Tips for making this year’s holiday bash one to remember (or at least one not to fret)
Other Mama has been open for less than two years, but it’s quickly become a word-of-mouth favorite among locals in the know. (And one of our favorites, too: We honored it as 2015’s Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year.) Beyond Strip-quality seafood and lovingly crafted cocktails, a major factor in its success is the warm, welcoming, inviting vibe created by chef/owner Daniel Krohmer (right) and head bartender David English. Who better to ask, then, about tips for holiday entertaining?
Your top three tips for hosting a successful holiday party?
Daniel: Be very careful who you invite! Holidays can bring out a lot of emotions and traditions; you never know how that one coworker/friend is going to react after a few glasses of wine. Make sure to have distractions like good movies, video games, board games. You can only sit around telling stories for so long.
David: Always have plenty of alcohol and food — nothing keeps people focused on the party more than those things. Also, you need proper music to create ambience. And, of course, never wait until the last minute to organize the guest list and inform guests of the party details.
How do you set the mood for a party?
Daniel: Holidays are such a sensory thing. It’s important to have great smells coming from the kitchen, the room should be warm, and you should have a great selection of vinyl records.
David: Two words: music and lighting.
It’s been a crazy political season. Any thoughts on how a host should handle party conversation if it turns to politics, religion or other possibly awkward topics?
Daniel: I don’t invite people over for holidays who don’t have similar political views. Ha. But I would make someone take a shot of whiskey any time they brought it up!
David: If anyone turns party conversation to an awkward topic, I tend to just politely remind people to respect each other’s opinions — that or I usually distract everyone with a toast and quickly change the subject.
What drink or food embodies the holidays for you?
Daniel: A large roast of meat (usually beef) embodies the holidays for me. It represents patience and appreciation of the day. It also makes the whole home smell beautiful, and I feel it’s a deep, spiritual thing to share a piece of meat like that with your closest people. It’s a tradition that has been around since the start of man.
David: For me, it’s a classic scotch cocktail called a Penicillin (right).
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Daniel: Overeating and being half-passed out on the couch watching a movie I’ve already seen 100 times.
David: Sharing Christmas dinner with family and friends.
Should guests bring something for the host/hostess? If so, what?
Daniel: I don’t believe it’s required to bring a present for the host, but it’s always a good move to bring some nice alcohol or a side dish that represents your own traditions.
David: Contributing to the bar stock is always appreciated!
David’s no-fail holiday cocktail
2 ounces blended Scotch
.75 ounce Lemon
.5 ounce Ginger Syrup
Combine in a cocktail shaker; shake and strain over ice.
Five things they can’t party without