Actress-turned-entrepreneur Jessica Alba has an impressive resume, starring in box office hits and scaling her non-toxic household goods company, The Honest Company, to a billion-dollar brand.
Alba proves, however, that stars are just like us. Each year, the mom of three looks forward to entertaining during the holidays for her closest family and friends. This year, many Americans are looking forward to spending the holiday season with friends and family after a tumultuous 2020, and there’s no better way to celebrate than creating a festive environment with stylized decor and fun entertaining tricks.
Alba has her holiday entertaining down to a formula, and it all starts with the bar. The self-proclaimed Cosmopolitan cocktail lover recently collaborated with Cointreau to create her very-own spin on the beverage with her Cointreau Catching Up Over Cosmos cocktail kit.
“My mom was actually a bartender when I was growing up and so she taught me how to make delicious cocktails,” Alba tells Forbes. “Since I was old enough to drink alcohol, I’ve always known how to make great cocktails. Cointreau is really a staple in anyone’s adult beverage bar, and it’s one of those bottles you need to have. There are so many cocktails that you can make with Cointreau, and it’s fun to do them with a twist.”
The kit, which serves six, comes with ingredients to make The Cosmopolitan cocktail, as well as Uptown Spice, a spicy twist on the classic cocktail. Each kit comes with Cointreau, vodka, The Cosmopolitan ingredients, Uptown Spice ingredients, mint and orange for garnishes, a jigger, two cocktail glasses and a recipe card.
“I’ve always loved Cosmopolitans,” she says. “They’re great for the holidays, and they feel really elevated, tart and classic. But I also love having my own twist on it. Thanksgiving is coming up, and my family’s tradition is always making a spicy turkey. A little spice with a Cosmo adds a cute twist and makes it a little more holiday specific.”
For those hosting this year, Alba recommends setting aside time for a cocktail hour prior to dinner or post-dinner alongside some hors d’oeuvres.
“Have a cute bar set up, whether it’s a small group of friends or a bigger group of friends and family, so that you can space the night out,” she says. “I like to have a dedicated area for the bar. I like to make my bar elevated and special with vintage glassware.”
In addition to vintage glassware, which makes for a unique, one-of-a-kind experience, she likes to put out herbs and garnishes for those who want to experiment with their cocktail.
“Kind of like a DIY cocktail bar,” she says. “Give guests the base and they can add their own twist. It’s not terribly expensive, and you can get cute glasses from a flea market or thrift store. I also like to coordinate what I’m wearing with the tablescape in the same color palette. It makes it look more elevated.”
When she’s hosting an evening, she creates a menu, which she then prints or emails out so that guests know what to expect throughout the course of the night. The menu might include timing and details for cocktail hour and hors d’oeuvres, the dinner menu and dessert.
Decorating is also important for her, and as a mom of kids aged 13, 10 and 3, her kids love to go all-out. To make her home feel seasonally appropriate, she swaps out throw blankets and pillows that represent fall colors, and then wintery hues for Christmas. She’ll put decor items on the credenzas and even get dried plants and wreaths to hang up as the season changes.
“I’m not going to lie, I have so much storage for holiday decor,” she says. “I have three kids, so it’s a whole thing. We have our Halloween decor, fall and Thanksgiving decor and our winter and Christmas decor. Every month it feels like there’s a different theme, but the kids love it and it makes everyone feel super festive.”
Luxury candles are a major key to Alba’s holiday vibe at home, but she recommends having one scent throughout the house
“Dim the lights, set the mood with candles and stick to a nice color palette,” she says. “You can’t go wrong.”