Andy Cohen’s Essentials for Throwing a Fabulous Holiday Party

Every year, Andy Cohen throws a holiday party, and no, we’re not talking about the New Year’s Eve event he and his best friend Anderson Cooper host on CNN – although he does love that one, like you do on TV As seen on . We’re talking about the annual carnival he throws at his apartment for friends. One of his best tips for throwing a successful party? Make sure you have the right mix of people.

“It’s very important,” he said of the guest list. “You want people who are funny, you want people who contribute, and if you’re looking for something dramatic, invite a couple of people who hate each other and see what happens. I enjoy that too.

“Surprise guests are fun, too. Invite a few people your other friends don’t want to see, and don’t tell them,” he adds. “Because friends now are always like, ‘Who’s coming, who’s coming?’ So leave a few names off the list so there’s an element of surprise. They’ll say, ‘You won’t believe Andy’s party What’s going on online, guess who showed up! It’s very exciting.”

Below, he walks us through some other secret essentials for hosting the most festive holiday ever.

Host Andy Cohen’s Must-Have Holiday Party Essentials

“The key to throwing a great holiday party is the ambience, and for me that includes throwing a disco,” says Cohen. “I have a big gold coin. I always have a disco ball, one in every apartment I’ve ever lived in.”

“Nosh is really important, but what you offer depends on when you party,” Cohen said. “If it’s called at 6 o’clock, you need to serve your guests really big food. Mine is at 9 o’clock. I’m a late night person and I want to throw a late night party. I want people to go out and eat dinner before they come over and Feed yourself.” He added, “I don’t eat a big ham; I don’t eat roast beef and I don’t want to see your dirty plates, disgusting forks and napkins in my apartment. Get you drunk left and right, and then I’ll have a lot of snacks: I’ll have cheese and crackers, I’ll have guacamole, I’ll have chips. I don’t think about it too much. Those are the things everyone thinks about when drinking at a holiday party Wanted snacks.”

• related: Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough Share Their Holiday Hosting Must-Haves

Simplicity is key. Cohen uses his Alexa Echo to customize his vacation schedule, to which both his music and smart plugs are connected. “I have a whole program for setting the mood, and it’s all about it,” he says of his Alexa. “It’s as easy as I say, ‘Alexa, let’s light it up,’ and the Christmas tree lights and music come on.” (A digital fireplace also pops up on his Fire TV.) “Thanks, dramatic ambience! ” He says. “Now all I need is my bar and a little snack and I’m good to go.”

“I’m also a candle fan,” he says, noting that he loves Diptyque’s Baies scent. But he can’t throw a party without lots of twinkling lights, like this string light curtain that works both indoors and out. “I think lighting is really important to every party,” he says. “I have dimmers for every light switch in every room in my house, including Ben’s room. But you have to have flickering lights to have a party. I have a lot.”

When it comes to stocking the bar, Cohen says he always has tequila and vodka on hand. To keep things simple, he also has a few cans of premixed drinks on hand. “I like Fresca Mixed, which is either Fresca and tequila or Fresca and vodka mixed together,” he said. “These are the types of cocktails I make myself, but premixed versions are always great and easy to serve at holiday parties.”

“I’ve always been a fake Christmas tree person,” Cohen said. “Mine is huge and has a lot of lights in it. It’s all you need, really. Plus it’s good for the environment and it’s simple to put up year after year.” He added that he There was never a rush to remove it either. “I’m holding out until mid-January — I just think it’s so festive.”

• related: 25 Artificial Trees That Really Look Like One

Cohen puts a lot of emphasis on dressing for the occasion. “I think a striped sweater is always great for the holidays,” he says. He’s also a fan of tartan pants, like these tuxedo pants from Brooks Brothers. “I have a pair of tartan pants that I wear to parties and they are great. They scream holidays and they make my ass look good. They are my party pants!”

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