Top 10 Cracking Cocktail Snacks

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Wow your guests with global-inspired cocktail snacks
 
 
 
With world food and drink trends continuing to expand and fuse into new combinations, now is the time to engage in a little mixology and offer your cocktail party guests a selection of global-inspired treats.
 
 
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Add sizzle to sausages with a hoisin marinade
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10. Hoisin sausages

A new take on an old favourite, and one which you could even hide from guests and watch for the surprise on their faces. Mix up hoisin sauce, honey, mustard and sesame seeds (optional), glaze cocktail sausages with the mix, and cook. Serve with cocktail sticks to avoid sticky fingers.  These sausages can be prepared in advance and left on a shelf at the bottom of the oven until guests arrive.

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Canapes have ruled the cocktail scene for good reason
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9. Canapes

The classic cocktail party starter with limitless variations. Asparagus wrapped in parma ham with a light mayo is an easy one or two-bite taster, while tiny jacket potatoes (new potatoes) topped off with a little sour cream and chives or blue cheese is a satisfying combination. Savoury parmesan bites – parmesan, flour and seasoning mixed and cooked for a minute or two – are great for both adults and kids, while upturned mushrooms filled with toppings such as cheese, onions and spinach and baked for 15 minutes are a great veggie treat.

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Firm favourite... pizza with olives for a cocktail twist
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8. Mini pizzas with artichokes and olives

Roll out prepared pizza dough into small rounds, apply a little olive oil to each side and top with mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, red peppers and olives. These look the part, but there are many other variations that will raise a smile and delight the tastebuds, such as egg and bacon, salmon and prawn or asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.

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Add extra pop to your corn with bourbon
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7. Bourbon chocolate popcorn

A gloriously over-the-top treat, it is worth experimenting to find the correct balance of alcohol and chocolate, but don’t go with more than half a cup of bourbon. Melt the chocolate and alcohol together over a pan of hot water, and pour over the prepared popcorn, gently tossing until it is evenly coated. You could sprinkle pecans or almonds in with the popcorn too, and experiment with different chocolate, such as white and dark.

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Cool lettuce cups and zingy fillings
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6. Little gem cups

These are easy to pick up and boast multiple flavours in every bite.
Filling the lettuce leaves with what are essentially mini stir fries or salsas will give the palate a good work-over.
Break the lettuce into individual leaves and pop in a mix of red onion, mango, chilli, lime juice and olive oil, and pop a tiger prawn on top.
Alternatively, take turkey, beef or pork mince, fried in a little chilli soy sauce and oil until well cooked, before draining and adding vegetables such as finely sliced spring onion and water chestnuts. Add a spoonful to each lettuce leaf.

Ebay likes with: a red wine with the beef, a zesty white with the seafood
 
 
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Be creative with ice cream for a sweet treat
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5. Mini ice cream balls

A melon scoop need not just be for melon – scoop some balls from soft vanilla ice cream and put back in the freezer. The balls can then be dipped in melted chocolate using a cocktail stick, and coated in a variations toppings: mix the chocolate with nuts, popping candy, almonds, sugar strands, and so on.
Pop back in the freezer and then serve with the cocktail sticks in.

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4. Satay sticks

You can make traditional chicken versions of these, or a vegetarian version. These veggie mini-kebabs feature three simple ingredients – a cube of paneer cheese, baby sweetcorn and a slice of red or green pepper, all in a very light satay marinade, and threaded onto a cocktail stick. These little beauties are then grilled lightly on all sides, but the magic comes in the light peanut sauce: open a pack of peanuts, boil in a pan with half a cup of water and a little sugar and chilli. Bring to the boil, wait for it to break down, and serve warm.

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Mexican treats will make your guests swing
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3. Mini tortilla bowls

The tortilla bowls can be made the night before – they need to be rigid enough to hold the filling and not collapse into a mushy mass. Microwave the tortillas then fold each one into a muffin cup and bake for 10 minutes. Fill with a combination of beef or veggie chilli, grated cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and lettuce.

Ebay likes with: Tequila sunrise and margaritas, or a chilled Mexican beer
 
 
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Spicy wings will make your party fly
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2. Chicken wings and coleslaw

As a splendid little nibble from the Deep South, these are unbeatable. You can cheat by buying the wings ready-prepared in a cajun or buffalo marinade, but try making the low-fat coleslaw yourself. Shred half a cabbage, spring onions and carrots and combine with lime juice, sunflower kernels, coriander and mint. Serve in small cardboard cups for individual portions.

Ebay likes with: American style pale ale, an IPA, or a gutsy German Pilsner
 
 
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Add a twist to fries or wedges with toppings
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1. French fries with a twist

Okay, so it's not an obvious cocktail accompaniment, but with a few toppings they can be a party favourite.
You can make the fries or wedges yourself or cheat with oven chips, but spend time on the toppings and serve in attractive individual wraps. Topping suggestions: Gruyere cheese and spring onion; a dusting of chilli and cocoa powder; blue cheese sauce and shredded buffalo chicken; and guacamole and olives.
Add a range of mayos to seal the deal for those with simpler tastes.

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