It’s the race that stops the nation so if you’re lucky enough to have the day off, or even if you’re just having a celebration at work, Melbourne Cup Day is the perfect time to throw a party.
Having said that, there’s no need to spend days and days getting ready for your do. There’s a lot to be said for easy, fun entertaining – after all what’s the point in having a party if you’re too stressed out to enjoy it? With that in mind, here’s our guide to some small, special details you can add to your day to help capture all the excitement of the races at home.
Whatever your setting, a few pretty decorations will wow your guests when they walk in. The yellow rose is the traditional flower of Melbourne Cup Day so create that racing carnival atmosphere by dotting a few yellow touches here and there. Bright striped straws bring instant sunshine, while yellow and white twine can be wrapped around your napkins and vases for some rustic charm. This is where you can really get creative and work with what you’ve got, so whether it’s doubling up your glassware as vases or folding your table cloth to use as a table runner, really think outside the square about how you can utilise some of your basic household items.
Melbourne Cup events typically start at around midday, so with guests standing around (possibly drinking) it’s a good idea to replenish food throughout the day. Small, easy-to-make canapés and finger food are ideal for this sort of party but for the ultimate, no-effort snack, a simple cheese board always goes down a treat. When picking your cheese, go with a variety including a soft cheese such as a Brie, a harder cheese like a cheddar or gouda and then something a little bit more interesting, like a blue cheese or Roquefort. If the smell of a blue is a bit too much for you, then try a fruit option like an apricot cheese. Grapes will finish your platter perfectly, and don’t forget some crackers.
So now we’ve got your food sorted, lets talk about drinks. Champagne tends to flow freely at the Melbourne Cup so having a bottle of bubbles on hand to serve with strawberries is a great way to welcome your guests upon arrival. Balance your drinks and keep everyone hydrated throughout the day by filling a drink dispenser with ice, water and lots of sliced fruit for a tasty spin on a boring glass of water.
Once everyone has settled in, up your hosting ante with some of our favourite, summery cocktail recipes. Aside from being completely delicious, they’re bound to solidify your status as the host with the most!
Ginger Orange Fizz
- 30 ml Gin
- Ginger Beer
- 1 Orange Slice
Add 1 shot (30ml) of Gin to a standard glass filled with ice and a slice of orange. Top up with ginger beer and stir before finishing with a few blueberries and a coloured straw.
Cup Day Carnivale
- 30 ml Vodka
- 1 Lime Wedge
- Mint leaves
Start by gently muddling a lime wedge with mint in the base of your glass. Add some ice, 1 shot (30ml) of Vodka and then top the glass with Agrum. Finish with a small mint leaf and straw.
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