Love hosting friends and family at home? Love tiny savory snacks? Tapas are for you. Tapas, by definition, are snacks, canapés, or small plates that hail from Spain (specifically Andalucía). Guests love tapas because they make it easy to try a little of everything.
Here are our favorite tips for hosting a fun and memorable tapas party!
1| Find a theme
A great go-to theme is authentic Spanish cuisine, but your tapas party can take on any theme your heart (and stomach) desires! Maybe throw a Jane Austen-themed party with pork tenderloin crostinis or a Stranger Things tapas bash with mini Eggos and fried chicken drummies.
2| Plan the menu
This is where the fun begins! The magical thing about tapas is that you get to try a few different dishes, so there is something for everyone! Make sure to have enough variety in the menu to accommodate dietary restrictions and to let your guests try an array of flavors.
Some great traditional tapas options are Tortilla Española (Spanish egg and potato omelette), Croquetas de Jamón (a sort of ham fritter), Empanadillas Gallegas (meat and tuna turnovers), Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp), Berenjena con Vinagreta (grilled eggplant in tomato vinaigrette), Patatas Bravas, and, of course, a good meats and cheese platter!
3| Pick wine
Whatever your theme, wine is essential to a successful tapas party. Check out this article to help you pair wine and tapas like a pro.
4| Lock down dessert
No tapas party tips list would be complete without a discussion of dessert. To go with the tapas theme, how about a traditional Spanish dessert? Our favorites are Crema Catalana (similar to crème brulée), Polvorones (Spanish almond cookies), or if you’re feeling ambitious, Churros con Chocolate (yum!).
5| Make invitations
Because people love tapas, guests will be excited the minute they open your envelope. Try a free, easy-to-use design program like Canva to design invites that match your theme and print them at your local print shop.
6| Thrift for decor
Outfit your space to match your theme—without breaking the bank. If you throw a Stranger Things party, head to your local antique or thrift store to look for classic 80’s decor. String up colored lights in the shape of “welcome” for an extra touch.
7| Make a playlist
Your amazing tapas party deserves a dedicated playlist. Scour 8tracks, Spotify, Pandora, or whatever free music service you prefer for some music to get guests in the mood.
8| Plan entertainment
Identify 2-3 activities for guests to enjoy before, between, and after tapas. Homemade trivia is a great bet, or pick up a deck of Spanish playing cards and teach your guests a traditional Spanish card game.
9| Identify a back-up plan
If you’re hoping to be outside, plan a backup space inside, and vice versa. This is Wisconsin, after all.
10| Choose a take-away
Give your guests something they will use and remember your party by as a parting gift when they leave. We love the idea of bundling mini Spanish coffee sets based on this recipe. You might include: brown sugar packets, a rum mini-bottle, a mini-bottle of Kahlua, and a single-serve coffee packet.
11| Get some help
You aren’t in this alone. Identify your partner, or a friend, coworker, or family member as your tapas partner. Let them help you—and taste test everything.
While we’re on the subject of help … need a hand getting your home tapas party-ready? We provide busy Wisconsinites with fully-customizable cleaning services. Get in touch with us or get a quote today!