KDH Entertainment Expert Lara Shriftman Shares Tips For A Tempting New Years Eve Party Theme: "Cocktails & Candy"!


Lara Shriftman (right) is the quintessential haute hostess!


Hello Hamptons party people! Thinking about throwing a fab New Years Eve party, but want to mix things up a bit? You’re in luck! KDH Entertaining & Etiquette correspondent Lara Shriftman shares her sweet ideas for a “Cocktails & Candy Party” that will kick off your new year in style!

Lara tells KDH, “Cocktails, candy, sweets, and yummy cocktails are at the top of everyone’s guilty pleasure list. So why not treat yourself and your friends to a night of bliss by throwing a Cocktails & Candy Party? I recently hosted a party at my home with this theme for a photo shoot I produced for Cocodot.com.”

*All photos in this feature by: Amy Neunsinger for Cocodot.com

The image board that was created to begin the party planning.

“This was one of my favorite shoots that I’ve ever done.  I hosted the party to celebrate the new card line I created for Cocodot, which is a one-stop web destination for modern celebrations and home entertaining. If you have a reason to celebrate, they’ve got ideas, tools, and products to help you do that—with personal style. Amy Neunsinger, who has photographed for Martha Stewart Living, In Style, and W, created the imagery for our shoot.  The “Cocktails and Candy” shoot inspired an amazing line of online invitations, thank you notes, and social stationary,” says Lara. {KDH readers, head to cocodot.com to order Lara’s super-cute stationary pictured below!}



Here are Lara’s tips for how you can turn your New Years Eve celebration in the Hamptons into a “Cocktails & Candy Party”:


· Always invite more than expected to compensate for people who don’t come.

· Send Cocodot invites to guests and confirm all RSVP’s

· Etiquette Tip: Create the invite and the thank you notes & social stationary at the same time so they are ready to be sent out after the party.



· Choose a color scheme, my color scheme was black and white with a pop of pink and gold, inspired by my living room.

· Go through every room in your home. Look for glasses, vases, and bowls that are different shapes & heights. Lay them out. Create a big candy bar on a console table and put out other containers in different height groupings and fill with candy.

· I used black, linen cocktail napkins and a piece of black fabric to add some texture to the candy bar table.

· Set up a fully stocked interactive candy bar for your guests to enjoy. Make sure to have plenty so you don’t run out. I purchased black & white lollipops and stirrers, white lollipops, white gum balls, and marshmallows. Basically any candy that looks great, graphic and can fill bowls. Glass always looks great. Make sure to have serving scoopers. Over buy candy~ you can always donate it or make gift bags!

· I created a centerpiece display with feathers instead of flowers, and styled a similar version for the center cocktail table in the living room.

· Create a signature cocktail. Prepare it ahead of time. Figure out how you are going to serve it to go with the cocktails and candy theme. Serve a champagne cocktail with a stick of rock candy as a stirrer!

· The lead designer from Cocodot created an incredible monogram. I then had cookies, labels, and gift bags custom made using that monogram.

· I set the bar using gold glasses and gold display trays. I incorporated the candy and cut pink roses short and placed them in the glasses. I used a large, round glass bowl filled with ice to chill the Grey Goose and another glass to house rock candy stirrers and gummy bear toothpicks.

· Buy an adult piñata, make sure you have a sexy mask like the one we had from Kiki Mon Pardu.



Tootsie Roll Grey Goose Martini

• 6 part Grey Goose Vodka
• 1 part Godiva Chocolate Liquor
• 1 part Grand Marnier
• Tootsie Roll Log for Stirrer

Mint and Key Lime Gimlet

· 2 gallons simple syrup with 1/2 gallon chopped mint
· 1 Gallon Lemon Juice
· This is the base; sits for a couple days and strained
· It is shaken with GREY GOOSE Original Vodka and finished with a splash of sparkling water garnished with fresh mint over ice.



• Have cellophane bags and stickers at the interactive candy bar next to the variety of candy so everyone can fill their own gift bag with their favorite treats to take home and/or give away. Also, Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap You Sweet Life is a perfect book to include in gift bags {or give Lara’s book below!}.

• More sweet inspired goodies to add to your gift bag could be Candy Land board game, tooth brush, candy flavored lip balm, or candy scented nail polish from Dollar Tree.

One of Lara's many books on entertaining!


“Now you have all the tips you need to start planning your next Hamptons cocktail party~ Hope you are embarking on the sweetest New Year KDHamptons readers!” xx Lara


{Lara Shriftman is the co-author of several books~ Party Confidential, Party Confidential: New Etiquette for Fabulous Entertaining, Fete Accompli! and The Ultimate Guide to Creative Entertaining, and Fete Accompli! Workbook – The Ultimate Party Planning Guide, this girl knows how-to party, or at least plan the best of them for her company, Harrison & Shriftman! Find out more at www.partyconfidential.com, www.hs-pr.com, www.luluflynn.com}