Throw a Latkes & Cocktails Party This Hanukkah

By Hannah Avison

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is almost here, so it’s time to pull out the hanukiah and plan a beautiful night of celebration. While there are timeless elements like the dreidel game, you can amp up the fun this year with more adult activities and decor and throw a Latkes & Cocktails party!

Let It flicker. Keeping the traditional blue and white associated with Hanukkah in mind, go wild with these colors! Dress the table in a sparkly blue tablecloth, sprinkle fake snow amongst the dishes - let your creativity lead the way. Now since this isn’t your grandmother’s Hanukkah party, be sure to add a touch of glam into the mix. Gold and silver are perfect accent colors. Strategically place metallic gelt on the buffet, hang silver streamers from the doorframe, and let your flatware and glasses sparkle! The shine not only adds a touch of luxury and fun, but is also a metaphor for the fire burning strong on the menorah.

Light bites that taste just right. Great hors d’oeuvres are a must when throwing a Latkes & Cocktails party! Be sure to hit all the basics like crudité, a fruit platter and smoked fish. You’ll also want to feature the traditional stars of the buffet: latkes and sufganiyot. Finally, be sure to craft a signature cocktail. Keep reading for cocktail and latke recipes that will have your guests smiling all evening!

Festival Of Lights Highball

  • 1 shot vodka
  • ¾ cup chilled coconut water
  • ¼ cup chilled activated charcoal lemonade
  • A splash of blue curacao

Fill a chilled highball glass with ice. Add the vodka, then next 2 ingredients. Top with splash of blue curacao and enjoy!

Hannah Avison
Hannah Avison

Traditional Latkes

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, grated
  • 1 white onion, grated
  • Vegetable oil (½ cup to start, but add as needed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 container of sour cream
  • 1 container of applesauce

Directions

  1. Using cheesecloth or a clean tea towel, squeeze out any liquid from the grated potatoes and onion.
  2. Combine the vegetables with the 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of flour, and pinch of salt and pepper into a medium-sized bowl and mix.
  3. Add ½ cup of vegetable oil to a deep frying pan, and heat the oil to about 400°F (medium high) – test with a deep frying or candy thermometer and adjust as needed. (Too low of a cooking temperature will cause the latkes to get soggy, while too hot will result in burnt outsides and uncooked insides.)
  4. Set a clean paper towel on top of a plate near the stove in preparation for the hot, fried latkes.
  5. Using a tablespoon, create a small ball of the mixture and place it in the oil. Use a spatula to press down and flatten each latke, cooking in batches. Allow them to cook in the pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side (or whenever they are golden brown and crispy).
  6. Remove the cooked latkes from the pan, and place on the paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
  7. Repeat the steps to create more latkes.
  8. Serve the finished hor d’oeuvres with a small bowl of sour cream and applesauce.
Hannah Avison
Hannah Avison

A sweet goodbye. After a night of laughs and excitement, say farewell to your guests in the tastiest way possible – with a sweet party favor! Everybody loves chocolate, so this dreidel game-inspired goody bag is perfectly on theme. Read on for complete directions on how to craft this parting gift.

Dreidel and Gelt Favor

Supplies

  • 4-ounce mason jar
  • Blue tulle
  • Hot glue gun with hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Gelt (gold chocolate coins)
  • Small wooden dreidels

Directions

  1. Fill a 4-ounce mason jar with gelt (chocolate coins) and put the lid back on.
  2. Cut about 1 foot of blue tulle.
  3. Put a dot of hot glue on the jar directly under where the lid meets the jar.
  4. Attach the middle of the tulle to the dot of glue, so there is an even amount of tulle on each side.
  5. Wrap the tulle around the jar till you are at the exact opposite side of the previous dot of glue.
  6. Make another glue dot, but this time, tie a bow on top of the dot securing the tulle in place. Use your scissors to cut the two bow loops, and trim as desired.
  7. Put 2 dots of glue on top of the jar and attach 2 wooden dreidels.
  8. Let the glue cool and admire your handiwork! These favors will be a sweet addition to your party.

Check out our Stories and Tips section for more fun ideas to try at your Hanukkah party.

Cover image by Hannah Avison

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