I’ve always been the type of person that likes lots of choices. If you look in my fridge right now I have multiple choices for salad dressings, condiments, and even pickled items. If there is a “sampler” or “chef’s favorites” choice on a menu then you know what I’ll be having. This is why a tasting party is among my very favorite types of parties.
Host a Whiskey Tasting Party (Complete with free printables!)
Tips for hosting a whiskey party:
Tasting a multitude of whiskeys can get dangerous if you are not practicing responsible drinking practices. Help guests stay safe by offering the following items:
- Start the tastings earlier in the day with plans for a full meal and plenty of time to sober up.
- A bucket to pour out tasters that guests don’t desire to finish. (I know… it sounds painful to waste whiskey, but if they don’t like it then it is better to pour out then drink too much.)
- Snacks and a meal— It is important to not drink on an empty stomach.
- A measuring device. Really for a tasting of liquor you need no more than 1/2 oz to try. Small tasting cups (affiliate link) work really well for finding the type of whiskey you like before pouring a glass.
- Provide pens and note pads (or the free tasting note printables below) for guests to write down their thoughts as they taste. This slows down the process and really gets them TASTING rather than just drinking.
- Do not let people drive home! Use a ride share or designated driver.
Host a Wine and Cheese Tasting Party
When to break out the wine and cheese
Wine and cheese are pretty much staples at everything from dinner parties to the large scale events that I throw. However, I don’t know any better time to really break out a wine and cheese tasting than a birthday party! It is a great way to celebrate the wonderful things about aging by celebrating with other things that get better with age… like wine, cured meats, pickled items, aged cheeses, and wonderful friends.
Let others pitch in! Do a potluck-style tasting party.
Turn your tasting into a competition by having your guests bring taster sized portions of their favorite meal and hosting a tasting potluck! Tapas lend themselves perfectly for this type of tasting party as the portions are typically smaller or able to share easily. Have your guests write down the name and ingredients of the dish they brought and then have everyone in attendance vote on the best dish. Bring the tasting to the next level by pairing your food tastings with wine. If you are giving a theme to your party (such as tapas) you can select wines that typically go with those type of foods. We used Spanish wines to pair with our tapas tastings.
Have an ice cream tasting party (with free printables)
End a party on a sweet note with the ability to customize dessert
I love me some dessert, but my sweet tooth does have limits. Have a tasting style set-up for your desserts allow guests to try multiple yummy things within reason. At our wedding back in 2006 we had a dessert bar for guests to sample some of our favorite treats. Most recently we enjoyed an ice cream party to celebrate a birthday. The best part of the ice cream party? The toppings last for a LONG time so we can host another one on a whim!
Throw a Cider or Beer Tasting Party (Free Printables)
Ever want to figure out the best local IPA or see which type of cider is the cider for you? Host a tasting party allows you to test out a selection of beverages in a way that allows you to remember what you tried!
Tips for hosting a tasting party:
- My number one rule for any tasting party is pick items that you LIKE! If all the websites everywhere says to pair blue cheese with the beverage you are trying but you and your guests HATE blue cheese… then, skip it! Find a different suggested pairing that is using something you know you’ll enjoy.
- Make sure everything is labeled. You can do a blind tasting if you really want to try things without any bias, but make sure they are clearly labeled with numbers so you can keep track of which one you like.
- Have something that allows your guests to write down their thoughts about what they are tasting. At the end of a tasting party they may not remember which food or beverage they liked the most, a small note page with their thoughts will help jog their memories!
Download the below printables to help bring your beer or cider tasting to the next level!
Hopefully all of these ideas give you some thoughts on how to create your own tasting party whether you are tasting 5 different types of chili to tasty frosty beverages.