Healthy Happy Hour - Part I

One of my best friends in Seattle loved her Friday afternoon happy hours. They were a chance for her to catch up with her friends, celebrate a week of hard work, and dress up a bit. Then life circumstances changed and she could no longer make it to happy hour.

Give me a problem and I’ll give you ten solutions. The solution for this situation? I developed At Home Happy Hours.

Me being me, I immediately signed up for a Groupon bartending class and had a blast learning to make martinis, margaritas, and mojitos, plus learned how to pour the perfect shot.

A week later I showed up at her door armed with drink making supplies (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), homemade snacks, and a big smile. We lit her glassy babies, turned on some tunes, and I became bartender for the night.

My friend was skeptical at first, but after one week she was sold. We realized At Home Happy Hours were even better.

The reasons?

One, the drinks were higher quality. They tasted better, were made of superior ingredients, and were free of weird syrups, artificial colors, and cheesy neon straws. Plus we knew exactly what was going into each of them.

Two, the snacks were WAY better. Tasty, homemade, organic, and that actually left us feeling better (not worse, the way many happy hour menus do).

Three, it was cheaper. Have you seen the markup on drinks? I’ve seen a bottle of $6 Mirassou wine selling for $30 at a restaurant! Highway robbery, I tell you.

Four, they didn’t ruin our health goals. We both led healthy lifestyles and I secretly detested happy hour drinks (I usually ordered something alcohol free) and food (too oily and salty). I went out for happy hour for the conversation and fun, not for the food and drink. In fact, the food and drink often left me tired, bloated, and regretful (Why did I eat all those fries? They didn’t even taste good!).

Our At Home Happy Hour was full of laughter, fun, and left me feeling better physically and mentally. Ever since the inaugural At Home Happy Hour, I have been a loyal devotee.

So if you like the idea of a healthy At Home Happy Hour, here are the steps to ensure success.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 1

Get the word out. For your first run at this, I suggest inviting a few close friends. People you love, that love you, that don’t stress you out. Because this is supposed to be fun, not worrisome.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 2

Secure a playlist. Not quite your thing? Outsource it to a guest with great musical taste. My husband is the guru in our household and I put him in charge of most things musical.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 3

Pick your drinks and snacks. I suggest picking a theme. You could go Italian with Aperol spritzes (can easily be made virgin) and bruschetta kabobs or flatbread. Mexican with fresh squeezed grapefruit margaritas and homemade chips and guacamole. Or even simpler, you can go for a red and white wine with cheese and baguette.

Healthy Happy Hour Step 4

Prep as much as you can the day before. Enough said.

Healthy Happy HourStep 5

Enjoy your drinks and snacks with those you love. And decide who’s hosting next time!

To help you get started on your first At Home Happy Hour, I’m sharing two of my most precious recipes: homemade tortilla chips and guacamole.

I am a guacamole aficionado — one could say I have a mini obsession. I’ve spent years trying, testing, and perfecting guacamole recipes. Some are too spicy, others too salty. This recipe, which is short on ingredients but big on flavor,  is just right. Perfect, really.

NOTE: Please, please, please don’t be intimidated by the idea of homemade chips. You will be SHOCKED at how easy they are to make. Instead of store-bought chips (full or strange ingredients and preservatives), you can quickly and simply whip up a homemade batch that will impress your friends (and your tastebuds).

The Perfect Health Happy Hour Recipes

Now It's Your Turn


So there you have it! Two recipes to help you host your first At Home Happy Hour. I would love to hear your At Home Happy Hour success stories. Snap a picture and use the hashtag #abww.

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