How to throw a rocking Oktoberfest party
Dating back to the early 1800s, Oktoberfest signals the start of fall with its blissful mix of Bavarian meats, beer and dancing. Observed during the weeks of late September and early October, it’s a great excuse to gather friends together before winter weather drives everyone indoors. And contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a German aficionado to host a killer Oktoberfest gathering—just break out the schnitzel, spice up your mustard and follow these simple steps:
It all starts with sausage
When it comes to your Oktoberfest spread, it helps to educate yourself on all things ‘wurst’ (the German word for sausage). You can serve up the old standards like thick kielbasa, plump bratwurst links and frankfurters (the inspiration for the American hotdog) or step outside the box with Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, a marjoram-spiced pork sausage that is an ideal appetizer.
Add a salty twist
No spread of sausages is complete without a bevy of beautiful pretzels. The twisty treats are a key Oktoberfest staple, and easy to bake using pizza dough, a couple eggs and a sprinkling of salt. You can also opt for store-bought and fashion pretzel garlands by threading twine through each pretzel’s top loops and hanging for decoration.
Fill your stein with suds
Prost! Now it’s time to bring on the beer. With just about every micro-brewery offering their own take on an Oktoberfest beer, encourage guests to bring their own six pack. Then just set up plenty of open coolers with ice and encourage folks to swap and sample all the options.
Deck out your space
Add some authentic flair to your gathering by decorating around the three main colors of the German flag: black, red and gold. And if you don’t happen to have those colors on hand, then placemats, tablecloths and paper products are a great and simple way to create that Deutschland theme. Another option is to opt for the blue and white diamonds that make up the Bavarian flag.
Filling out the rest of the menu
While sausages are clearly the star of the show, any good Oktoberfest spread should feature some other great German offerings. Stock your table with sauerkraut, potato pancakes and cucumber-dill salad, and be sure to save space for a decadent slice of Black Forest cake.