Eloquent Etiquette

The New Year is upon us and it’s time for a new segment, Eloquent Etiquette. We thought we’d expand our view to not only focus on creating exciting events and delightful details, but to also advise as to how to make formal party interactions and customs less foreign and daunting.

This week we found a great article, courtesy of Allure Magazine. “How to Make a Fabulous Party Conversation” caught our attention because it’s clear concise and gives you different topics and techniques to include or excuse yourself. Enjoy!

How to Make Fabulous Party Conversation

December 31, 2010

New Year’s Eve is one of those high-pressure party evenings: You know it’s coming for, well…a year, and you’re supposed to have the time of your life. But when you find yourself talking to people you met just moments ago—and might end up kissing when the countdown ends—there’s nothing like enforced fun to kill a conversation. Here’s how not to let it fizzle:

  • Do a little homework. Read a few online newspapers and peruse blogs like Gawker andHuffington Post. That way, if someone brings up current events, you can ask a few strategic questions to get him talking. When you know what kind of guests you’ll be mingling with, it’s easier to focus your reading. “If it’s going to be a lot of investment bankers, the odds are that talk will turn to government oversight of Wall Street,” says Deborah Roberts, an ABC News reporter. “And you can keep that in mind as you read the paper that week.”
  • Avoid the obvious. Don’t be intimidated by someone because of their job or reputation; just find out what interests him when he’s not at work. “Powerful people have hobbies, too, and they like to talk about them as much as anyone else does,” says writer Julia Reed, who has made small talk with senators and presidents.
  • Ask for recommendations. People love to be asked about their favorite finds. Ingrid Sischy, a writer and the former editor-in-chief of Interview magazine, fishes for advice she can use on her next vacation or night out. “I’m always trying to find out great new places, great restaurants, great books,” she says. “Some of the best things I’ve done, I learned about at dinner parties.”
  • Push some buttons. “Feel free to be wildly interrogative and ask profound questions,” says Simon Doonan, creative director of Barneys New York and the author of Nasty: My Family and other Glamorous Varmints. “For example, ‘How’s your relationship with your mother these days?’; ‘When was the last time you cried?’ Fellow guests will think you’re insane, but the answers are never boring.”
  • Know when to make your escape. If you’re really getting nowhere with the small talk, then extract yourself. “I often do the discrete handoff,” says event planner Deborah Williamson. “I’ll see a group of friends and introduce the person to everyone. After a few minutes, I’ll excuse myself and dash off.” If that fails, fake it. “I pretend to look for someone specific,” says Marjorie Gubelmann, a New York City social fixture who goes to countless parties every year. “I’ll say, ‘I’m looking for Dorothy—it’s always Dorothy. And then a few minutes later, I’ll apologize, excuse myself, and leave to go find Dorothy.” And the last resort? “Apologize and say you must find the ladies’ room,” says Gubelmann. Go in (even if it’s just to apply lipstick), then bump into someone else on your way out.

For this article and others at Allure Magazine:

http://www.allure.com/beauty/blogs/reporter/2010/12/how-to-start-a-conversation.html

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Mix up your Cinco de Mayo

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, The 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Though, in the United States I feel like we search for any excuse to throw another fabulous party. Though most of your preparations for tonight’s festivities have probably already been taken care of, why not mix up your drink menu with more traditional tequila drink recipes. (Fun Fact: Margaritas aren’t really enjoyed outside of the resort areas in Mexico!)

These recipes are sure to spice up your party, and impress your guests with your creativity. These drinks are also tastier alternatives for those of us who aren’t the biggest of tequila fans.

Infused Tequila
For a large dinner party, nothing beats a pitcher of distilled spirits. For an alternative on the tired vodka blends, try this infused tequila recipe. It’s just the thing for a hot summer night.
Pour a 750ml bottle of Cazadores silver into a glass pitcher, and fill with strips of cucumber and seedless watermelon. Store in the refrigerator overnight. Before serving, mix in a shaker with ice and a few drops of agave nectar. Serve over ice and garnish with mint.


Paloma
Forget the Margarita. The Paloma, or dove, can make claim to being the national cocktail of Mexico. In addition to the refreshing taste, Palomas probably earned their claim to popularity for being incredibly easy to make. In Mexico, they’re made simply by pouring a shot of tequila and Fresca, a sugar-sweetened grapefruit soda, over ice. In the States, where Fresca is inherently diet, you can make a similar drink with Squirt, or achieve a natural tasting Paloma with the following recipe:
Lime and salt the rim of a tall glass. Fill with ice.
Add 1.5 oz. of silver tequila to your shaker.
Add 2 oz grapefruit juice and 1.5 oz. lime juice.
Sweeten with agave nectar as desired.
Shake with a full scoop of ice.
Drain into the glass.
Top off with Sprite.

Corzo Modern Muddled Margarita
If you must have your margarita, forego the frozen, sugary types. Drop into your shaker the following:
2 orange wedges.
2 lemon wedges.
2 large lime wedges.
1 oz. agave nectar
1.5 oz. Corzo Silver.
1 oz. Cointreau (optional)
Crush ingredients with a strong muddler.
Add a scoop of ice, cover and give it a good shake.
Pour into a martini glass and garnish with an orange wedge.

Enjoy these sippable treats!

Share with us your favorite Cinco de Mayo party tips and recipes. We would love to hear what you’re doing.

xoxo,

Emily