Tasting Table's December Dinner Party Menu

A holiday menu made for mingling

The holiday season comes along only once a year, and with it, an excuse to throw a blowout dinner party.

This year, we skipped the sit-down spread and fashioned a menu that lends itself effortlessly to the classic cocktail party.

Mingle with a glass or two of Spice Island Punch. A heady concoction made with pomegranate and blood orange juices, rum, cognac, dry curaçao and allspice dram, it's sure to put guests at ease and fuel their appetites. 

An overflowing table, featuring a spread of big-flavored dishes in small-size bites, allows ample room for seconds and thirds as guests keep their cocktail glasses and Champagne coupes close at hand. Attendees mix and match bites of scallop ceviche, endive cups with membrillo and smoky chicken cigars with shots of chestnut soup topped with caraway crème fraîche, roasted prosciutto-wrapped pears and spiced short ribs.

As the empty bottles pile up and the evening nears its end, restart the custom playlist and sway with someone special between bites of dulce de leche-filled cream puffs.

A holiday party without musical chairs and loads of dirty dishes? Now that's something to celebrate.

Encourage mingling with a large bowl of Spice Island Punch, a potent mix of rum, cognac and warming holiday spices.

Serve scallop ceviche in whimsical shells for an easy and elegant touch to the spread.

A drizzle of saffron honey adds piquant sweetness to blue cheese.

Wrap pears in prosciutto for a colorful but simple finger food to nibble while standing.

This deconstructed croquembouche is a showstopping holiday dessert.

Dulce de leche cream is the perfect decadent ending to a spice-laden holiday meal.

Gather your friends; this holiday menu is made for company and celebration.