For those of us that have to work on Fat Tuesday, and seldom never get the chance to actually travel to New Orleans, Mardi Gras can be a surreal experience. You see all your Facebook friends who somehow had the means to get there as they party the week away, gradually transitioning from Friday meme cat to Sunday meme cat. You try to take part in the celebration by heading to your local hangout, where they most likely have a bowl of beads inside the door, but no one is showing anything to get them. Any schmuck off the street can stick their grubby little hand in, and reap the reward. The best way to avoid the wintertime sadness brought on by this lack of debauchery in your life is to host a Mardi Gras party in your own home. From decorations, to food, to festive drink recipes, these Mardi Gras party ideas will bring the fun of Bourbon Street right into your own living room.
When hosting a Mardi Gras themed party, it’s important to go over the top. Bright colors such as green and purple are a necessity, along with shiny gold accents. If you plan on celebrating annually, you can invest in harlequin hats and golden statues. If you’re just going for it one time, Mardi Gras party supplies can be picked up almost anywhere. Balloons and streamers are cheap and easy, and large printed always add a pop. Party favors can include kazoos, paper crowns, and of course, beads.
Nothing can make or break a party like food. Your best bet is to go for traditional New Orleans fare, such as jambalaya. If you want to go finger foods, try pigs-in-a-blanket made with andouille sausage. Take inspiration from French origins for your Mardi Gras party food, and pick up eclairs, macarons, or madelines from your local pastry shop. If you get creative, anything goes as long as you add green and purple sprinkles. Remember, we’re celebrating indulgence here, so you have to go big.
There’s probably a list of traditional mixed drinks somewhere, but if you ask me, the same rules of decorations and food apply here: colorful and over-the-top. Good Mardi Gras drink recipes can involve whiskey, or local flavors. Mix up a party punch that serves a crowd, so you can focus on the celebration instead of tending bar. Whatever you decide on, make sure your cocktails are strong, or you might end up at the end of the night with no beads.