‘Tis the season to be partying and, when planning a festive gathering, it helps to have a theme, focus or motif. I enjoy almost any kind of party, but my current favourite party concept is D&D—as in “dips and drinks.”
Dips are the perfect party food. They only require one utensil—a spoon for transferring the dip to your plate—as the delivery system (i.e., the dipper) is itself edible. Scooping food into one’s mouth is extremely efficient, which keeps the conversation flowing. Drinks help as well.
To plan a dips and drinks party, all you have to do is contact your friends and tell them to show up at your place at a specific time with their favourite dip and/or drink. If they choose dip, make sure they bring the appropriate dipper; if they choose drink, make sure they bring enough to share with at least a few other guest. (A bottle of wine is good, but a pallet of expensive beer is less workable.)
You do not need to manage the menu too much, but it is a good idea to check with people on their general plan so there aren’t 13 onion dips. Though really, a party with a keg of beer and 13 onion dips would still be a good party. If you or your guests need inspiration, we have ideas here, but it’s best to aim for a mixture of hot and cold, heavy and light, and have a few vegan or vegetarian options. Although cheeseballs are not technically a dip, I would allow them—but in the end, you are the master of your D&D party.
A gin & tonic bar, complete with fruits, spices and a few different kinds of tonic, brings an interactive element, and lets you serve cocktails sans bartender. Even with such a seemingly limited menu, there’s a lot of room for creativity here with both drinks and dips.