Send out the invites: Here’s our ultimate guide to a house party

  • Compiled by the HT 48 Hours team, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Dec 18, 2015 16:03 IST

MUSIC: The best of 2015 to add to your playlist


* How Deep is your Love by Calvin Harris & Disciples : A peppy number with amazing vocals.

* GTA by Red Lips (Skrillex Remix): Huge bass drops and haunting vocals.

* Magnets by Disclosure feat Lorde : A top quality record from Disclosure. Lorde’s songwriting skills make it better.

* Rough by Bassjackers & Reez : Favourite transition record while switching from house to big room.

* Yesterday by Borgeous & Zaeden: It’s making waves internationally.

- By Lost Stories, EDM duo


Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy

* Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy: All these years later, Uma Thurman still inspires rock ’n’ roll ditties.

* Figure It Out by Royal Blood : Although from late 2014, it’s been a scorcher through 2015.

* The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala : Check out the video to this one. It has a cool dance beat to it too.

* Renegades by X Ambassadors : Gather around in a group hug and scream out the chorus.

* Wash It All Away by Five Finger Death Punch : A punchy beat with a raw chorus. Bring on the mosh pit now.

- By Luke Kenny, musician and actor


Upton Funk by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars

* Upton Funk by Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars: Probably the song of the year. Can’t go wrong with this one.

* Can’t Feel my Face by The Weeknd : I challenge you to play this only once. Horribly addictive. Suitable for ages 2 upwards.

* Gold by Kiiara: An ex-warehouse clerk has to be the discovery of the year.

Cheerleader by Omi: Cheesy but effective. Sure to get any party going.

* What Do You Mean by Justin Bieber: This is no time to be judgmental. You want to get that party started, right?

- By Dhruv Ghanekar, musician and co-founder of BlueFrog


Selfie Le Le from Bajrangi Bhaijaan

* Gulabo from Shandaar: It’s impossible to sit still through this energetic song, full of rhythm and groovy beats.

* Sooraj Dooba Hai from Roy: You can dance all night to this upbeat party anthem.

* Selfie Le Le from Bajrangi Bhaijaan: The nation went completely mad about this one.

* DJ Waley Babu by Badshah ft. Astha Gill: A cutesy hook, an easy beat and a quirky flute combine..

* Sarfira from Katti Batti: Gets you to dance like no one’s watching.

- By Gaurav Sharma, chief programming officer, Fever 104 FM


DECOR: Interior designer Anjori Alagh on getting it right

(Illustration: Chetan Patil )


* Throw out leftovers from the fridge. You need to make space for drinks, chasers and dessert, and, most importantly, for ice.

* Don’t give your guests fridge access, or you might spend the night cleaning up a mess of glass and spilled beer. Get a drinks tub, fill it with ice, and shove in the beer bottles and chasers.

Living room

* The size of your living room should determine the size of your guest list. This is the focus area. Having a table (preferably the dining table) as the centre of attraction looks neat. Use flowers, candles, and place a few coffee table books.

* Place snacks on platters or cake stands. Decorate like it’s a feast.

* Use acrylic glasses. They look pretty, and are unbreakable.

* Use your crystal glasses only for wine (wine in plastic glasses looks cheap).

* Use martini glasses to serve a starter and small mason jars to serve salads.

* Take glass jars and vases in different sizes and fill them with candy, fruits or papier mâché flowers.

* Use fairy lights. They can transform any space.

The bathroom

* Light a scented candle to keep away smells and give the toilet great lighting.

* The bar area

* Keep all the alcohol, chasers and ice on the bar (even if it’s a makeshift one). Use a chalk board with a stand and write down the five cocktails you’ve learnt to make.

* Light candles and place them in candle holders on the bar.

* If using plastic glasses, scribble names on them, Starbucks style. No more mixed up glasses.

The smoking zone

* Crack a small window open in one room only. If you have a balcony, make that the smoking zone.

- Alagh is the director and merchandiser of


Props for the party season

Glitter glasses.

* A fun pinata in keeping with the theme of your party.

* Fun stirrers for everyone’s drinks - both naughty and nice.

* Lace or flower tiaras for the ladies; paper crowns for the men.

* Glitter glasses.

* Glow sticks or glow bands.

- By ANISHA ELAVIA, managing partner, Final Fling, a party-planning agency


Behave yourself: Comedian RADHIKA VAZ’s checklist for being a good guest

Comedian Radhika Vaz


* Look and smell clean. There’s nothing worse than being the guest whose BO (body odour) cleared the room.

* Carry your host’s drug of choice as a present, be it cake, booze or a spot of tobacco. We all have our poisons. Don’t judge.


* Hit on the host’s spouse. Anyone else you are most welcome to..

* Look through their bathroom cabinets. That’s private stuff (This is a rule I have regularly broken).

- Vaz is a stand-up comedian and author. Follow her on Twitter at @radvaz


Let the (drinking) games begin

Drink if: A card game

Works best with: Long Island Ice Tea

Make small playing cards with statements that start with “Drink if...”. For instance, “Drink if…the person to your right is wearing earrings.” Each person picks up one card in a circle. If the statement stands true for the holder, he has to take a swig of his drink. Others to whom the statement applies must also take a sip.

Drunken artists

Works best with: Tequila shots

In this version of Pictionary, players take turns at being the timer and the artist. At the beginning of each round, the timer will whisper a word to the artist and start the clock. As the artist draws the word on paper, the rest shout out what they think the picture is supposed to be. After someone guesses correctly, the timer looks at how many seconds have passed. The artist has to take a drink for every 20 seconds that went by before someone figured out what they were drawing. So, 1minute 40seconds equals five gulps. If the artwork is indiscernible and the group gives up, the artist does a shot.

Attached at the hip

Works best with: Vodka

Elbows, ears, butts, pinkie fingers: write body parts on slips of paper and place them in a pile. Players, in pairs, are assigned a body part. Everyone must stay “attached” to their partner by that body part for as long as they can. Every time someone separates, they have to take a shot.

Dart game

Works best with: Tequila shots

Make a cardboard dartboard with three customised point zones ranging from half a shot, drink with a buddy to a full shot. Simple: what you hit is how many you drink.

- By Anisha Elavia is the managing partner, at Final Fling, a party-planning agency


The drinks

Salted Caramel Swirl

Vanilla vodka: 45ml, cream: 60ml, caramel syrup: 30ml, sea salt, ice

In a Boston shaker, add ice, vodka, cream, caramel syrup and a pinch of ground sea salt. Shake. Pour into a martini glass.

By Pranav Mody, mixologist, The Sassy Spoon

Cuban crush

Dark rum: 45ml, lime juice: 15ml, apple juice: 60ml, cranberry juice: 60ml, a dash of Angostura bitters

Mix the ingredients over ice, and serve chilled with a slice of apple.

By Mukul Sharma , mixologist, Havana Café & Bar

Victoria’s Secret

Vodka: 60ml, pineapple juice: 15ml, orange juice: 15ml, leaves of lemongrass: 4 to 6, curry leaves: 3 to 5, ginger ale to top, sweet and sour mix: 30ml

Muddle lemongrass in a mixing glass and drop curry leaves. Pour remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double-strain in a highball glass over ice, top with ginger ale, garnish with an orange slice.

Puffy eyes

Whisky: 45ml, triple Sec or orange liqueur: 15ml, dates: 2, basil leaves: 3 to 5, pineapple juice: 45ml, sweet and sour mix: 45ml

Muddle dates in a mixing glass, add basil leaves. Add remaining ingredients with ice and shake. Double-strain in a glass.

By Eluther Gomes, mixologist, The Daily

Strawberry Margarita

Tequila: 45ml, Triple sec/orange liqueur: 15ml, lime juice: 25ml, sugar: 1tsp, strawberries: 5 to 6

Blend ingredients together and serve over ice. Or blend with crushed ice.

Cuban crush

Dark rum: 45ml, lime juice: 15ml, apple juice: 60ml, cranberry juice: 60ml, a dash of Angostura bitters

Mix the ingredients over ice, and serve chilled with a slice of apple.

By Mukul Sharma , mixologist, Havana Café & Bar


The food: By home chef Bhakti Mehta

Pesto Linguini with Zucchini Tempura

Difficulty level: Medium

Fresh basil leaves: 20 leaves or 2 cups, olive oil: 10 tsp, a fistful of pine nuts (substitute: hazelnuts/almonds without skin), parmesan cheese: 100gm, half teaspoon of garlic, salt, lime juice of half a lemon, zucchini, tempura flour, ice cold water: 100ml, baking powder: 1 tsp, corn flour: 1 tsp, oil for frying, linguini (cooked as per packet instructions)

Blitz the pesto ingredients in the blender. Cut zucchini into strips. Combine the tempura flour, baking powder and corn flour with iced water and salt. Dip the zucchini in the batter and fry. Set aside. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add half a teaspoon of garlic. Add pesto and sauté for 30 seconds. Add linguini. Once warm, top up with the zucchini tempura and sprinkle parmesan.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Difficulty level: Easy

Chicken breast (boneless): 200gm, garlic: 1 tsp, paprika powder: 1 tsp, cumin: 1/2 a tsp, plain flour and corn (makai) flour in 3:1 ratio, a sweet corn cob, a grated carrot, an iceberg lettuce, chopped tomatoes: 2, half a chopped onion, a few sprigs of coriander, juice of 1 lime, jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream or guacamole, a few chopped up spring onions (green part only), salt, oil, tacos, pica de gallo (tomato mix)

Marinate the chicken in paprika powder, cumin, garlic, lime and set aside. Roast the corn on a direct slow flame, until it is charred from all sides. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, onions, coriander, lime and salt. In a pan, heat olive oil, add the chicken pieces and cook for 8 to 9 minutes or until it is thoroughly cooked. Add salt while cooking and cut the chicken into smaller pieces. On top of the tacos, place a crisp lettuce leaf, a teaspoon of the pica de gallo. Add a few chicken pieces and top up with the burnt corn kernels, jalapenos, carrot and cheese. Top up with sour cream or guacamole. Sprinkle spring onions and serve.

Salsas with tortilla

Difficulty level: Easy

* Tomato salsa

Tomatoes: 5 to 6, onion: 1 or a bunch of spring onions, slices of jalapeno: 8 to 10, a few sprigs of coriander, juice of one lime, salt, tortilla chips

- Half-blend the above in a blender.

- Set to cool.

* Pineapple salsa

Diced fresh pineapple: 1 cup, diced tomato: 1, chopped onion: 1/2, a few mint leaves, juice of half a lime, chopped jalapenos: 1 tsp, salt

- Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.

Mehta is the founder of Little Food Co, a gourmet catering company

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