Holiday Entertaining Ideas

Overwhelmed hosts, rejoice! Jennifer Rubell offers easy recipes for three quintessential holiday-entertaining schemes: a cocktail party for 50, an iconic wintry dinner for 12 and a hearty breakfast for 10.

cocktail party for 50

bittersweet orange punch

Freeze the orange mixture the night before, and all you have to do the day of is uncork the sparkling wine for this sophisticated twist on champagne punch.

MAKES ABOUT 140 COCKTAILS
6 navel oranges, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
4 cups sugar
1 tsp. bitters
24 bottles sparkling wine, chilled

Combine the oranges, sugar and 8 cups of water in a large glass bowl; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 8 minutes. Remove and stir to dissolve the sugar; add bitters and stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool completely, then pour into two round cake pans; cover and freeze overnight. One hour before you plan to serve punch, remove one cake pan from freezer, and dip into a pan of hot water for a few seconds, to loosen ice. Place the frozen round in a large punch bowl, and pour 6 bottles of sparkling wine on top. Let sit until serving, then add 6 bottles more sparkling wine as needed. Shortly before this punch batch is gone, repeat the process with the second frozen round and case of sparkling wine. (BTW: Keep wine in an ice-filled bathtub if you are short on fridge space.)

A mix of vintage and new glasses makes a house party feel cozy.