True, I’ve hosted theme parties in the past and have plans to throw one in the future for my birthday, but I wanted one that was classy and didn’t feel like a sorority social. From the invite to the food, everything needed to be on-theme. The chosen theme: Prohibition.
Albert sent out an invite that truly set the tone. I’ve copied it here:
Incoming Telegram for: Current & New Members of the Get-Around Gang
Subject: New Speakeasy opening in NYC
Hey, ya se.. It’s Albie Antipasti checking in here… Word on the street is there’s a fresh new shipload of hooch coming in from up North…Tessypie and her Murray Hill connects were able to snag a couple jugs for their new club, the T Spot.. Been a lot of heat coming down from the jakes recently so that’s why we’re waiting til now to tell you we’re getting the gang together on the 21st to sample the goods…and plot our next heist… gonna be a real swell time with ya see so be there or be square…and it’s a real classy joint so all you dame and gents better come looking spiffy…We aint trying to get pinched neither…so to keep out the riff raff and lounge lizards make sure when you get to the place you talk to the big cheese at the door.. Say the words “cat’s meow” and he’ll tell you where to go.
Also heard of some other joints in the neighborhood that gots some real swell giggle water on hand.. ya see… so the play is to raid these other gin mills once our stash is gone and get ossified til the cats come home.
The next step was figuring out our outfits. I wore a dress I already owned and added era-appropriate accessories like gloves, a custom headpiece I found on Etsy, and plenty of pearls, while Albert wore suspenders, and a bowtie. All the guests really got into the theme and I loved seeing everyone arrive in their Roaring 20s ensembles.
After the outfit came my favorite part: the food. I named each item after popular books/songs/movies from the time and printed tags with the iconic art deco Chrysler Building to identify each dish.
- The Grape Gatsby Crostini
- Puttin on the Ritz [Crackers]
- Some Like It Hot Tuna Bites
- The Beautiful and the Damned Dip
- Suns [That Are Also Rising] (aka: deviled eggs)
- Soup the Heming-way (soup, served in a shot glass with a shrimp on top)
- High Hats (prosciutto and tomato skewers with a balsamic glaze drizzle (glaze pre-made from Trader Joe’s)
Since the theme itself centers around alcohol, drinks were a must:
- Beer, served in brown paper bags
- Razz Age Champagne Cocktail (I just dropped a couple raspberries in the bottom of champagne coupes, over which people poured their champy)
I’ll cover the decor in a later post, but I went with glam – whites, blacks, and metallics. I covered the door with “government notices” to identify my apartment as the speakeasy. It was a last minute touch but probably my favorite of the night.
Music is a must for setting the mood. I made a playlist (also covered in a later post) with the best of the decade, including some modern takes on old tunes.
Finally, I had to give out party favors. Like I said, the point of throwing this party was to prove I could host a swanky affair, which means attention to detail is key. Nothing says you’ve got your shit together like a party favor. Staying on the prohibition/alcohol theme, all guests left with a set of two shot glasses (I got these from CB2) and a mini bottle of alcohol, or “giggle water” as we referred to it all night.
Date of Completion: 2/21/15