Fall Entertaining: Cocktail Hour

If you’ve been following along lately, you know I’ve been channeling my festive side for our first ever fall in the new house. For me, that means pumpkins on the porch, fall vignettes in every little nook, the occasional flower arrangement, and decking out my kitchen table with decor for the season. I’m not typically big into seasonal decorating (except for Christmas, of course), but I do like to keep some seasonal items around to set the table with, and of course to use for entertaining purposes.

I feel like this is the time of year where we entertain most, whether it be throwing watch parties for football games, inviting people over for birthday and holiday festivities, or hosting friends and relatives from out of town. I’ve been stocking up on seasonal decor for all my hostess duties this fall, and recently partnered with my entertaining wizard of a friend, Mary Huddleston (@mrssouthernsocial on Instagram), to curate several fall tablescapes that can be replicated for any occasion. Today, I’m starting with a simple Cocktail Hour setup using the prettiest seasonal items from Williams Sonoma!

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

My Dress

The great thing about working with Mary on this tablescape is that we are very much on the same page when it comes to delegation. I love to style a table and make it look pretty, but when it comes to actually cooking for a crowd, I always find a way to outsource. We worked with some incredible vendors in Nashville (where Mary lives) that made ours lives 1000% easier on shoot day, and handled everything from flowers to charcuterie to the very table we set everything up on. The thing is, when company comes over, you are already running around like a mad woman trying to hide any evidence of chaos, so you might as well do yourself a favor and leave the time consuming stuff to the professionals!

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

Pumpkin Punch Bowl | Glasses | Mixer | Table Cover

Backyard Fall Entertaining

Pumpkin Punch Bowl | Glasses | Mixer | Table Cover

Okay, now to share this super easy cocktail hour table setup! I love the idea of having a drink station set up with some light hors d’oeuvre or charcuterie during a get together. Whether you are hosting people for dinner or not, it’s always nice to have something to graze and sip on while socializing! Plus, it’s an easy first stop for your guests to make to get them feeling comfortable and in the party mood.

For this setup, we used a beautiful pumpkin punch bowl, and the matching pumpkin glasses from Williams Sonoma to serve and display our fall cocktails. Williams Sonoma is always my first stop when I’m looking for seasonal entertaining pieces, because they have a great selection in classic styles that you can re-use year after year. From serveware, to baking dishes, to plates, to table linens, Williams Sonoma truly has it all! I’ve pulled all my favorites from their fall collection below.

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

Pumpkin Punch Bowl | Glasses | Mixer | Table Cover

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

Pumpkin Punch Bowl | Glasses | Mixer

But of course, what good would a pumpkin punch bowl be without a refreshing fall punch to fill it with? I’m no mixologist, but the internet is a beautiful place and it only took a little digging on Pinterest to find several fall cocktail recipes that are not only delicious, but also easy to make.

These three cocktail recipes are all variations on how you could use Trisha Yearwood’s mixer, Autumn in a Cup! We picked up this mixer at Williams Sonoma, and I was so surprised at how much you could make with it. It has an apple citrus flavor, and is infused with all the yummy fall spices to make it taste like…well…autumn in a cup! She’s got a mixer for just about any occasion, like Summer in a Cup, Love in a Cup (for Valentines), and even Christmas in a Cup around the holidays. Keep scrolling to find three cocktail recipes using the Autumn in a Cup mixer that you can make for a crowd, for a small family gathering, or just for yourself!

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

Fall Cocktail Recipes

Fall Mule

  1. Combine 2 parts Ginger Beer, 1-2 parts Vodka (depending on how strong you like your drink!), and 2 parts Trisha Yearwood’s Autumn in a Cup into a punch bowl or cocktail mixer.
  2. Add ice, squeeze in fresh lime juice and stir.
  3. Garnish with orange or apple slices and cinnamon sticks

Autumn Hot Toddy

  1. Combine Trisha Yearwood’s Autumn in a Cup, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel in a large pot. Simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add your preferred amount of your favorite whiskey to a cup, ladle in the warm cider, and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Apple Cider Sangria

  1. Combine 3 parts Pinot Grigio with 2 parts Trisha Yearwood’s Autumn in a Cup and 1 part club soda.
  2. Add chopped pears, apples, and sliced oranges.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour (or longer) before serving.

Backyard Fall Entertaining

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

Charcuterie Board Details

We worked with the one and only Cortney LaCorte aka The Nashville Cheese Gal to curate the perfect charcuterie board for this shoot, and y’all…this board made me realize I need to step up my charcuterie game big time! I recently shared my own guide to easy charcuterie boards, but Nashville Cheese Gal is on another level. If you live in the Nashville area, or are visiting for a Bachelorette, girl’s weekend, etc, be sure to place an order with her. I guarantee it will be a hit! Keep scrolling to find all the details on the board Cortney made for us.

Photo by Evin Photography

Backyard Fall Entertaining
Photo by Evin Photography

A Charcuterie Board for a Crowd

Sartorial Bellavitano Merlot Cheese
Garlic & Herb Boursin
6 month aged manchego
Dorothy’s Comeback Cow
Rosemary Olive Oil Asiago
Ridgetop LaQuercia Prosciutto
Italian Dry Salami
Firehook’s Everything but the Bagel Crackers
Dried Apricot + persimmon
Fresh berries + figs + grapes + tomatoes
Rosemary Marcona Almonds
Castelvetrano Olives
Bee Seasonal Brazilian Honey
Local honeycomb
Fresh sprigs of rosemary + oregano from Bloomsbury Farm

Cocktail Hour Charcuterie Board
Photo by Evin Photography

And that’s how you pull off an easy set up for cocktail hour entertaining! Be on the lookout for many more fall tablescapes coming your way soon!

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Fall Entertaining: Cocktail Hour

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