Every now and again in your twenties, you get a little glimpse of what it feels like to kind of have your shit together. You’ll remember to add an attachment to an all staffer email just before you hit send, pay your council tax on time, or make it to the end of the month without going into the red. And none of these are small achievements, they deserve to be celebrated. So now it finally looks like you’re getting that promotion you’ve been waiting for, get the friends over and throw a grown up, show-stopping dinner party.
(Don’t bin the fizzy pop, pack up your Dairylea Dunkers and hide your Dawson’s Creek boxset just yet though - remember, being a grown up is only about the image. You don’t actually have to grow up. You just have to pretend.)
The cocktail that'll make your friends go 'Ooh' and 'Aah'
How's the best way to prove to your friends that you're a grown up and together lady? Showing off your fancy cocktail skills that's how. Kids sip cheap wine from mugs, grown ups drink classy cocktails like The Diplomat made using Martini Extra Dry Vermouth. Get the recipe here. The secret to this one is all in the stirring - here's a handy masterclass on how to get that action DOWN.
Kick things off with some homemade starters
So there’s nothing wrong with Dairylea Dunkers, but they might not quite give of the image you’re after, so replace them with something far superior. Cheese straws! These home made ones are actually not that hard to make and they’ve got cayenne pepper in for a bit of a kick.
Ever turned your hand to a pate? Well, all good grown ups are a dab hand, so time to get some practice. This straightforward chicken liver pate is delicious - just add to finely sliced white toast.
And to accompany the cheese straws and the chicken liver pate, try this spicy aubergine pate. Great for all the vegetarians in the house, too.
And, for the culinary main event...
Your mate: Can’t wait for Saturday! Want me to bring anything? xx
You: No! Just yourself! ;-)
Sound familiar? Well there’s a better way to cook yourself to a fabulous foody fest - it’s called sharing the job. Rather than scraping the pennies together to create buckets full of spag bol, do what all clever grown ups do and go for quality over quantity. You shell out at the local butcher on some locally raised organic pork shoulder, your guests provide the sides. You can pick up a good sized one for less than £30 - then just get your guests to bring the slaw, lettuce, guacamole, wraps and salsa. Share the love!
Our main man Jamie has a great recipe for pulled pork - but be prepared to put in the time, this one requires 6 hours 35 minutes to cook. Which is basically the perfectly timed Saturday activity - keeping you occupied from post-Friday night lie-in to pre-Saturday dinner party drinks.
**Now you’re an adult, you better dress the part... **
This over-sized pocket shirt from Topshop is actually all your wardrobe needs right now. It’s crisp, got a clean cut and full of #YoungProfessional vibes. Smart and elegant, you can dress it up with heels or dress it down with casual sling backs.
Pair with these ASOS Peg Trousers, which at £18 are an absolute bloody steal. Who said being a grown up had to cost you?
The best thing about dinner parties is that you don’t need to worry if your heels aren’t comfy - you can change back into your Air Max whenever you like.. So go all out and complete the look with these New Look Smart Colour Block Strap Heeled Sandals. They’re all yours for just £19.99.
Now you look the part don’t ruin the image by playing back to back chart toppers...
This ‘Straight up Funk-Soul Drivetime’ playlist (ignore the driving part) is the tits. As every good adult knows, food and cocktails taste better when accompanied by great music. And Otis, Aretha, Bobby, Curtis, Nina, Stevie, Marvin, Etta...the whole gangs there. Just who you need to wow your guests with your sophisticated, eclectic taste.
For more excellent cocktail recipes head to the Mixed Cocktail website.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.