Skiing embodies freedom in the heart of nature...racing down pristine white mountainsides in the fresh, cool, crisp air. Even if you can't hit the slopes this year, capture the camaraderie and relaxation of apres ski with a Ski Lodge themed house party.
Invitations & Attire
Start by inviting guests to "Mary’s Mountain Resort” or “Smith’s Ski Lodge”. Create your invitation in the style of a 1-day lift ticket with your resort name, date, etc. Add a smidgen of snow-themed confetti when mailing invites. You can even have them custom made, like this one from empireinvites.ca.
Print extra lift tickets on card stock and cut them down to lift-ticket size. Then, punch a hole in each one and use zip-ties for guests to wear at the party. Suggest that guests wear ski caps, goggles, and their latest-fashion ski attire.
You may want to create more than one style of lift ticket, such as, "Bunny", "Cruiser", "Expert", "Knuckle-dragger", "Planker", "Scraper" to name a few. Find a list of ski terms and slang to name guests, drinks & hors d'oeuvres here http://mogulmick.vbmco.com/slang.html.
If you are sending invites online, use evite.com or create your own email invitation. You may also want to create a facebook.com event as a reminder, but, remember that party invites are often overlooked in the facebook event clutter.
Also, remind them to bring their cute bunny slippers and darn their socks, because "No Shoes Allowed Indoors". Don't forget to add the "Please Remove Shoes" sign to the front door.
Set out skis & snowboards by the front door, and paint the name of your ski lodge on a piece of weathered wood to welcome your guests, like this one from everydaycheer.com. Don't worry about neatness, uneven hand-painted letters will add rustic charm.
Or, if you are short on time,
Create your sign on the computer with a wood texture background
Print on regular paper and cut
Cut a piece of cardboard to the shape of your printed sign
Paste the printed sign to the cardboard with a gluestick
Attach to a wood stake
They'll never know the difference
Decorating The “Ski Lodge”
Hang an instant view fireplace on the wall to welcome your guests to the lodge. Tack up a few socks to dry and string snowman or snowflake garland from the corners of your faux mantelpiece.
Put out a basket of slippers inside the front door for your guests to wear, and buy a batch of cheap, one-size-fits-all house slippers so they all match. Bring out (or borrow) skis, a snowboard and outdoor ski wear for the foyer.
Center the mingling zone around your bar and fireplace, and if you don't have one, add another instant view fireplace to warm up the room. Another option is to stream a fireplace video to your TV, complete with fire-popping sound.
Create a nature-inspired ambiance in the party area with a backdrop incorporating woodland decor. Think wood, pine cones and greenery; decorate with garlands and scatter loose snow-kissed pine cones. Focus on brown and forest green as your background colors.
Next make things memorable and fun with ski and snow themed decorations. Start by hanging snowflake ceiling swirls throughout the party area. Or, have a pre-party the week before to cutout your own snowflakes with friends. Use white and light blue paper, then hang with fishing line at varying lengths to bypass nature for your apres ski party.
Prayer flags are a common site in the mountains of many ski resorts and make a colorful acknowledgement to the ultimate ski destination of Nepal. Plus, it never hurts to get a little extra help to ensure your party's success.
Build an engaging ski mountain scene on one end of your serving table with foam, acrylic or cardboard boxes and polyester stuffing or batting padding under a white tablecloth. Include flat surfaces under your "snow" covering to place evergreen and Nordic tree cutouts.
Add some action with skiing snowmen ornaments, the hanging loop is an easy way to hold your skiers in place. Also, include reindeer tealight candle holders and serve Swiss-inspired cheese fondue (recipe below) at the base of your mountain.
Ski Trail Signs
If you are handy with Photoshop, customize ski trail signs and print them to hang in prominent locations. Use your guest of honor or party guests names for the signs, such as Penelope's Pass, Roger's Run, Wayne's Way and Traci's Trail.
Or, you can have personalized ski trail signs made for about $25 each (2019) here: www.arttowngifts.com.
The Bar Scene
You may also want to make miniature trail signs for hors d'oeurves and drinks at the bar. Include a light or non-alcoholic (easy), pre-mixed signature cocktail (intermediate), and shooter (expert) suggestion.
Create a winter, ski, or snowman scene to decorate the bar, such as a jolly glittered skiing snowman flanked by a pair of white snow trees. Throw in a pair of melting snowman candles for added interest.
Or, spray paint tree branches white, then arrange in ski boots for a theme-centric tabletop display.
Fill a giant martini glass with chapstick and sunscreen for the other side of the bar; have your chapstick personalized for a party favor sure to last and last. Or, fill with green, blue and black party beads for a festive alternative.
Serve drinks with black diamonds (black beverage napkins at an angle) and blue squares. Cut a few circles out of green napkins (just for show) to complete the set. Finally, sprinkle snowflake confetti and/or fake snow.
About 1/3 to halfway through the party, or when you feel the time is right, bring out a 4-Shot Ski. Made by attaching 4 shot glasses to one ski, the shot ski is great ski lodge party fun. Simple to use, just fill the 4 shot glasses and 4 party guests all drink at the same time with one flip of the ski. Ski tips up!
You can make your own if you have an extra ski or buy them for as little as $30 (that we've seen).
Liberally, position glittered pine cone candles and winter tree frosted votive candle holders for soft, warm lighting throughout the party area. Use white mini-lights along with ski or winter themed string lights around the bar, front door and along the mantel.
Extend the party and decor to the bathroom with more snow & ski characters, like a snowman in a snowboarder hat, along with a pair of frosted winter tree votive candle holders.
Hang a pair of snowman embroidered hand towels to accentuate the wintry theme. Finish the scene with a smattering of snowflake confetti.
When serving hors d'oeuvres butler-style add a unique centerpiece to each tray, such as an evergreen tree cutout, reindeer tealight, or glittered pine cone candle. Use Swiss toothpick flags to skewer your appetizer bites.
For cute and festive, serve Mozzarella Snowmen and Olive Penguins. Don't forget to line each tray with white snowflakes (doilies)!
Makes 36 Snowmen
Advance prep: Morning of party, store in an air tight container
Last-minute prep: None
2 pound block of fresh mozzarella
1 jar of roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
36 large black olives, pitted
18 small black olives, pitted
Cut a 1/8 inch slice from the widest part of each large black olive to create the brim of his top hat.
Cut each small black olive in half to create the top part of his top hat.
Use the melon baller to scoop 36 medium and 36 small mozzarella balls with flat bottoms.
Put the medium-sized mozzarella ball flat side down.
Loop a roasted red pepper strip to look like the AIDS awareness ribbon.
Push a toothpick through both strips where it crosses itself, then push the toothpick straight down the center of the medium mozzarella ball.
Push the center of the flat side of the small mozzarella ball down onto the red pepper strip.
Put the large slice of the black olive over the toothpick, followed by the small black olive half, end first.
Note: You may also want to marinate the mozzarella balls before assembling to add more flavor.
Arranged in rows on the serving tray, adorable “marching” olive and cheese penguins are perfect for winter entertainment, whether the company is young or just young at heart. From allrecipes.com.
Makes 18 penguins
Prep time: 35 mins
Advance prep: Refrigerate up to 3 days
18 whole jumbo black olives, pitted
8 oz. (1 pkg) softened herbed cream cheese, or mozzarella ball
18 small black olives, whole
1 carrot, peeled
Roasted red peppers (optional)
Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive.
Carefully spoon one 1 teaspoon of cream cheese or mozzarella ball into each olive.
Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds and then cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet, reserving both the notched round and the sliver.
Cut a little slit into the small olive and insert the carrot sliver into the center of each small olive to form the beak.
Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up.
Skewer with a toothpick to secure all parts.
Optionally, wrap the roasted red peppers around the penguin’s “neck” to create scarves.
Serve these delightful delicacies in their natural environment by applying blue cellophane to a serving tray, then cut foam board or Styrofoam into "icebergs". Place your penguins on the icebergs to serve.
Note: If using Styrofoam, wrap in clear cellophane before serving.
Cheeses are the appetizer of choice for a Ski Lodge party, and we suggest Swiss-inspired cheese fondue, complemented by Swiss truffles and assorted chocolates. Crockpots work wonderfully for dipping, if you don't have the traditional caquelon on hand.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
1 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons Kirshwasser (optional)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
7 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
7 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
7 ounces Emmentaler cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika, or to taste
Simmer wine and kirshwasser in a small saucepan.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
Stir in the flour with a spatula and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour the alcohol mixture into the cooked flour slowly, whisking until smooth.
Slowly add shredded cheeses 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it all to melt while stirring before adding more.
Add garlic powder, nutmeg, black pepper, and paprika to taste.
Transfer cheese mixture to fondue pot and keep warm over low flame/medium heat crockpot setting.
Cooking Tip: If the cheese mixture isn't smooth after adding all ingredients, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Stir until well mixed, and add up to one more teaspoon if it is still chunky. Why? The acid in the wine and lemon juice break apart the proteins in the cheeses to create a smooth dipping sauce.
Serve with bite-sized chunks of
cubes of bread
Don’t forget the dipping forks!
Note: Dipping forks should be shared and used to transfer food from the pot to the plate (i.e. never eat from a dipping fork)
White wines traditionally accompany cheese fondue, so have plenty on hand, plus some rosé and/or red options.
Crisp and refreshing apple cider is not only a Swiss favorite but one that can be served hot or cold, and it goes well with or without alcohol.
If serving hot: heat and garnish with a cinnamon stick
If serving cold: freeze a portion of the cider in ice cube trays, then add to glasses of cool cider
If serving spiked, cold: Rim 6 Collins glasses with cinnamon sugar, mix 1/4 gallon of cider with 1 cup of spiced or dark rum, fill glasses halfway with ice cubes, and garnish with a skewer of fresh red, yellow, and/or green apples soaked in the juice of 1/2 lemon
Emeril Lagasse’s Hot Apple Cider with Rum
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated or ground nutmeg
1 cup dark or spiced rum
Stud the apple with the cloves.
In a medium pot, combine the studded apple and remaining ingredients except the rum.
Slowly bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Discard the apple.
Remove from the heat and add the rum if desired.
Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.