Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Clue-Themed Cocktail Party

"It was Ms Scarlett, in The Lounge, with The Candlestick"

I hosted a Clue-themed cocktail party for my birthday this autumn. I decorated my apartment with murder weapons and signs denoting murder locations, and I served one appetizer or dessert and one cocktail for each of the six murder suspects in the classic board game.

Why a Clue-themed party, you ask? Well, other than having fond childhood memories of sitting around the kitchen table, sleuthing with my family, I was at a thrift store and I happened to find a truly ostentatious candlestick (it's even customizable! This is actually only about two-thirds its maximum size!).

Decorations for a clue-themed cocktail party, with brown paper menus and signs, murder weapons, table setting
Currently taking suggestions for more theme parties where I can use this fabulous candlestick

I'm really pleased with how easy and effective the decorations were. Rope, candlesticks and wrenches are fairly mundane household items, and I crafted a knife to hang safely on the wall in a few minutes with cardboard and aluminum foil. The signs and cocktail menu were written with marker on plain old brown paper. All the decorations took me about an afternoon to put together.

For Ms Scarlett, I made Small Town Woman's Chocolate Cherry Cookies - the chocolate and cherry combination works well for this femme fatale archetype - and served Ms Scarlett's Scarlett Spice.

Ms Scarlett's chocolate cherry cookies and Scarlett Spice cider sangria
For Mrs White, I served White Lady cocktails - a classic and simple cocktail made with egg whites  - and brie baked in a bread loaf. I had intended to carve a round hole into a round loaf of bread and fill it with a round brie, but unfortunately wires got crossed with my significant other and he arrived home with a triangular brie  wedge. When life gives you triangular brie, bake a triangular loaf and carve a triangular hole, I suppose....

Mrs White baked brie in fresh homemade bread loaf, white lady cocktail made with gin, cointreau and lemon juice

Colonel Mustard's appetizer was easy enough. Mustard and cold cuts go swimmingly together and feel at home at a cocktail party (platter assembly post here). Mustard-based cocktails are a little more unusual, but this gin-based cocktail with pear brandy worked surprisingly well.
Colonel Mustard platter of meats and fruits and mostarda

Mr Green's name lends himself well to a vegetable serving to break up the other heavier dishes. To complement the zucchini spirals, I served Green Fizz - cucumber and mint-infused sparkling water that could be spiked with vodka or another liquor of choice (water infusion recipe here - omit green food dye).
Mr Green Zucchini spirals, with mint and cucumber infusion

For Professor Plum, I roasted plums, topped them with mascarpone cheese and drizzled them with balsamic reduction and honey. I also served My Diary of Us's Plum and Thyme Prosecco Smash but it was all consumed before I could get a photo of it! I nicknamed it "Plum Tucker" for the occasion because I think that's a brilliant name. Why? Well if you drink too many of them, you'd be plum tuckered out....(I'm sorry...)

Unfortunately, the only plums at my grocery store were not actually plum-colored. While the scarlet-red skins of these so-called "holiday plums" is beautiful, it would have matched the theme much better if they were regular old plums...

Professor Plum's Roasted plums with mascarpone, honey and balsamic vinegar
Mrs Peacock's appetizer is also based around a terrible pun: Party Fowl Crostinis. These nibbles are topped with bacon, blue cheese, chicken and fig jam - a seriously delicious combination. For the drink, I served Blue Moons, a classic variation on the aviator cocktail.

Final Thoughts & Acknowledgements

I thought this was a really effective, recognizable and simple theme for a cocktail party. I particularly loved how well having suggested cocktails written on a brown paper menu worked - my guests were able to follow the instructions, it was a fun diversion, it looked pretty cool, and it was cheap and easy to put together.

For a smaller guest list (mine was about twenty people) you could reduce the number of cocktails or dishes on the menu. I wouldn't cut out the mustard drink though - the uniqueness of it really adds to the theme!

Thank you to all my friends that came out to celebrate with me, and thank you also to those who brought food or drink contributions! 


  1. I'm absolutely in love with this idea, and I wish I'd seen this before my birthday (1 week ago!), because I would have done something similar. CLUE has been my favorite game since I was a kid. So much fun!