How to Throw a Housewarming Party

As if moving into a new home wasn’t stressful enough, as soon as you get moved in, it’s time to throw a party. Housewarming party ideas can be tricky, and if you’ve never hosted one, the etiquette can be confusing, as well. Who should be invited? Do I ask for gifts? What are we supposed to do at the party? What if someone spills wine on my brand new carpet? All very valid questions, but fear not. We know exactly how to throw a housewarming party. From invitations, to drinks, to decorations, we’ve got party planning ideas to help your housewarming party do exactly what it’s supposed to: bring warmth to your home.


Housewarming party invitations are important. Many of your friends will not find out you’ve moved until they receive this invitation. Even those connected to you through social media may not realize that all those pictures you posted of empty closets and missing shoes you found under a chair were clues to that fact that you were moving. Therefore, housewarming party invitations should be carefully thought out. Housewarming Party IdeasDo them the old fashioned way, through snail mail. Get them custom printed, or create invitations yourself to make them stand out. Invite a larger number of people than you would for, say, a dinner party. Housewarming parties have a tendency to be more come-and-go than other at home events, and you should consider including that idea in your invitation. Open up your home for a three hour window, and suggest that your guests “drop in” and take a look at your new digs. Even casual acquaintances and co-workers may be interested in seeing your new place, and having a simple way to socialize with you outside of the office.

The big question when it comes to housewarming invitation wording is whether or not to ask for gifts. Some people prefer to request no gifts, while others like the idea of creating a housewarming registry. The choice is yours, and both are completely acceptable. Realize, though, that many of your closest friends and family will want to contribute something to your new home. One of the reasons people like going to housewarming parties is to get the chance to offer a token of love and friendship. Try leaving any wording about gifts out of the invitation, but including a special email address for RSVPs and questions. This allows guests to inquire about a gift registry, or more often, ask about your preferred retailer for gift cards.


After you’ve just spent thousands of dollars moving into a new home, and buying new curtains, and painting all the walls, housewarming decorations may seem unnecessary. Everything looks new already! Parties should seem festive, though, and this can only be accomplished through a few party decorations. Don’t go overboard, because you do want the focus to be on your great new house, but definitely do a few small things. Tie balloons to your mailbox so people know where to stop. Get fresh flower arrangements for the table and kitchen counter. Hang streamers around the bathroom door. Let your friends see that you know how to throw a housewarming party with pizzazz.


Socializing today is pretty casual, so housewarming party etiquette is flexible, and should be more about making people comfortable than anything else. Your guests will definitely want to take a tour of your new home, so assign your best friend the role of tour guide to alleviate some of the pressure from yourself. If you don’t have a planned backup, you might sit down at the end of the party and realize you spent the whole day pointing at the track lighting in your garage. Avoid scheduling a time to open all of your gifts, as you might at a birthday party. If a guest specifically asks you to open their gift, do it away from the main party area to avoid long drawn out sessions of applause and reading cards. At a come-and-go party, this is a sure fire way to make everyone go. Also, your close friends will know what to do at a housewarming party. Let them know before hand that you are counting on them to keep the room up.


A housewarming party menu should be simple, containing mostly bite sized food. Housewarming Party FoodYou want to make sure that most items will still be good, even after sitting on the counter for a couple of hours. Things such as homemade cookies, savory pastries, and party mixes should take up most of the table. Chips are great, of course, but memorable housewarming food ideas make much better crowd pleasers.

Most restaurants offer catering, so pick your favorite lunch spot, and pre-order a batch of something you love. Tell the restaurant that you are looking for housewarming party food ideas, and they will help you decide, and might even provide the supplies you need to keep your food hot or cold. Here are a few other party food ideas your can make yourself from Martha Stewart.


Everyone who knows how to throw a housewarming party will tell you that a party punch is the way to go when it comes to drinks. Create an alcoholic punch that’s not too strong, but perfect for guests to sip on when they drop by. Setting liquor dispensers out on the counter so the guests can make their drinks to taste without interrupting you mid-conversation are a great idea well. For the non-drinkers be sure to have a second non-alcoholic punch as well, especially if your housewarming party is during the day. Keep a few bottles of water handy, along with club soda and ginger ale. Keeping the drink menu simple will save you a lot of headache, but also make sure there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Party Favors Engraved Glasses

Housewarming party favors are a way for you to thank your guests for stopping by, and bringing love and friendship to your new home. Mints and chocolates are always a hit, but consider giving your friends something that they can add to their own homes. Tea light candles are inexpensive, but can be useful to anyone. Engraved glasses are also a great way to commemorate a housewarming party, and if you don’t hand them all out your guests, you have more drinkware to keep in your own new cabinets.


For those of us who aren’t planning on moving any time soon, there’s a much greater chance that we’ll be guests at a housewarming party than hosting one.

Electric Corkscrew

Bottles of wine are housewarming gift staples, so a great housewarming gift idea is an upscale wine bottle opener. Skip the gift wrapping, and show up with a bottle opener ready to go to work. You might even get to pick the first bottle opened in your friend’s new home!

A recurring problem at parties is running out of ice. On your way to the housewarming party, pick up a nice large bag of ice. It will always be welcomed with open arms. Make sure and grab some lemons and limes too, those are always the first to run at parties where drinks are served.

Personalized housewarming gifts are a wonderful way to congratulate loved ones on a new home, but also share a memory with them that might become part of their everyday routine. Engraved Cutting BoardEngraved cutting boards are perfect for people who like to cook, and will definitely be put to good use.

The greatest give you can bring to a housewarming party is a new friend for the hosting friend or couple. If they’ve just moved to town, or even relocated to a new neighborhood, it can be tough starting out. If you’ve been invited to a housewarming party, ask the host if you can bring a friend or another couple, and find someone with common interests to invite. No only will your friend appreciate it, if they hit it off with this new individual or couple you brought, your entire group of friends just grew. Now that’s a win win.

15 Most Manly Drinks

What makes a drink manly? Which drinks require that you turn in your man card if you’re caught dead with it? It’s a highly debated topic that our experts here at decided to get to the bottom of. Interestingly enough there are plenty of factors that go into making manly drinks. The first cardinal rule of all manly drinks is that it can’t be sweet. If you’re thinking of ordering a strawberry daiquiri or pina colada, be prepared to hand over your man card. Fruity flavors and colorful drinks are a big no-no! And absolutely no straws! The best cocktails for men are usually brown or clear. The best manly drinks do not necessarily have to be high in alcoholic content, but the bitter, throat burning, taste are what all real men are after. Another factor is the name; when sitting at your local bar with the regulars you must be conscious of what you order. When yelling out to the bartender keep in mind that the manly drink you order has to have a tough name as well. Although, alcoholic content isn’t the largest factor in most manly drinks, it is still a factor. If your hangover is not movie worthy you may want check the bass if your tone before you order that next round of drinks.

Ranking the Top Manly Drinks

There’s no better way to rank the manliest drinks than to measure them by the massive hangover you will have in the morning from knocking too many of these drinks back. Manly cocktails are accredited by their ability to knock you flat on your ass and how fast that can happen. Another trait of the best manly drinks is what puts hair on your chest, that throat burning sensation only real men can appreciate. Aspirin can become a man’s best friend if you have the gaul to test any of these manly cocktails out. We will rank the manliest drinks of all time from one dose of aspirin to the ultimate four doses to help ease the pain of the well known hangover. To keep it easy, 1 dose is the least manly and 4 doses puts it up with the big dogs as being a potent cocktail for men. Although some drinks may rank lower than others, we can all agree that any fellow bold enough to order any of these top manly drinks will never have to worry about their man card being revoked.

Gin and Juice

Rank: 1 Dose

Snoop Dogg recommended. A cocktail made of gin, grapefruit, and orange juice making this a smooth drink where a man can keep his cool while mingling with the ladies. This drink is also tough enough to be one of the only most manly cocktails with a fruity taste that you won’t have to turn in your man card for.

Whiskey Sour

Rank: 1 Dose

2735592868_38016386f3The name alone takes the cake for ranking among the top manly drinks. A concoction of whiskey and lemon and maybe sugar for the beginners. Not the biggest and baddest of drinks for men, but this can be a refreshing for the summer that is sure to add some bass to your tone when you order the next round.


Rank: 1 Dose

Made of gatorade energy drink and jagermeister herbal liqueur this manly drink can help up your electrolyte intake. We’re not too sure about the buzz factor, but the taste can guarantee a peach fuzz for any baby face pansy that can’t handle the strong bite of the Jagerade.

Bloody Bull

Rank: 1 Dose

Something like the manly version of the bloody mary. A tasty mixture of vodka, beef bouillon, lemon, tabasco sauce and worcestershire sauce. Again, the name makes up for at least 50% of what makes the manliest drinks manly. Not the top choice of drinks for taste, but any man that can down this probably has the hairy chest of a bull from the burning bite of the bloody bull.


Rank: 2 Doses

5365837908_540a0b02cbA classic cocktail made up of triple sec, cognac, and lemon juice -No Sugar. Not the manliest cocktail ever, but it definitely has enough kick to make it tougher than the average martini. In all honesty a martini has never been considered the go-to cocktail for men, but we can agree that James Bond carries that pass for all men, thus making strong cocktails manly even when served in a martini glass.

Gold Rush

Rank: 2 Doses

A man’s summertime friend. A shot made up of bourbon, lemon juice, and honey will put some hair on that bare chest of yours. Still potent, but just enough lemon and honey to make it a smooth shot. This manly drink is something like a hot toddy, but the cooler summer version. Get over that summer cold with a gold rush & make it a double!


Rank: 3 Doses

5396934673_296d639225Made up of only 2 key ingredients Canadian Whiskey and a dash of lime juice in a shot glass, taken straight up; definitely a man’s drink. A cocktail or shot’s name plays another big role in defining what makes a manly drink manly. You can’t yell just any drink name out to the bartender among the at the local bar. Order a Snakebite and you’ll receive nods of approval from the regulars for that knee buckling bitter taste.

The Godfather

Rank: 3 Doses

Another well known gentleman’s drink that can add bass to your tone. The Godfather has a name that, alone, fits as one of the top manly drinks. A sophisticated blend of bourbon or whiskey and amaretto served in served in classic whiskey glasses make this a classic choice for any real man who can take a real drink. Much like the popular Godfather movie this mixed drink can become a man’s favorite in no time.

Jack and Coke

Rank: 3 Doses

2714076651_e114a4b146This mixture is the universal manly drink for men. Served in cocktail glasses, the recipe is simple. Combine Jack Daniels and just enough Coke to make it a crisp bittersweet mixed drink for men that is known to put some bass in your voice. Switch things up at the bar and order a Rum and Coke or use a different kind of whiskey. Drink too many of these and a hangover will be knocking on your door bright and early.

Tom Collins

Rank: 3 Doses

It’s safe to say any cocktail that has a man’s name should be deemed a common manly cocktail. The Tom Collins is a perfect example of what a man’s cocktail should taste like, gin, lemon juice, club soda and a hint of sugar on the rocks. It can be served with fruit, but honestly what man wants a fruit filled cocktail? No man can go wrong drinking a manly drink that has the ability to be smooth and tough at the same time.

Dirty Martini

Rank: 3 Doses

5076909064_883d31b1f3A sleek combo of gin, vermouth, olive juice, and yes, the classic olives. The Dirty Martini make the perfect drink for that charming guy standing at the bar that has a bit more class and maturity than any fruit cocktail drinking wimp. “Martini: shaken, not stirred,” like Bond these manly cocktails will sneak up on you before you know it. That familiar throat burning sensation is clearly evident from a mere whiff of your glass.

Rusty Nail

Rank: 4 Doses

The name alone will send chills down the spine of any coward that can’t handle drinks for real men. Fill your whiskey glass with scotch and lemon peel on the rocks and you’ve got one rusty nail. Order one of the best cocktails for men, like the Rusty Nail, at a hard core pub and drinking vets will respect you. Be easy when taking these shots or you’ll feel quite rusty yourself in the morning!

Old Fashioned

Rank: 4 Doses

Old FashionedDon Draper of Mad Men TV series has made us very familiar with this particular cocktail. Order an Old Fashioned anywhere and you should get nods of approval for ordering such a manly cocktail. A manly concoction of bourbon, bitters, a hint of sugar water and for the sake of your sacred man card no fruit. You will appear more mature and distinguished than if you ordered a long island iced tea. This can definitely rank as being one of the best cocktails for men and is a classic choice for that dapper guy at the bar. Don’t go overboard with these bad boys or you may need to leave those car keys at home.

Classic Manhattan

Rank: 4 Doses

If Sinatra and the Rack Pack can deem this cocktail as a favorite, then we can go a step further in making this one of the top classic cocktails for men. A mixture of bourbon, vermouth, bitters, & a stemmed cherry(if requested) making this a top choice when it comes to drinks for men. Remember this is a gentleman’s drink, don’t ruin the experience with a piece of fruit lingering in your glass. This manly drink ranks 4 doses for a reason. Remember that.

Irish Car Bomb

Rank: 4 Doses

3247414923_1dec96ea2cPicture the Jagerbomb. Now picture something much more manly, higher in alcoholic content, something for a real man and you will see the badass of all badass manly drinks-The Irish Car Bomb. A deadly combination of irish cream and irish whiskey put into a shot glass and then dropped into a pint glass of irish stout. Beer advocates can appreciate this kind of drink at it can be deemed as one of the manliest drinks ever created for men. Make sure you drink fast before it curdles!

Sure, there are plenty more classic cocktails for men that can be added to this list of the top manly drinks, but we like to leave some drinks up to the imagination. At the end of the day a manly cocktail is per choice and you can order any kind of fruit filled beverage that you would like at the bar. BUT if you want to mature as a social drinker into an experienced and responsible manly cocktail expert you may want to keep these valid tips in mind when you’re at the bar. First things first, please, no fruit! if there is a need for garnish make it a simple olive or slice of lemon and nothing more. Next, is the taste it either has to be really potent or harsh enough to turn that baby face into a full beard and goatee. And last but definitely not least the best manly drinks have a tough name to match that tough taste. It is safe to say cocktails for men are usually straight up or involve shots. And don’t forget every woman loves a man with a big cock…..tail shaker so our sasquatch cocktail shaker” may come in handy the next time you want to try some of these manly cocktails.

Want more? Checkout this top 20 cocktail list from men’s fitness

The History of a Pumpkin: Decor, Dessert & Drinks

pumpkin: noun–a large, edible, orange-yellow fruit borne by a coarse vine. Of the gourd family.
It’s hot. The air conditioner blows day and night, and you still can’t stop sweating. And then, in one gust, fall blows in with changing leaves and shorter days. You pull out your jeans and sweatshirts. You stock up on hot chocolate and apples from the orchard.

And pumpkins spring up everywhere—on doorsteps, porch swings, front yards…and in every dessert, cocktail, and entree you can name.

The history of this popular autumn fruit dates back many years…


The idea of putting light inside the pumpkin actually came from the tradition of Irish and Scottish of placing light inside carved turnips and potatoes and carrying them in Celtic celebrations. The English used beets!

So what did they do for light, you ask? They used to light lumps of coal on fire to put inside the vegetables. Of course, now we use tea lights and candles, which sure smell a lot nicer!

{Image of DIY pumpkin lights via}

Or, make your own glitter pumpkin!

Dessert (and the history of pumpkin pie):

{Recipe and image via browneyedbaker}

Early Native American farmers roasted pumpkin strips over campfires and used them as a food source through the long, cold winters. Pumpkin seeds were eaten and also used as medicine. Dried pumpkin could be stored and ground into flour. We see pumpkins being served by the pilgrims at the second Thanksgiving celebration in the New World, although it wasn’t a perfectly sliced piece of pumpkin pie like we see in today’s movies.

In fact, what the early Pilgrims would do is cut the top off of a pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, and fill the inside with cream, honey, eggs and spices. They would then place the top back on and bury the pumpkin in the hot ashes of a cooking fire. When it was finished, they brought the pumpkin to the table and scooped out the filling along with the cooked flesh of the shell, which functioned as a “crust” of sorts. (Info via)

Nowadays we buy canned pumpkin in the case load, cook pumpkin seeds, and make pumpkin-spiced everything. The good news is, pumpkins are good for you! They are low in calories and high in fiber. The seeds specifically are high in protein, iron, and B vitamins.

So get cooking! Pumpkin soup, perhaps? Or how about pumpkin coffee cake?

P.S. Don’t miss this recipe for homemade pumpkin butter.


{Pumpkin Pie Martini via Hostess with the Mostess}

Sure, you could buy yourself an expensive pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks (who doesn’t love those?), but this fall season, why not try mixing up a few festive cocktails like this recipe for pumpkin pie martini? I’m sure the early Pilgrims didn’t think of that!

So as the wind changes and the geese fly south for the winter, make sure you find a way to use a pumpkin this fall. Whether for home decor, delicious cocktails, or to whip up a creamy pumpkin dessert.

What pumpkin ideas have you found lately? Have you made a pumpkin pie yet this year?

The Ultimate Guide to Single Malt Scotch: What It Is, And Why You Should Stock Up Right Now

Smoky, peaty, smooth… no country in the world does whisky like Scotland. This fantastic brown liquor has caused more hangovers than our editorial department cares to admit, but it’s distinctive flavor keeps us coming back for more.

So what is single malt scotch? Why do aficionados turn their noses up at “blended” scotches?

And what, pray tell, is the difference between Scotch from the Highlands and the islands to the south?

In the words of Hank Williams, Jr., it’s time to get whisky bent and hell bound. So let’s break single malt scotch down:

Single means the whisky was distilled by a single distillery.

Malt refers to the grain that is used. Single malt scotch is always distilled with malted barley (unlike bourbon, which can be distilled with corn or rye).

Scotch is the easiest to discern; if it came from Scotland, it’s Scotch! Other countries make whisky and dubiously label it Scotch (much like American wineries label sparkling wines as Champagne) in order to capitalize on the name.

That’s not to say that all foreign scotch imitations are cheap knockoffs.

Not too long ago the Japanese beat Scotland in a blind tasting of single malt whisky. Surprisingly, no scenes of Braveheart were recreated upon the decision.

Single malt scotch, unlike its patrons, must reach a level of maturity before hitting the bars. The bare minimum is three years in oak casks, though most single malts are aged between twelve and twenty-five years.

And unlike wine, the aging process stops once Scotch is bottled.

In other words, a 12 year Macallan bottled in 1985 should be very similar to another 12 year Macallan bottled in 1989 (assuming no one’s finished the bottle).

Single Malt Scotch Ingredients

Barley, water and yeast are the only ingredients needed to make single malt Scotch, though additional flavor is added via the oak casks the Scotch is stored in.Scotch Whiskey Glass

Barley (malt) is a grain left to soak for 2-3 days in water, which allows it to germinate and create fermentable sugars.

Water is a crucial ingredient, and many distilleries choose their location based on the ready availability of pure clean spring water.

Yeast is the magician. If it weren’t for yeast we’d had nothing but sickly sweet, non-alcoholic syrup.

Yeasts are like the perfect guest: they eat everything put in front them and leave copious amounts of alcohol behind.

How Should I Drink Single Malt Scotch?

The jury is still out on this.

Purists believe a single malt is like a National Park: best left undisturbed. Others argue that a few drops of water help aerate the Scotch and releases its aroma.

Try this experiment: Pour a single malt into a snifter glass and inhale slowly through your mouth (the alcohol burns your nostrils and impedes your ability to smell).

Now, add three drops of water, swirl and smell again in the same fashion. You should notice a much fuller aroma, while the taste should remain the same.

What you should NOT do is add ice.

It ruins the body of the scotch, dilutes the flavor and will invite raised eyebrows from pub-mates.

Regions of Great Single Malt Scotch

Highland Single Malts are the most popular around the world. They have a balance most other regions cannot match: more flavor than lowland scotches, less fire than Islays. Most highland single malts are smooth, with notes of vanilla, honey and (sometimes) sherry.

Speyside is a sub-region of the Highlands and is where some of the smoothest, most full bodied single malts call home. Named after the Speyside river, the crystal clear water is the main reason so many distilleries can be found here. Some famous Speyside distilleries include Macallan, Glenfiddich and Glenmorangie.

Islay (pronounced Eye-Luh) Single Malts are renowned for their smoky aroma, which comes from the large amount of peat-moss grown in the area. The two most popular Islay distilleries are Laprhoaig and Lagavulin (my personal favorite).

Lowland Single Malts
are among the most mellow scotches, and a great way to introduce yourself to quality brown liquor. Start with Auchentoshan- a laid back single malt that has been distilled three times- before working your way up the food chain.

Campbeltown Single Malts are the up and coming region for quality single malts. Combining the smooth texture of the Highlands with a milder peatiness of the Islays, Campbeltowns are sure to please a wide variety of Scotch aficienados. Springbank is a personal favorite and you can find both the 10 and 15 year at BevMo and any bottle shops.

Great Single Malt Scotch Moments In Film

The Departed. An Ode to Drunken Anglos. When referring to a suicide mission, Leonardo DiCaprio offers the gem of a line: “Why don’t you just give me a bottle of Scotch and a handgun?”

Anchorman. A circa-1970’s newsman who sings “I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly…” when the camera stops rolling. It takes a special kind of man to drink on the job and sing about it. Kudos.

Photo Credit: rbrwr

12 Foolproof Tips for Mixing Cocktails

There is nothing worse than a poorly made cocktail… but thanks to these ten tips you’ll never suffer through another one again.


1.  Use premium liquors.

It cannot be overstated how important premium liquor is for a quality cocktail. We’re not saying you need to mix Macallan 25 year old scotch into that Dry Rob Roy, but don’t scrape the bottom of barrel, either.

2.  Chill your glasses ahead of time.

Either chill them in your fridge or fill it with ice and water. By chilling the glass you help ensure the cocktail remains refreshingly cool to the very last sip.

3. Use a high quality jigger.

This lets you accurately measure cocktails with ease. Many cocktails which include numerous ingredients can be ruined with an uneven balance of booze. For shame.

4.  When shaking, use lots of ice.

More ice helps chill the cocktail further. Always add the ice last as it can dilute the drink if left there too long.

5. Shake, shake, and shake some more.

Shake the cocktails vigorously until you notice condensation on the outside of the jigger. This lets the cold fully permeate the drink and delivers a cool, crisp finish to the cocktail.

6.  Use small glasses.

Yes, it will be more work in the long run, but – unless you’re Arthur – large glasses leave you with a warm cocktail.

Credit: Dinner Series
Credit: Dinner Series

7.  Sample before serving.

Fruit juices can vary in sweetness from fruit to fruit; try every drink (through a straw of course!) before serving it to unsuspecting patrons.

8.  Use fresh ingredients.

Fresh squeezed juice goes a long way with cocktails. If you can’t squeeze it yourself, purchase quality juices instead. Rose’s Lime Juice is your best bet if you can’t get fresh limes.

9. Get a solid set of bar tools.

Like a chef’s knives, you’ll want a quality jigger, shaker, stirrer, muddler, etc. There are several bar sets available , including this one and this travel bar kit.

Of course, you’ll also need…

10. Quality glassware.

Every respectable home bar needs a proper cocktail shaker, mojito glasses, old fashioned glasses and the obligatory whiskey glasses.

11. Keep the buzz.

When mixing cocktails with sparkling ingredients – sparkling wine, club soda or sparkling water – be sure to add them at the last second.

And now… for the ultimate question in home bartending…

12. Shaken or stirred?

It’s an honest question, and mostly up to personal preference. The only exception, to this, however, is when the cocktail includes heavy ingredients like cream… in which case heavy shaking is required to fully mix the ingredients.

So there you have it: twelve simple steps pouring the perfect cocktail. And when better to start then now? After all, practice makes perfect.


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