Party Like It’s 1972!

Party Like It’s 1972!

Throw a retro-style cocktail party with popular fare from 50 years ago.

Fifty years ago, 1972, was an exciting year for boating! According to the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, nearly six million boats were registered in the United States, more than half in the South and mid-Atlantic regions. In-water sail and power boat shows were introduced, and Southern Boating magazine was launched that September. Celebrate Southern Boating’s 50th anniversary with a retro-style cocktail party for four with recipes popular in 1972.

Tequila Sunrise

8 oz. tequila

24 oz. orange juice 

4 oz. grenadine syrup 

4 orange slices

4 maraschino cherries

Mix tequila with orange juice. Pour 1 cup of tequila/orange mixture into each of four highball glasses filled with ice. To achieve the sunrise effect, slowly pour 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) of grenadine into each glass over the back of a spoon, allowing it to settle at the bottom. Garnish with an orange slice and maraschino cherry.

Pecan Cheese Ball

12 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded 

8 oz. cream cheese

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. onion, minced

½ tsp. each mustard and Worcestershire sauce

1 cup pecans, chopped

Soften cheeses and add remaining ingredients except pecans. Mix well, shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill. To serve, roll the ball in chopped pecans.

Bacon-wrapped Dates

12 whole pitted dates

6 slices raw bacon

12 whole almonds

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Stuff each date with one almond. Wrap each date in a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake on a sheet pan for 15-18 minutes.

Cher’s (of Sonny and Cher) Hawaiian Meatballs 


2 ½ tsp. cornstarch

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar


21 oz. can crushed pineapple (strained and juice set aside)

24 frozen cocktail meatballs

½ cup each diced onion and diced bell pepper

In a saucepan, whisk together first four sauce ingredients. Add strained pineapple juice to sauce. Add meatballs and cook over medium heat until meatballs defrost and sauce is thickened. Add crushed pineapple, peppers, and onions until heated through. Tastes better if made the night before.

Asian Orange Salad


¼ cup oil

¼ tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. each sugar, red wine vinegar, chopped parsley


¼ cup almonds, sliced

1½ Tbsp. sugar

15 oz. can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained 

4-5 cups lettuce or spinach, chopped

½ cup celery, sliced

¼ cup green onion, sliced 

Combine dressing ingredients. Sauté almonds and sugar together until browned. Toss dressing with salad. Top with candied almonds.

Chocolate Fondue

2 cups heavy cream

Pinch of salt

24 oz. semisweet chocolate chips 

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Dippers: fruit, cookies, marshmallows 

Heat the cream with salt over medium heat in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles appear on the edge. Turn off the heat, add chocolate chips and vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Transfer fondue to a warmed bowl. Arrange the dippers on a platter and use toothpicks or forks to dip treats into fondue. 

-by Lori Ross

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