Wedding Cocktail-Hour Recipes
Little Lobster Rolls
Planning a summer wedding? Consider serving up these delightful lobster rolls during cocktail hour. Their miniature size makes them easy for guests to devour in one bite.
Spicy Pepper Snacks
During cocktail hour, encourage guests to pluck a pepper or two with an enticing display. Stick to mild varieties, since not everyone likes to feel the burn. Here, red Peppadews get stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese; roasted sweet yellow peppers and slivers of anchovy top crusty crostini; and blistered shishitos are sprinkled with sea-salt flakes.
Braised Short-Rib Toasts and Grapefruit Gimlet
Bacon-Wrapped Chestnuts and Pisco Spritz
The traditional deviled version gets a tune-up with chives and black truffles in lieu of paprika.
Pickled Baby Vegetables
Pint-size produce takes crudites to the next level. And since the vinegar brine packs a punch, there's no messy dipping required.
Purple Potato Chips with Creme Fraiche and Caviar
Friends will be chasing down the waiters for these colorful creations. For extra credit, serve them with mini shots of vodka.
Persimmon Wrapped with Duck Prosciutto
It's just like the classic cantaloupe combo -- only so much better, you might never go back.
Black Pepper Gougeres with Pancetta and Tomato
Pastry puffs are delectable on their own, but Italian bacon makes them downright addictive.
Sharp, nutty fromage and fruity quince paste ... the best of a gourmet cheese plate, in one inspired bite.
Lamb and Pistachio Meatballs
No matter how much you love the Swedish variety, you'll be rooting for the Greeks after a couple of these.
Taylor Bay Scallops
An alternative to tried-and-true oysters (and every bit as irresistible), these shellfish make a splash with green-apple mignonette.
Rice, goat cheese, squash, and sage, lightly fried and drizzled with honey, make for a tasty tribute to fall.
Buffalo Rock Shrimp
Cocktail crustaceans are no match for these snacks, which are fried in tempura batter for light-as-air texture that won't weigh guests down.
Chinese Sausage in a Blanket
The only thing more tempting than hot dogs under wraps: Lap cheong in puff pastry, with five-alarm mustard for dipping.
Everyone will go nuts for these shallot-spiked munchies served in simple paper cones.
Cucumber Cups with Spicy Tuna
Deviled Quail Eggs
Only a quail egg is tiny enough to fit atop this canape. It is deviled, dressed with caviar and dill, and affixed to a round of pumpernickel with a silky mixture of creme fraiche and Dijon mustard.
Mini Soup Hors d'Oeuvres
Roasted Mixed Nuts
At a cocktail hour (or as a late-night snack), pass candy cups of sweet-and-savory nuts for a delicious, no-fuss treat. Each paper "bowl" holds just the right snack-size amount. Our homemade mix is served alongside cups of purchased Marcona almonds.
Salmon Mousse Cucumber Cups
Salmon mousse cups are a small bite, perfect for passed hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour. These appetizers are made even more elegant by serving them on a bed of cucumber peels in a basket-weave pattern.
Trio of Savory Madeleines
Savory madeleines can be flavored with many varieties of herbs, seasonings, and cheeses. Some options are Gruyere cheese, fresh rosemary, and cayenne pepper.
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Hors d'Oeuvres
For a finger-friendly take on classic beet and goat cheese salad, serve fried beet chips topped with a dollop of the tangy cheese and vinaigrette-laced micro greens. They make perfect hors d'oeuvres -- crispy instead of juicy beets means no one will be caught red-handed.
Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and cheese becomes an elegant passed appetizer when served in dainty ramekins. Our version features sharp white cheddar and Gruyere.
Mushroom and Blue Cheese Crackers
The complex flavors of blue cheese and wild mushrooms mingle in these tender golden crackers. By lining them neatly in a row, you encourage guests to take just one, though anyone who has a taste is sure to return for seconds.
Cucumber with Roe and Chives
Light, delicate, and delicious, these crisp and cool hors d'oeuvres are elegant and perfect for a cocktail hour.
Topped with beadlike osetra caviar, stuffed phyllo purses gain luster.
Spicy Shrimp and Avocado
Delicious and beautiful, this one bite hors d'oeuvres has a little kick to it, thanks to achiote paste. Serve as a passed hors d'oeuvres or as a starter at each guest's plate.
Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Bacon
A great appetizer for a cocktail hour, small halved potatoes are served with bacon, creme fraiche, and poached leeks.
Gorgonzola Dolce with Figs and Port
A delicious and beautiful canape for a cocktail hour, here, the sweet pink flesh of a fresh fig wedge is striking on a circle of white bread thinly spread with pungent Gorgonzola cheese. Just a thimbleful of heady port glazes the fruit.
Spicy Asian Brittle
This Asian brittle combines sweet and hot flavors in each bite. Each sticky cluster includes almonds, cashews, sesame sticks, and wasabi peas and is spiced with ginger, crushed red pepper, and soy sauce. The intense flavors are an especially good match for a glass of cold beer.
Roasted Mushrooms with Robiola and Truffle Oil
No guest would be able to resist this appetizer, which features roasted wild mushrooms on a bed of Robiola, a mild and soft Italian cheese. Ribbons of flat-leaf parsley and a drop of white truffle oil add perfume.
Set out glasses, tins, or jars filled with these colorful -- ours are made with extracts of beet, carrot, parsley, and tomato -- breadsticks for guests to nibble on while waiting for the reception to begin.
For these savory napoleons, wonton wrappers are sprinkled with coarse salt, baked, then layered with herbed ricotta cheese. A basil sprig, black-olive slice, and wedge of shiny roasted red pepper form a topknot.
Cool, crisp, and elegant, these hors d'oeuvres have an Asian flair with a beautiful style thanks to the floral design.
Goat Cheese Appetizer
Give your cocktail hour a Mediterranean flair with these simple hors d'oeuvres. Balls of fresh goat cheese are coated with chopped pistachios; beds of baby spinach leaves make them easy to lift and eat.
Serve our Star Light Royale -- a delicious concoction of gin, lime juice, and Champagne topped off with a splash of grenadine for a pink glow (we dipped the rim in lime juice and fine sanding sugar for a 1-inch-wide band of sparkle) -- as a signature cocktail alongside a halved hard-boiled egg, de-yolked and filled with caviar.
Bay Scallop Ceviche
Elevate the sophistication level of your cocktail hour menu with this ceviche -- a dish made with marinated raw fish (we added pink grapefruit in this version). The bay scallop ceviche will feel right at home served in a seashell, and you'll feel secure knowing that these particular shells are food-safe. White Irish scallop shells, Conch King.
Mango Rosette Tartlets
If love is like a rose, then these mango tartlets resembling the romantic blooms are truly the food of love -- minus the thorns. The diminutive treats make for a light and fragrant bite during a cocktail hour, thanks to the airy pate brisee crust and a vanilla-infused filling of creme fraiche. Arrange strips of fruit to form "petals" and garnish with a mint leaf.