglea, The Social Type, Linda & Harriett, and many more! I included one of the new cards in my personalized holiday card round up a couple of weeks ago, so you’ve already seen a tiny peek at the new collection. Here are a few more favorites from the Minted foil holiday card collection!

2013 Minted Foil Holiday Cards11 Foil Holiday Cards from Minted – and a Giveaway!

1.Be Joyful; 2. Joyful Season; 3. Midnight; 4. Happiest; 5. Krafted Cheers; 6. Twinkle Twinkle

2013 Minted Foil Holiday Cards2 Foil Holiday Cards from Minted – and a Giveaway!

7. Neon Mistletoe; 8. Merry Scriptmas; 9. Ribbon of Joy; 10. Christmas Twinkle; 11. Stringed Noel; 12. Merry Typography

So pretty, right??

To make things even better, Minted is offering one very lucky reader the chance to win a $500 gift card to use to create your own holiday cards and gift wrap – or even wedding invitations and save the dates! So awesome!

To enter, visit Minted and browse the foil holiday card collection. Then come back here and leave a comment with the name of your favorite design! Super easy. You’ll have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, November 25 to enter. One winner will be selected randomly and contacted via email. Bonne chance!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone that entered –and congratulations to our winner, Angela (commenter #62)!

Official sweepstakes rules here.

This post is sponsored by Minted. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help make Oh So Beautiful Paper possible!

Photo Credits: Minted