One of the best things about summer ending? Fall T.V. Some of the best shows are coming back for another season, and it’s making exchanging bathing suits for sweaters a little more bearable. Plus, a pro entertainer knows that any excuse to throw a party is a good one. Right? Right. Gather your closest friends, make some snacks and cocktails, and settle in for a festive season premiere of your favorite show. Naturally, you’ve got this—but with the help of professional-grade Kenmore PRO appliances, you can take this soiree from a cozy night in to a get-together your girlfriends can’t stop talking about.
First things first: Make a killer cocktail the star of your show. You don’t have to spend the entire night shaking up tipples, though. Pick a crowd-pleasing cocktail that’s impressive-sounding without being too labor intensive. A kicked-up version of the classic Gimlet, made special with pure pomegranate juice and elderberry liqueur, is the perfect refresher to serve alongside snacks and some T.V. The best part? You can make everything up to 24 hours ahead. Simply combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher the night before, then pop it into your Kenmore PRO fridge, which has state-of-the-art Genius Cool fridge technology to make sure that your flavors stay as fresh as possible. Keep martini glasses chilled in the fridge until your guests arrive, too, to keep those drinks as cold as possible. Here’s how to make the night’s signature drink:
Recipe courtesy of Bon Appétit Executive Chef Mary Nolan
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, strained (from about 8 limes)
1 cup gin
1/2 cup elderberry liqueur
1/2 cup pure pomegranate juice
1/4 cup agave syrup
3 tablespoons raw sugar
Lime wedges for garnish
Mix lime juice, gin, elderberry liqueur, pomegranate juice and agave syrup and refrigerate in a covered container up to 24 hours before serving. Chill martini glasses for serving.
When ready to serve, spread raw sugar on a small plate in an even layer. Use a lime wedge to moisten the rim of a martini glass and dip into the raw sugar. Repeat with the remaining glasses.
Stir cocktail mixture well and transfer one third to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Divide among 2 glasses. Repeat with remaining cocktail mixture. Serve immediately.
Speaking of cold drinks, your freezer can help you bring your do-ahead cocktail to the next level. For the ultimate special touch, freeze things like blood orange juice, mashed strawberries, or lemongrass-infused water into ice cubes for a flavored ice-cube bar for your guests to personalize their cocktail with mix and match flavors. Between the vibrantly colored cocktail, the gorgeous variety of ice, and the sugar-rimmed martini glasses it’ll be an Instagram opportunity your guests won’t be able to resist.
Next up, you’ve got to have snacks on hand to nibble on while watching the show. A healthy, crunchy option is a crudités plate with veggies like sliced cucumbers, red peppers, radishes, carrots, and scallions with a homemade dip. For a light option, go with this tangy minty spinach dip; for something more indulgent, you can’t go wrong with this whipped gorgonzola dip. Don’t be afraid of making these dips and chopping your veggies ahead of time, either: Kenmore PRO’s crisper drawers are climate-controlled and keep your veggies and perishables fresher for longer. Keep cheeses and charcuterie on hand in the crisper, too, for a more substantial spread.
Finally, no viewing party is complete without hot stovetop popcorn. Skip the olive oil this time and opt for neutral oils like canola or grapeseed. These oils are a good go-to for popcorn because of their ability to withstand the heat needed for the kernels to burst. If you’re insistent on using olive oil, save it for drizzling onto the cooked popcorn. To add a fancier touch to your girls’ night popcorn, add a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper, a dash of smoked paprika, a handful of freshly chopped herbs, or a sprinkling of curry powder. Make sure to fill two or three big bowls—it’s so addictive your guests will be saying “pass the popcorn” all night.
For girls’ night and every night, shop the Kenmore PRO suite of appliances to help you take your cooking to the next level.
Image Credit: Sarah Anne Ward