Throw an Election Night Party!

A new president is a cause for celebration -- why not throw a party? We’ve rounded up some creative ideas to help you throw an easy yet fun event while you watch the map turn red and blue.
by Caitlin Losey
  1. Save Cash on Decor

    The economy is a hot button issue this election, so build on that theme and throw a budget-friendly fete. Make it eco-friendly by recycling! Rescue your 4th of July and Memorial Day gear (like the summer stripes plate set at left) from the attic and break out the flags and red, white, and blue party gear.

    Image courtesy of

  2. Make a Game of It

    Make an event out of every state’s decision. After each state’s results are in, take a color-coded Jell-O shot for the winning party! Use Berry Blue and any of the red-colored Jell-O flavors (strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc.) and mix in Senator’s Club Vodka in honor of McCain and Obama (a very affordable spirit). It's a tasty and recession-friendly treat!

    All those shots will add up -- 50 in the end! -- so make them mini shots or simply dilute the alcohol content of each one.

  3. Election Eats: The Blue Menu

    If you’re looking for a meal that represents Obama’s city, go for some Chicago deep-dish pizza. It takes a long time to tally those votes, so round up your friends and make pizza the main event. If you’re short on time, just order in!

    Want to eat like Obama? Check out the Obama Family Chili Recipe (the dish he’s said to have cooked and loved since college).

  4. Delaware Crab Cakes

    Try this tasty crab cake recipe in honor Joe Biden's Delaware roots.

    What You Need
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons minced onion
    3 tablespoons minced carrot
    3 tablespoons minced celery
    6 tablespoons minced yellow, red, and green bell peppers
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1 pound Dungeness crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
    1 large egg yolk
    1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                                                        1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                        3 large whole eggs
                                                                                        1 cup milk
                                                                                        4 cups panko bread crumbs

    How To Make It
    In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil; cook until the cream is reduced slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Add the crabmeat, egg yolk, salt, and pepper and stir gently to combine. Form the mixture into 24 balls. Put the flour in a wide, shallow dish. In a second dish, whisk together the whole eggs and milk. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish.

    One at a time, dredge the balls in the flour, then dip them in the egg mixture, then put them in the bread crumbs; gently press the bread crumbs onto each ball and flatten it into a 1/2-inch-thick round patty.

    When ready to serve, heat the clarified butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Fry the crab cakes in the butter until golden brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

    Photo by Kate Baldwin, Recipe Courtesy of The Sunday Night Football Cookbook

  5. "Obamatini"

    What You Need
    4 parts Vodka
    1 part Sweet Vermouth
    1 part blue Curacao

    Tip: Make it extra patriotic by adding a blue sugared rim.

    Make Your Own Coasters
    If you're feeling crafty, check out these DIY Obama coasters -- all you have to do is print!

    Photo by Rebecca Ellis (

  6. Election Eats: The Red Menu

    McCain hails from Arizona, famous for their flavorful Southwestern cuisine. To get a taste of McCain’s home state, try a Southwestern Chicken Pileup -- it’s easy to make and a party-pleaser.

    McCain says barbecuing for guests is one of the few ways he relaxes when taking a break from the campaign trail. Steal a note from his playbook and throw a few racks of ribs on the barbecue. Get the recipe.

  7. Alaskan Salmon Slow-Cooked with Herbs

    If you're opting for a sit-dwn dinner, treat your guests to some cuisine from Sarah Palin's territory.

    What You Need
    2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into thin slices
    1 medium onion, halved and cut into thin slices
    2 celery ribs, cut into thin slices
    2 lb. farm-raised salmon filet (wild salmon dries out in a slow cooker)
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
                                                                                        1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
                                                                                        1/2 cup dry white wine
                                                                                        1 cup hot water
                                                                                        2 Tbl. fresh chopped herbs
                                                                                        2 Tbl. butter

    How To Make It

    Drizzle bottom of a slow cooker with 1 Tbl. olive oil. Layer potatoes, onion and celery over the bottom. Place heavy-duty aluminum foil lengthwise across cooker and press down so it covers vegetables and sides of the pot, and so the ends of the foil extend over the rim at each end of the pot.

    Season flesh side of salmon with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Heat remaining 1 Tbl. olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown flesh side of salmon in oil, about 2 minutes. Place salmon, skin side down, on top of foil.

    Add wine to pan and heat to boiling. Stir in water and pour over salmon. Cover cooker and cook on low 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until salmon flakes when gently pressed.

    Lift salmon with foil and transfer to a platter. Arrange vegetables around fish. Pour liquid from slow cooker into a skillet, add herbs and boil 1-2 minutes; remove from heat and swirl in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste; pour sauce over fish and vegetables.

    Recipe and Photo Courtesy of Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss

  8. "McCainopolitan"

    What You Need
    4 parts Vodka
    2 parts Cointreau or Triple Sec
    2 parts Cranberry Juice
    1 part Lime Juice

    Tip: Make it extra patriotic by adding a red sugared rim!

    Image Courtesy of Pinky Vodka

  9. Sweets for Both Sides of the Aisle

    If you have the time, make up a batch of election-themed sugar cookies. They’re sure to sweeten the night and will add a festive look to the table.

    Photo Courtesy of

  10. Be Ready With Some Bubbly

    Much like the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve, this party’s last call comes in the form of a winner. Celebrate in style and have some chilled bubbly (or sparkling grape juice) on hand to toast the next President of the United States. If your guy wins, pop the cork and celebrate in style. If you’re on the losing side, make good use of the leftover Senator’s Club Vodka to drown your sorrows…

    Need help choosing the best champagne? Get a champagne buying guide on!

    Photo by Antonis Achilleos

Up Next
Bride and groom during vow exchange ceremony
Writing Your Own Ceremony Vows? Read These Tips First
Writing your own vows might seem daunting, but it'll be worth it when you're up at that altar. Here are some tips and tricks to get you through it.
by Simone Hill6 min read