What a better way than to ring in 2020 than with a roaring 20s party!
2019 is almost over! Can you believe it? Good or bad, it’s always a great time to celebrate the new and usher out the old while. And with 2020 coming up, why not host a 1920s themed party?
I bet images of flappers and opulence immediately come to mind, but what about food? What the heck do you serve? I’ve got plenty of ideas for crowd-pleasing and easy 1920s themed party food plus shortcuts to save you time and money.
Let’s go to the Chalkboard.
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What Were Party Foods in the Roaring 20s?
This decade was one of many extremes. You had Prohibition, which won by the popular vote and led to alcohol consumption going underground in speakeasies. There were lots of fancy restaurants emerging like The 21 Club and Delmonico’s all of this while people were cooking up a storm in tenements. New cuisines like Chinese and Italian food were gaining popularity as well. It was an exciting culinary time!
But how does that shape a 1920s New Years’ Eve Menu?
1920s Themed Party Food
Alcohol is probably what mostly comes to mind as we think about the 1920s. Prohibition, which banned the manufacturing and sale of alcohol, didn’t stop people from drinking. It merely pushed it underground to illegal bars (speakeasies). Even though that era has ended, there are still many drinks of the 1920s that are still popular today. Here are some options for your party.
Going along with the opulence of the 1920s, many were sipping on champagne. Be careful of the cheaper versions as the sugar content can be very high, leading to significant headaches the next time. If you are on a budget, you can certainly substitute a cheaper alternative, Prosecco, although it won’t have as much carbonation. This article has champagne suggestions for all price points.
Do you love bourbon? Try Mint Juleps. Now mostly served during the Kentucky Deby, Mint Juleps were extremely popular in the 1920s.
Originally made with illegal bathtub gin, the Gin Rickey is a simple cocktail sure to please. This recipe, with only a few ingredients, can easily be doubled or tripled and made in a pitcher. No bathtubs required.
With this being a cocktail party, the appetizers are the main event. Everyone will be munching all night long. But, as the host, you don’t want to be cooking all night. Here are some great recipes.
Chinese Food Appetizers
Chinese food was popular and considered exotic at the time. Crowd-pleasing and straightforward, you can serve a bunch of Chinese food appetizers for an authentic menu. One option is to simply call up your local Chinese food restaurant and order egg rolls, spare ribs, poopoo platters, and the like, place them on trays and call it a day. Or if you are up for cooking, try these easy recipes.
Other 1920s Themed Party Food
A radical departure from Chinese cuisine, Italian food was also gaining popularity in the 1920s — especially in speakeasies. Italian immigrants learned that, unlike in their native country, meat was plentiful and cheap; this made meatballs an easy option. This recipe is our family favorite and has standard ingredients.
Hungarian immigrants first introduced Paprika during the 1920s ,and it quickly grew in popularity; this made Deviled eggs a popular choice on menus since it perfectly highlights the spice. Deviled eggs are also a great make-ahead crowd-pleaser.
It just sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Popular on restaurant menus all over the country, this dish is surprisingly simple to make. Serve it in phyllo cups that you buy from the store, and it’s a delicious dish that will have your guests raving.
The 1920s Style Platter
Grazing Tables are so popular now. Try a take on the 1920s version including, all of the popular fixings from that then. You can feature olives, celery, pickles, nuts, crackers, and spreads.
The Kitchen Chalkboard’s recipe, this Truffle Popcorn, is addicting and only takes minutes to make. The flavor evokes the opulence of the time.
Significant developments in the 1920s were canned fruit and refrigeration. Even though refrigerators were around before the 1920s, they were not in the home. These desserts are from these advances.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Upside Down Cake is hands down the most popular dessert at the time. This version made in cupcake pans, create the perfect individual-sized servings. And, it uses a boxed cake mix. I promise I won’t tell.
Ice Cream Bar
Who doesn’t love ice cream? Adults and kids alike will scream for ice cream! The Pioneer Woman has a great article on how to set up an Ice Cream Sundae Bar. You won’t believe how much you can do in advance to prep.
What Do You Think About 1920s Themed Party Food?
Are you planning a New Year’s Eve party? Do you plan on serving any of the 1920s Themed Party Food above? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to hear.
Happy New Year!