My awesome husband, Ken, turned 40 on January 25th, and to celebrate the milestone, I wanted to plan an awesome party for him.
Three of his favorite things in the world are bourbon, beer, and barbecue. I knew I had to procure the barbecue for the party from Franklin, his favorite restaurant. A few other people think Franklin is pretty good too. If you’re ever in Austin and you’re a meat eater, it’s worth the wait, y’all. I went with the pulled pork so I could set up a sandwich bar, and guests could easily help themselves.
In the fall we went to Sonoma for a few days with some friends, and while there, we made a pilgrimage to Russian River Brewing to try the Pliny the Elder, which beer aficianados speak of in hushed tones. I’m not a fan of hoppy beer, so I didn’t care for the Pliny too much (sacrilege!), but I loved the brewery. It’s super cozy, and they serve great pizza and delicious wine from the region. And, when I was trying to decide what kind of cake to order for Ken, the Pliny bottle came right to mind-the design seemed so fitting for a 40th birthday cake.
I kept the party decorations quite simple. We set up a big folding table, and I covered it with a drop cloth that looked like flax-colored linen. Thanks Lowes! I decorated the table with mason jars and tea lights and the crowns I made following these directions. Thanks Designlovefest! I left a few black in honor of the day, and I sprayed the others with gold paint. They were quite a hit.
Incorporating the bourbon into the party was the most fun. I’ve wanted to host a bourbon tasting for some time, and this was the perfect excuse. I bought three bottles of Kentucky’s finest and wrapped them in paper and twine. On the table were directions for tasting bourbon (as opposed to drinking it ;-) and note cards for people to write their impressions. After folks were done tasting all three bourbons, they were instructed to open envelopes that matched each of the bottles to see what the experts say about each one. After they read the expert tasting notes, they were encouraged to use their tasting glass to make a cocktail. Lots of people participated throughout the night, and it was a great addition to the party.
Happy Birthday, Ken! I’m so glad you enjoyed your party!