When you’re planning your next event and looking for a different spin, why not think outside the “cocktail party” box and throw a coffee-themed dinner? If that sounds like something you’d like to brew up, here are some ideas to help you pull off a perfectly percolated party.
It’s probably wise to keep your guest list limited to those friends who don’t avoid caffeine. The invitations you send out will do the heavy lifting when it comes to setting the tone and theme for your dinner. Because a coffee party might not be everyone’s, ahem, cup of tea, you’ll want to be sure your invitations clearly convey what will be served up at your soiree. Whether you send out an email or post your invites, be sure to choose imagery and verbiage that clue people in. For extra charm, you might consider nestling the printed details into cute coffee cups and hand-delivering them to your invited guests.
Once you know who’s attending, you can start pulling together your serving plans. Most dinner parties begin with a cocktail hour, and the theme of your evening provides you with some fun choices for imbibing. Don’t be afraid to think beyond old standbys like White Russians and Mudslides; with the evening just getting underway, why not go for bold coffee flavoring by mixing up an Espresso Martini to order for each guest? Selecting the Espressotini as your event’s signature drink can even help you manage your time If you’ve got additional preparations to attend to; it’s simple to make up a batch in advance and let it chill in the fridge until folks arrive.
During the cocktail hour, you’ll probably want to pass around a few appetizers to whet everyone’s appetite for what’s to come. While it’s always nice to set out some crudités or cheeses, your party theme gives you license to be more adventurous in what you feature. Some warm hors d’oeuvres options include bacon jam prepared with brewed coffee atop slices of brie, spicy coffee-glazed meatballs, or wings dipped in coffee-chipotle barbecue sauce.
The star of any dinner party is usually the entrée, and your theme affords you the chance to dish up a real showstopper in the form of a coffee-crusted prime rib or java-braised roast beef. Regardless of the meat you feature, coffees can be the foundation for any number of sauces or gravies that you can serve alongside your main dish. For a simpler offering that’s easy to make ahead of time, pulled pork with a coffee rub can be a terrific choice; you can even complement the smoky dish with slow-cooked beans prepared with coffee and brown sugar.
For dessert, one more cocktail might be in order, as coffee-based treats like Irish coffee are usually piled high with sugar and whipped cream. If you’d like to serve something a bit more substantial while still satisfying everyone’s sugar cravings, you can’t go wrong with a mocha mousse or tiramisu. However, since desserts are dishes in which coffee can really shine, your options for the final course of the evening are plentiful. A quick internet search turns up hundreds of recommendations, from a multi-layered chocolate ganache cake made with cold-brewed coffee to a s’more crème brulee spiked with coffee liqueur.
With so many good ideas, your coffee dinner party is sure to be a success. For the perfect final touch, cap the night off by sending guests home with some cheeky gifts; a bottle of Unisom and a sleep mask to help them get a good night’s rest after all that caffeine!