Thursday 14 November 2019
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler
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How to throw an intimate, low-key, no-fuss New Year’s party!

Let’s face it, for many of us, the days of partying like it’s 1999, ended in 1999!

Whether you have young kids with early bedtimes, a job that saps the life and energy out of you, or just a plain ol’ fashioned desire to enter into 2018 with 8 solid hours of sleep under your belt, there are many reasons why a wild New Year’s Eve party may not appeal to you. But, there is a happy middle ground between sad-sack recluse and your old college dusk-til-dawn wild self – there’s the LKP – the low-key party (not to be confused with a key party – that’s a whole other blog!).

A low-key party means having a few close friends over, maybe even another family or two, to sip on a few delish craft cocktails, munch on a few tasty nibblies, reminisce, play some cards or fun board games, snap some pics for posterity and call it a night when the ball drops at midnight. If this sounds like a plan you can get behind, then call up some friends, make it happen and see below for a few tips to make your LKP one to remember!

Food Tips:

  • Order in and keep it simple! Be warned, many people do this and often restaurants need many hours notice to get your food to you – so do not leave this to the last second or you’ll likely be eating your New Years Eve dinner in 2018!
  • Have everyone bring their favourite appetizer or sampler plate to the LKP and just snack the night away – no dining table or dishes required!
  • DIY: prepare some fresh items the morning of to save you the hassle at night and mix with a few frozen store-bought goodies you can heat up in the toaster oven! Stress free.

Entertaining Tips:

  • Instead of everyone using the same soggy hand-towel in the bathroom, place some pretty, rectangular paper napkins sink side and guests can use those instead.
  • Keep lighting low and candles lit for ambiance – nobody needs a reminder that ANOTHER year has come and gone – candlelight makes everyone look younger!
  • Pick up a fresh deck of cards, a classic board game or a fun adults-only board game for guaranteed laughs and fun.
  • Cue up a play-list of party faves from all of the decades – you never know when an impromptu dance party will break out.
  • Charge up the smartphone and snap lots of pics – you can later upload them and create a photo-album to share online with the guests! Huawei has a great high-end android smartphone with fantastic resolution on its camera – perfect for capturing the evening.
  • Stock your bar simply with some crowd-pleasers and greet guests with a signature cocktail. Star of Bombay Gin, Bacardi Rum, Grey Goose Vodka and Dewars Scotch Whisky are your base spirits for a variety of incredible sippers. Below are some recipes you can call your own!
  • Most importantly, plan to have your guests stay over, or ensure that everyone makes it home safely via designated driver, taxi or use a service that will drive guests home in their own car.

Happy New Year! 


  • Star of Bombay is made with a small-batch, slow distilled, vapour infusion process makes it the perfect gin
  • Star of Bombay is a complex gin that’s so smooth it can be enjoyed on its own, in a cocktail/martini, or in your favourite gin cocktail
  • The distillation process maintains the integrity of the 12 exotic hand-picked botanicals, including two new ingredients – ambrette seeds and bergamot
  • Makes the perfect gift for that special someone who appreciates a quality crafted spirit, a stunningly beautiful bottle and a hint of luxury
  • Star of Bombay will be $10 off in Ontario at LCBO for the month of December
  • Star of Bombay is available at LCBO for $49.95 ($39.95 in December)


1 part Star of Bombay

1 part Martini Rosso

1 part Campari

0.5 parts Coffee

Orange Wheel and Coffee Bean

Method: Stir ingredients into an ice-filled mixing glass. Fine-strain the liquid into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the orange wheel and coffee bean.


  • The doubled aged Dewar’s 12 is the perfect pairing for your holiday feast.
  • Dewar’s is the world’s most awarded blended scotch whisky in the world, with more than 500 medals in international competitions.
  • Dewar’s 12 is double aged for a smoother taste. This impeccable blend is the result of a time honoured process. After blending the whiskies, they are then married in vintage oak casks and left to harmonize to perfection.
  • Tasting notes: Oak, citrus, honey, vanilla
  • Dewar’s 12 is available at the LCBO for $46.95


The spicy notes and hints of ginger in this cocktail are reminiscent of gingerbread cookies – a staple holiday flavour.

1.5 parts DEWAR’S 12 Blended Scotch Whisky

.75 parts Lemon juice

.75 parts Honey syrup

3 slices fresh ginger

Candied ginger garnish

Method: Using a wooden muddler, muddle the fresh ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker until it is well mashed. Add the blended Scotch, lemon juice, and honey syrup, and fill shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled (about 20 seconds). Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass (you may wish to double strain through a fine tea strainer to remove the small flecks of ginger), and spray the Islay Scotch over the top.


  • Bacardi Rum is the world’s best-selling and most-awarded rum
  • The strong product portfolio includes Bacardi Superior, recognized the world over as the premium rum that inspired the cocktails that we know and love today
  • Bacardi Superior is available at LCBO for $39.75


2 parts BACARDI® Gold Rum

1 part Unfiltered Apple Juice

0.75 parts Cinnamon Syrup

0.5 parts Lemon Juice

Method: Batch all ingredients together, heat up and serve into a coffee mug. Garnish with 2 thin apple slices and cloves.


  • Grey Goose vodka is the world’s leading super premium vodka, made using only the finest ingredients. Available in beautiful holiday gift sets
  • Bring a touch of French luxury to your celebrations this Holiday with Grey Goose, an extraordinary Vodka to share with friends and family
  • Everyone brings wine. If you want to stand out as a thoughtful extraordinary guest, gift a bottle of Grey Goose, great for the best holiday celebrations
  • Made with the finest French ingredients and creates extraordinary cocktails for the ultimate holiday soiree
  • Grey Goose is available with the gifting Alpine Tube for $49.95


5 part Grey Goose Vodka

1 part Martini Dry Vermouth

Dash of Orange Bitters Lemon Zest

Method: Stirred and strained into a chilled glass, garnish with lemon zest.

by Kasie Savage, Lifestyle Expert –

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