Halloween lands on a Friday this year, so there’s no excuse not to make the most of it! You can throw together a masquerade-themed Halloween bash in a flash with this Dos Equis-sponsored quick guide. This Halloween, throw the most interesting masquerade party in the world — just check out these tips, brought to you by Evite in partnership with Dos Equis. P.S. Enter for a chance to win a trip to New Orleans to attend the Dos Equis Masquerade, featuring legendary artist Q-Tip!
Setting the Mood. The trick to instantly creating a mood is to focus on overall effect rather than intricate decor details. Simply dimming or dousing the lights in favor of candlelight (electronic or flame) will immediately infuse the room with spooky ambiance. A quick draping of black tulle over existing furnishings — tables, seating, etc. — provides instant spook factor with minimal effort, and a scattering of decorative masquerade masks will dress up everything from the food table to the bar. Finally, a scary flick with a mask-related plot point (think Phantom of the Opera or one of the Saw movies) playing on the TV sans sound is a clever, effortless way to emphasize the theme.
Serving Drinks. The two most important things to remember about party drinks are quality and presentation. A choice of excellent lagers offered in ice-filled black cauldrons is much more interesting than a bunch of average brewskis crammed in the fridge. (Dos Equis has even dressed up their Ambar and Lager Especial bottles in limited-edition masquerade-themed packaging just in time for Halloween.) Serve a single signature cocktail jazzed up with themed stirrers or glassware and made with a premium liquor such as Casa Sauza to make it feel special. Margaritas on the rocks are super easy and don’t require a blender (plus the mix can be made in batches in advance for easy pouring over ice once guests arrive).
Feeding the Crowd. The key to easy refreshments is serving premade and easy-to-fix offerings that look impressive and work well with your drink menu. A spicy pot of chili (you can even use canned and heat it on the stove) served with tortilla chips instead of bread works perfectly with Mexican lagers and tequila, and a buffet of toppings allows guests to personalize their bowls. For snackers, a sweet-and-savory dipping bar of chips, fruit, and dips provides visual impact as well as variety. Salsa, hummus, and sour cream-based dips are must-have classics, while melted chocolate and/or caramels mixed with heavy cream make great accompaniments to strawberries and apple slices (just rub the apple slices with lemon juice to keep them looking fresh).
Playing DJ. Soundtracks to scary movies are a quick and easy way to infuse the room with doom. Extra points for playing spooky sound effects at the front door or in the bathroom. If you have extra time, make a playlist of your favorite horror movie themes and make a game of guessing which flick goes with each tune.
Keeping Guests Entertained. Give the classic games you played as a kid a slightly more sophisticated spin to keep guests happily occupied. Replace pumpkin carving with decorating “fast o’lanterns” with stickers, markers, and chalk that guests can take home with them, and trade bobbing for apples in water for bobbing for caramel apples on ice. Even standbys such as charades and Celebrity are easy to adjust with horror and Halloween themes. Pick up a horror-themed video game for bonus points.
Dressing Up. Invite guests to simply add a decorative mask to whatever they’re wearing for the evening (costumes optional). Feel free to set a dress code (casual or cocktail attire) if you like, but letting guests come as they are makes it easy to accept your invitation. You can also set out masks on tables and let undisguised guests know that they can put one on.
Enjoy XX responsibly.
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