New recipes

The Ultimate Summer Cocktail Party Slideshow

The Ultimate Summer Cocktail Party Slideshow


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

The Grog at PX, Washington D.C.

It wouldn’t be summer if you didn’t have a little Captain Morgan in you, right? PX's most popular drink is a mix of Captain Morgan, lemon verbena tea, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

The Mango Lime Rickey at Plunge at Gansevoort Meatpacking, New York City

At New York City's hotspot, Plunge at Gansevoort Meatpacking, the drink uses mango puree, plus mango vodka, for a fruity and refreshing drink. Click here for the recipe.

The Frozen Moscow Mule at Spotted Pig, New York City

Try April Bloomfield's favorite cocktail this summer: a frozen take on the classic Moscow Mule. The Spotted Pig uses Tito's vodka, frozen ginger beer, and lime for its Frozen Moscow Mule.

The Pun Intended Cocktail at Holeman & Finch, Atlanta

You won’t find this kind of cocktail anywhere else: it’s made with dill liquor, grapefruit, and High West Double rye whiskey. Consider it a fancy take on the pickle back. Click here for the recipe.

The Scarlet Lantern Cocktail at Bar Congress, Austin

Made with anejo tequila and rabarbaro amaro, it’s a berry-sweet drink with a spicy kick. Click here for the recipe.

The Summer Sipper at ghostbar at Palm Resort and Casino, Las Vegas

This light sipper has everything you need for summer: watermelon, lemonade, and Ketel One Citroen vodka. Click here for the recipe.

The Piña Colada, Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, Seattle

What makes this piña colada such a hot item here? The team at Teardrop Cocktail Lounge crack and grind out the flesh of the coconut by hand. If that doesn’t say a craft cocktail, we don’t know what does. Click here for the recipe.

The Pina Colada at Varnish, Los Angeles

The original daiquiri isnt the overly sweetened drink you know it as today. The original was made with only three ingredients 100 years ago. Max Seaman and the bartending team at Varnish make the daiquiri from its original recipe. Click here for the recipe.

The Summer Picnic Mojito at Rum Bar, Philadelphia

The Summer Skies Cocktail at Noir Bar, Boston

Cucumber is a hot item during the summer — both in food and in drinks. And yes, there is such a thing as cucumber vodka. Click here for the recipe.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.


These Chic But Easy Appetizers Will Rule Your Next Cocktail Party

The holiday party detail that separates the women from the girls? Having a few chic homemade appetizers that are elegant but easy AF to prepare.

It's tempting to go all Martha Stewart on your party and overdue the homemade food. But as we've gotten wiser about our party hosting we've learned to buy some excellent cheeses, superb charcuterie, and concentrate on a handful of homemade appetizers that knock it out of the park.

Here are more than 30 recipes that fit the bill:

Pancetta Fontina Cheese Puffs

Souffles, Croque Monsieurs, omelettes, when it comes to making cheese reach regal heights, the French are total masters. So it's no wonder that these Gougères aka cheese puffs are always a hit at our cocktail parties.

Grape Blue Cheese Focaccia

Another no brainer? Making some fresh baked bread topped with all sorts of deliciousness. We vote for these sweet-pungent grape and blue cheese mini focaccia that pair well with anything from bubbles to a classic cocktail.

Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread

Imagine your favorite lox and schmear combo did a semester abroad in France and you've got an idea of how this effortlessly elegant Smoked Salmon & Herbed Creme Fraiche Spread tastes.

Meyer Lemon Crab Chive Bites

When you're looking for something elegant, easy, and doable for everyone from your gluten-free friends to the low carb people? These crab bites are the perfect choice.

Spicy Citrus Pickled Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Why we love the South? Because they pickle things we'd never imagine pickiing — from watermelon rinds to shrimp — and it always tastes amazing. This riff on a classic pickled shrimp recipe is a bit citrusy, spicy, and way more interesting than any storebought ring of shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Chile Lime Marinated Shrimp

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

For something a little more laidback, turn to this Mexican twist on ceviche known as Aguachile. Shrimp marinated in a bright herb and chile sauce and you serve it with tostadas!

Manchego Arugula Bresaola Hand Rolls

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Like the little black dress of cocktail appetizers, we turn to these Bresaola Hand Rolls over and over and never tire of them.

Night Market Popcorn Chicken

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

Yes, we make this because it's an excuse to eat popcorn chicken without seeming all white trash about it. But also because this Taiwanese version has tons of spices and fried basil for a twist that's totally unexpected but equally addictive.

Baby Potato Bites with Chorizo

Yes, these are just an excuse to eat potato skins in a fancy setting, but they're also a perfect appetizer recipe because they can be made way ahead.

Mozzarella Tomato Basil Risotto Balls

Normally we're anti fried food or anything that keeps you in the kitchen for a dinner party (unless it's popcorn chicken, of course) but these risotto balls are a major exception. You can 100% make them ahead (even fry them) and then just reheat them in the oven right before serving!

Caramelized Onion & Butternut Squash Danish Recipe

The best thing about this recipe? If you have leftovers (you probbaly won't btw), they're as tasty for breakfast with a cup of coffee as they are as a cocktail party app.

Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn Popcorn

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

It is our firm belief that any party with popcorn is only made more delicious. This stovetop kettle corn takes a second to make and gets eaten even faster!

Carrot Harissa Hummus

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegetarian

A veggie-filled slightly smoky twist on hummus, we keep this around for everything from a healthy gift wrapping session snack to cocktail parties.

Walnut Beet Caviar Spread

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

Not so much caviar as a smooth, sweet, nutty beet dip, we first tried a version of this on a trip to Israel and recreate it whenever beets are in season.

Cocoa-Chile Sweet Spicy Snack Mix

gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian

If you combined your favorite chocolate mole and ChexMix, we imagine you'd end up with something like this spicy sweet snack mix!

Mascarpone Fennel Puff Pastry Bites

Slowly caramelizing the fennel and pairing them with creamy mascarpone cheese makes these little puff pastry bites totally addictive.

Pear Cranberry Brie Mini Tartlets With Hot Honey

We've all had that classic holiday appetizer of cranberry brie bites, yes? Well, here we modernize it with just 5 minutes extra cooking time by adding in sage-scented pears, pomegranate seeds, and a hot honey garnish.

Speck-Wrapped Persimmons With Balsamic Honey Glaze

dairy free, gluten free, nut free

We don't know about you but we can never get enough of prosciutto and melon in our lives. When the melon is no longer in season, we switch to persimmons and top it with this inky sweet-tart balsamic honey glaze.

Persimmon Bites With Fried Sage and Goat Cheese

gluten free, nut free, vegetarian

If ever there was an appetizer that was as equally impressive as it was low fuss, this would be it. Fry the sage days ahead and then just assemble when you're party starts and you're good to go!

Gougeres Tea Sandwiches With Date Paste, Goat Cheese, and Mint

If you're looking for a total curve ball of an appetizer, this is it. We take gougeres (aka French cheese puffs) and layer into them some fresh mint, whipped goat cheese, and a date spread for a sweet-salty bite that is totally addictive!

Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes

dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan

Nothing screams chic like cold-cut cheese and fruit! Spice up your appetizer platters with a batch of these impressive Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes.

Scallop Crudo With Citrus Jalapeno Sauce

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Speaking of pulling out the stops, pulling out some uber fresh seafood pretty much always impresses guests. If you have access to great scallops, this crudo with a spicy tart topping is a must make.

Oysters With Pomegranate Mignonette Granita Recipe

nut-free, dairy free, gluten free

Yes, great oysters are incredible with nothing more than a squeeze of lemon. But, when you want to up the ante, turn to this sweet, tangy, tart pomegranate mignonette granita that's as tasty as it is beautiful!

Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche

When it comes to simple and easy, ceviche is at the top of our list. With quality ingredients and just a little bit of patience, this recipe uses fresh shrimp & juicy watermelon comes together in no time.

Spicy Kaffir Lime Peanuts

dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

What’s the best way to keep your hands busy during a conversation? Peanuts! This spicy, thai-inspired version is our go-to for a chic twist on the classic party snack.

Savory Olive and Tomato Palmiers

Whenever we want to impress, we go for the roll of all-butter puff pastry sitting in our freezer. And trust us, this classic French pastry never disappoints.

Spanish Potato Chip Tortilla Bites With Bravas Sauce

If you adore Spanish tortillas as much as we do, then you'll love this version of the classic recipe made much easier thanks to storebought potato chips!

Chicken Tinga Tostadas With Radish Salsa

ISO an app that's more of a meal but still simple and make ahead? Then you'll be all about this recipe of slow cooked shredded chiptole chicken tostadas!

B urrata and Agrodolce Fig Crostini

Creative crostinis? Check. Our version consists of creamy burrata topped with sweet & savory figs for a delicious party appetizer finish.

Pomegranate Pistachio Radicchio Salad Cups With Maple Lemon Cream Sauce

Healthy-ish, loaded with fall flavors, and totally elegant, these salad cups do take some time to assemble but they're well worth the effort. And the Maple Lemon Cream sauce is so fabulous, we insist you make it even if you never make these salad cups!

Connect With Salt & Wind Travel

  • Explore The Salt & Wind Travel Services
  • Join Our Virtual Cooking Club For Cooking And Travel Inspo
  • Have Us Craft You A Custom Travel Itinerary
  • Download Our Digital Travel Guides For Food Lovers
  • Sign Up For Our Newsletter

More Recipes On Salt & Wind Travel

Team Salt & Wind Travel

Salt & Wind Travel is a boutique travel company for the discerning food and lifestyle traveler. Through our food-first travel planning services, including private day tours, custom itinerary planning, small group trips, and our Digital City Guides For Food Lovers, we provide you with the resources to travel in good taste. Founded by food and travel expert, Aida Mollenkamp in 2015, Salt & Wind Travel is owned by Aida and filmmaker and travel expert, Kristen Kellogg.