Race cars, corn and basketball. There is one more thing that Indiana should be known for … parties! There’s nothing quite like Midwest hospitality. The next time you are contemplating food and drink for your get-together, why not give these Indiana-made refreshments a whirl?

Build-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary-Station: Who says that Bloody Mary’s are only for brunches and early morning tailgates? I don’t think I am alone when I say that I could drink these flavorsome little drinks at any hour of the day. Why not give your party an unexpected twist by setting up a Build-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary station? To make sure that the station is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, use crystal dishes and decanters for all of the key ingredients. Be sure to include:
•    Indiana Vodka – A reflection of Indiana’s nearly 200-year-old distilling heritage, Indiana Vodka is created using only the finest Midwestern grain.  Made in Indianapolis, this vodka is distilled six times for maximum flavor and smoothness.
•    Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary Mix – Made is Brownsburg, Ind., this tasty mix is an all-natural, vegan and gluten-free. Hoosier Momma’s features the right amount of spice and has up to 75% less sodium than the leading brands. Perfect! Unless you want to end up like Bloated Betty, Puffy Patty or Water-retaining Wanda.
•    Sechler’s Pickles – This legendary pickle company has called St. Joe, Ind., its home for the last 90 years. Their Kosher Dill Spears are a perfect garnish for your guest’s drink.
•    Other spices or flavorings – Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, celery, olives (try stuffing them with bleu cheese), salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and celery salt.
Hoosier Hors d’oeuvres: Cheese and crackers don’t have to be the lackluster snack food that every hostess turns to when she has limited time or money.  Here’s an Indiana-based cheese and cracker to die for!

•    Traders Point Creamery – I love the organic, artisan cheeses from this Zionsville-based creamery. I recommend the Fleur de la Terre, a mild and buttery cheese with a pleasingly tangy after-bite. It pairs well with green apples, raspberries, walnuts and grape tomatoes.
•    Grace Island Baked Cheese Crisps – I can’t believe that I have found gourmet crackers that rival my love for cheese (it’s probably because asiago, parmesan, romano or baby swiss cheeses are baked into each crisp). They are great when paired with cheese or spreads and hold their own when eaten without a topper.

And for the Hoosier hostess looking to create a little more involved appetizer, check out Indiana Cooks!: Great Restaurant Recipes for the Home Kitchen. This tantalizing cookbook embraces the philosophies of some of Indiana’s top chefs and focuses on the principles of eating seasonally, regionally, and convivially.

 

Hoosier Hostess Gift: Hate showing up to a friend’s party empty handed? Take a look at the website, A Taste of Indiana. This company does the work for you by assembling beautiful gift baskets using all Indiana-made and Indiana-related products.

Indiana folks sure no how to throw a good party! To learn more about other Indiana-made food and drink, please visit Indiana Artisan.