Cocktail-in-a-Flask & Slow-Cooked Ragu: Menu for a Midwinter Sledding Party

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Here are the reasons that you, a grown adult of sound mind and body, should go sledding: it’s good clean fun that doesn’t cost a dime, there’s no one to stop you from going on the steep path, and you get to bring a flask. Also, that dinner that you slow-cooked earlier in the day is going to taste amazing when you and your buds tromp in from the snow. Yup, sledding party: it needs to happen.

The Menu

Sledding noshes:
The Gold Rush in a flask
Homemade Cracker Jack

Pomegranate Olive Relish
Various cheeses
Rich and Meaty Lamb Ragu over pasta
Shaved Fennel, Roasted Tomato, and Pistachio Salad
• Baguette for the table
• A bottle or two of Trader Joe’s wine

After dinner:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peppermint Coffee Toddies

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

The Scene

You, your gang of best friends, and a snowy hillside near your house. Sledding and snacks come first, followed by a lazy dinner while coats and boots dry out next to the radiator.

Make It Happen

I am a fan of bringing a flask to a sledding party, but fast speeds and straight-up spirits is maybe not the best idea. Try taking the middle path with a pre-made cocktail in a flask. Still boozy and fun, but slightly tempered. Try the Gold Rush with maple syrup instead of honey for a wintry spin, and make a batch of cracker jacks to munch while you wait your turn with the sled.

Back at home, we want to keep up the momentum and get dinner on the table as soon as possible. Make the ragu ahead (even the day or two ahead) and put it on the stove to warm as soon as you get in the door. While that warms and you cook the pasta, everyone can dig into a simple cheese board and an easy relish. I love a simple fennel salad with this dinner, which can also be made ahead and refrigerated until you need it.

For dessert, let’s go old school with some chocolate chip cookies. Yum. A hot toddy also seems appropriate for the occasion, but I was torn between serving it first thing or with dessert. Maybe both?!

What else would you want for your sledding party?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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