The 2012 Summer Olympics are finally here, and if you’re like us, you’re always looking for a good excuse to throw a party. So why not celebrate this year’s games by rounding up all of your closest friends for a patriotic, fun-filled bash, complete with gold medal-worthy drinks, décor, food and more? If you need some ideas, don’t worry; we’ve got tons of them!
Brew up some delicious cocktails the whole team can enjoy. We’re willing to bet these Olympic-inspired drinks, courtesy of luxury NYC catering company Canard Inc., will stir up quite the buzz (no pun intended)!
The Gold Medal
- 1.5 oz of Vodka
- 1/2 oz St. Germain elderflower cordial
- 2 oz of fresh white grapefruit juice
- 1 oz of chilled ginger beer
- Grapefruit twist garnish
The Olympic Torch
In a pitcher combine and stir:
- 1 bottle of white wine, such as Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
- 4 oz tequila
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 sliced jalapeño peppers
- 2 sliced plums
- 1 sliced peach
- 1 lemon (sliced)
- 1 lime (sliced)
- 4-5 whole cherries, pitted
- 3-4 cilantro twigs
In honor of the games, make sure your guests fill up on delicious eats from around the world. We’re salivating over each and every one of these recipes, and we’re sure your friends will too.
Olympic Grilled Cheeses
By: Maria Zoita, creator of Westside Market NYC’s line of prepared foods
Place a slice of Kefalograviera (Greece), Kerrygold (Ireland), and Red Gouda (Holland) cheese on two slices of old country bread, spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or panini press until the cheese melts. These cheeses create the perfection combination of sweet and salty.
Combine slices of Raclette (Switzerland), Organic Sharp Cheddar (Australia), and Asiago (Italy) on slices of focaccia (Italy) bread, spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or panini press until the cheese melts. All of these cheeses will melt together to create a silky smooth interior to the crunchy bread exterior.
Combine Limburger (Germany), a unique aged soft cheese, with Pepper Jack Cheese (America), sprinkled with spicy peppers on slices of Pullman bread, spread with a bit of butter and place on a hot pan or panini press until the cheese melts for the ultimate sandwich.
All American Shortcake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- 2 cups assorted sliced fruits
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pint plain low fat yogurt
- 3/4 cup low fat milk
- 1/4 cup margarine, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 6 packets (2 teaspoons) Sweet 'N Low granulated sugar substitute
Directions: Preheat oven to 425F. In a bowl, combine flour, 4 packets of Sweet'N Low, baking powder and salt. Cut in margarine. Stir in milk; do not overmix. Knead mixture on floured surface. Press dough in 9-inch round cake pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, remaining 2 packets of Sweet 'N Low and vanilla and almond extracts. Chill for about 30 minutes.
To assemble, split shortcake horizontally. Spread bottom with 3/4 of yogurt mixture and fruit. Top with remaining layer. Spread remaining yogurt and fruit on top; sprinkle with almonds. Chill for about 1 hour.
Get your pals in the Olympic spirit with red, white and blue décor, and hang flags from all the different competing countries. Here are a few other winning ideas to spice up the party:
For a fun DIY craft, buy multiple floral foam rings at a craft or floral supply store, says Lynn Jawitz of Florisan NYC. “Soak and make the rings with manually “fluffed out” side to side carnations in mixed colors, each ring being a solid shade. Cut out foam areas to ensure smooth intersections of the rings.” Carnations make great “pave” style arrangements and the bright colors really bring out the Olympic spirit, she says.
Union Jack Throw Pillows
For décor, Julie Shanklin and Marielle Shortell of Syzygy Events International recommend adding some Union Jacks through fun throw pillows that you find at World Market or Home Goods. You can also incorporate gold, silver, and bronze in your decorations. And don’t forget about all those 4th of July decorations; recycle, recycle, recycle!
Let the games begin! An Olympic themed party is all about having fun and showing some support for your team. Whether you actually enjoy sports or not, here are some creative ways to host your own mini Olympic games right at home.
Celebrity event planner and owner of The Party Goddess, Marley Majcher, suggests having an active party. “Tell your guests to get in the spirit and bring signs over to cheer on their team! Once they arrive, make sure they register at the Athlete Registration booth and receive their bib number. This can be a simple piece of paper donning the classic colors red, yellow, blue, green and black,” she says. Then, set up several game stations to let your friends compete. “Use traditional party games, such as a hula hooping contest, limbo, and even horseshoes if you have a nice backyard!”
Karla Amador, CEO and Founder at EventFinds.com, recommends doing a jackpot prize. “Every participant puts in $5.00 and then they cast their vote for the winner in a specific category. The winner or closest guest takes it all!” You can also offer patriotic knick knacks, or even award the person with an Olympic gold medal.