One Drink and One Snack That Will Save Your Holiday Parties

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Mortadella toast and a sparkling cocktail for the win! (Photos courtesy Michael Harlan Turkell)

Introducing Dinner and a Drink, a series devoted to hand-in-hand recipes for one easy cocktail and one foolproof dish. Your home entertaining just got a lot more well-rounded.

(Dust off your party equipment. Start stocking the bar. Call—or text—your pals: It’s Party Season, the perfect time of year to show off your well-honed hosting skills and bring all your favorite people together.)

Parties, parties and more parties. December is here and with it comes a barrage of carousing. Maybe it’s a work function you begrudgingly decided to attend. Perhaps it’s a quiet gathering at your place. Maybe it’s a blowout potluck, for which you promised to bring a tasty cocktail and/or a one-of-a-kind appetizer. Whatever the situation, these two recipes are ready to be your holiday emergency kit. First, a simple cocktail that combines sparkling wine, vodka and elderflower liqueur for a breezy take on the classic Champagne cocktail. (If you want to live large, use Champagne rather than another type of sparkling wine.)

A good drink needs a good bite, so these toasts come slicked with a pâté made from mortadella, that fancy-pants cousin to bologna. It’s fortified with ricotta and garnished with pistachios. December just got a whole lot less stressful.

The Elderflower Royale knows how to sparkle.

Elderflower Royale

Makes one cocktail

  • 1 small Sugar cube
  • 5 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • .5 oz Elderflower liqueur
  • .5 oz Vodka
  • 5 oz Sparkling wine, chilled

Garnish: None
Glass: Champagne flute

Place a sugar cube at the bottom of a champagne flute. Add the bitters, making sure to soak the sugar cube. Add the elderflower liqueur and vodka to the glass and top with the sparkling wine. Serve immediately.

Your guests’ hands will be all over these mortadella toasts.

Mortadella Toasts

Serves 8 (about 50 toasts)

  • ½ pound Mortadella in one piece, rind removed
  • ½ cup Fresh ricotta
  • ¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to finish
  • Assorted sliced breads, toasted and cut into triangles, or thin baguette slices, toasted
  • ½ cup Pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a food processor, add the mortadella and grind until a coarse paste forms. Add the ricotta and black pepper and process until blended, scraping the sides of the processor once. Spread on the toasts and top with pistachios and additional pepper.

Rebekah Peppler is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, food stylist and recipe developer. Her clients include The New York Times, Bon Appétit, Real Simple, Food Network and Cooking Channel. Her new book Honey was released in April 2014.

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