3 Tips for Throwing the Best Holiday Dinner Party

3 Tips for Throwing the Best Holiday Dinner Party

A big party isn’t the scene for everyone. If you are the type who enjoys a more intimate gathering, then a holiday dinner party is just what you need to get in the holiday spirit! How do you organize, decorate, and execute the perfect dinner party? We’ll tell you how in 3 easy steps!

  1. Know your guests.

Since a dinner party will have less guests, that means everyone’s tastes need to be brought into consideration. Sharon doesn’t eat cheese, Mike hates fruit, and Denise is a vegetarian. When creating your menu, keep these personal preferences in mind. You don’t want to alienate your guests by serving food they can’t eat or won’t enjoy.

2. Decorate to your heart’s desire

A dinner party has a more intimate and relaxed feel. This means you don’t have to go absolutely nutty with the decorations. A beautiful tablescape, string lights, and a couple of lit candles will do the trick. Need tablescape inspiration? Visit our Pinterest board for all things holiday related!

3. Spend quality time with your guests

The one thing that can bring down a holiday dinner party is the clean up. From personal experience, my guests are always trying to help me clean up- and it drives me insane! They are my guests. I want them to sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful evening I have planned. To avoid this problem, I started using ShortStaf to clean up after dinner service. They collect all the plates, break down the food stations, do the dishes, and take care of all the trash. Now, there is no excuse for my guests to try and lift a finger.

For a perfectly executed dinner party:

Know your guests- serve food that will wow and everyone will enjoy. Decorate a lot or a little. It is YOUR dinner party. Do what makes you happy 🙂 And finally, use ShortStaf! So this year, you and your guests can enjoy together. (No more trying to do the dishes, Sharon!).


….Need some tips on how to make the best cocktails? Visit our video on how to make a classic martini, 2 ways!

Happy Holidays from the ShortStaf Family to Yours!

Classic Martini: 2 Ways!

Classic Martini – 2 Ways!

…A Shake Through One of History’s Most Emblematic Cocktails…

Today we are shaking things up and offering some tips on how to make classic martini’s at home! Today we’re talking about a Classic Martini : How To: 2 Ways! Dry with a twist, and Dirty!


Check out our Classic Martini: How To Video!

Traditionally, the Martini was a cocktail composed of just two ingredients: gin and vermouth. The drink was typically garnished with a twist of lemon or olives.  However, since its inception – the Martini has become one of the most iconic, well-known alcoholic beverages in the world. They’ve come a long way from the start. Let’s take a quick look at the Martini’s transformation through the decades… 

The name Martini came from the brand name used by an Italian producer of vermouth in Italy, Alessandro Martini.  Still today, arguably the most well-known brand of vermouth.  

The Martini reached its height just in time for the roaring 20’s! At this time the Martini was comprised of London Dry Gin and Dry Vermouth in a 2:1 ratio, stirred over ice, and served strained into a cocktail glass.  At the time of the United States’ prohibition legislation, the illegal manufacturing of gin was relatively easy. This led to the predominance of this cocktail during this time. After Prohibition ended, the availability of quality gin led the drink to become progressively drier – that is, over time, the amount of vermouth in a Martini became less and less. 

It even became the norm to rub a finger with vermouth on it around the rim of the glass for just the “essence” of the botanical aroma. Or as Winston Churchill did – chilled his gin and “bowed in the direction of France” (another large producer of Vermouth). As the Martini evolved, it moved further and further from its roots and became anything but.  

By the 1970’s and 1980’s, the Martini was considered antiquated. The 1980’s brought about more complex and elaborate cocktails like Sex on the Beach, Long Island Iced Teas, Tequila Sunrises, and Mudslides.  


But in the mid-90’s, drinks served in a Martini cocktail glass gave the word “-tini” a whole new meaning.  A new wave of cocktails like the Espresso Martini, Appletini, Chocolate Martini took on the catchy suffix – but were made with vodka and other ingredients – not including dry vermouth – and therefore lacked any commonality with a true Martini.  


Today, Martini’s are enjoyed in many fashions.  Perhaps one of today’s most common orders for a Martini often implies folks are just asking for straight vodka chilled over ice – which isn’t really a Martini at all…    


Nonetheless, bartenders everywhere have their own unique twist on, and favorite variation of, one of the most symbolic cocktails in history. 



Here’s our recipes from the Classic Martini : 2 Ways video… and a bonus Appletini Recipe! 


Traditional Martini

3 oz Ketel One Vodka

½ oz Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth


Shaken over ice, Strained and served in a chilled Martini cocktail glass


Twist a lemon rind (with twist-tool or a pairing knife – CAREFULLY!)


Rub twist around rim of glass to release the essential oils and aroma


Drop twisted rind into Martini 



Classic Dirty Martini

3 oz Ketel One Vodka

½ oz Olive Juice/Brine


Shaken over ice, Strained and served in a chilled Martini cocktail glass


Spear 3 Bleu-cheese stuffed (or regular) Olives


Drop olives into Martini 



BONUS : Appletini

2.5 oz Ketel One Vodka

1.5 oz Sour Apple Schnapps

Splash of Sweet-n-Sour drink mix


Shaken over ice, Strained and served in a chilled Martini cocktail glass


Garnish with 1 Maraschino cherry

What is YOUR favorite Martini? Tell us what recipes you’d like to see!

For more information, and tips on throwing the best dinner party : visit our blog or check out our Pinterest Page!


Fall in love with hosting parties

Fall in love with Hosting Parties!

Hosting a party should give you that warm fuzzy feeling. You are bringing friends and family together to celebrate! Whether it is a birthday, holiday, announcement, or just because, you deserve to enjoy with your guests.

This Fall season, we want you to ‘Fall’ in love with hosting. At times, it can be stressful and overwhelming. Thanks to ShortStaf, it simply doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

How can you ‘Fall’ in love with hosting? We’ll tell you how in 3 easy steps.

  1. Start planning ahead

Think about everything you need, people you need to invite, and how you’re going to do it. The best way to do this is to make lists! Yes, it sounds basic, but even the best of us forget this small detail. Ever been to the grocery store with a list and still forget something? Yeah, us too. Double check your lists to make sure you don’t forget anyone or anything 🙂

 2. Make yourself a priority

When planning a party, we all seem to lose ourselves in the details. The host naturally thinks of the guests’ needs first. What are they going to want and need when they arrive? How much food and drinks will need to be prepared..and where will it go? Remember, it is your party too! You deserve to enjoy it.

 3. Post to find extra help on the ShortStaf App

All hosts have different needs when it comes to partying. For myself, I would post for set up help because I love decorations (and I have a lot of them). You may want to post for a server to help you prepare appetizer platters, food stations, and clean up as you go! Bartenders are very popular on ShortStaf as well. This allows you and your guests to have full glasses while you sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.

‘Fall’ in love with hosting by planning ahead, making yourself a priority, and posting on the ShortStaf App to make it all happen. This season, spend quality time with your family and friends. How can you make memories when you are constantly cooking, serving, cleaning, and playing bartender? Another season of happy hosting ahead, this time, with some extra help. #ThanksShortStaf


Looking for party inspo?  Find it all on our Pinterest page Here 🙂