How to Entertain Like the Stars

How to Entertain Like the Stars

December 28, 2011 Updated Dec 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM EDT

How to Entertain Like the Stars (418)

(NewsUSA) - So you say you want to learn to throw a party worthy of the Kardashians? Well, admittedly, that's asking a lot. After all, one of their more recent bashes featured synchronized swimmers -- it was a poolside event -- surprising guests with a routine straight out of a 1950s Esther William movie.

But take heart.

The Kardashian sisters -- who seemingly never run out of mind-blowing ideas -- didn't think that party highlight up themselves. Linnea Johansson, author of "Perfect Parties: Tips and Advice from a New York Planner," did. And even if you don't have money to throw around, she says to apply the "same principle" of doing "something unexpected" at your event:

For more on how that translates into actionable advice, read on:

* Fun in finger foods. Out: sit-down dinners. In: small plates and finger food like the very trendy Russian-style tapas called zakuski. As far back as Tolstoy's 19th century, the custom was to individually plate an array of what literally translates into "small bites" and eat them in a set order.

The key to really pulling it off, though, says Johansson, a noted chef herself, is to pair the zakuski with an authentic premium Russian vodka, which to her means Russian Standard Vodka. "It's the number-one premium vodka in Russia, and it's perfect for drinking neat or in cocktails, and excellent paired with food."

* Creativity shines in centerpieces. Why spend a fortune on store-bought white roses for your dinner table? Pick some pine cones and holly leaves while out strolling, say, throw in a few cinnamon sticks and clove-laden oranges, and you've got yourself a masterpiece so delicious-smelling that it doubles as an air-freshener.

* Toast to great times. Russians certainly know how to drink vodka, and toasting is the perfect invitation to celebrate and party. The traditional way of toasting in Russia is continuous and lasts throughout the night -- which can only lead to a great time!

* House cocktail to invite tastebuds. Even if your guests' tastes lean more to chips-and-dip than zakuski, Johansson says that vodka -- used as the base for a custom cocktail like the one below -- is "a definite crowd pleaser."


2 ounces Russian Standard Vodka

1/2 ounce Maple Syrup

2 ounces Lemon Juice

1 ounce Ginger Beer

1 Fresh Fig

Muddle the fruit and syrup in a shaker, add the lemon juice and Russian Standard Vodka. Add ice and shake well. Strain into a glass, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a slice of fig.

For more information, visit facebook.com/RussianStandardVodkaUSA.

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