How to Throw a Gilmore Girls Party That Would Make Lorelai Proud
We've been counting down the days until Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life makes its debut at midnight on Friday, November 25. In the same way Lorelai and Rory geek out about the first snow, we've been waiting to celebrate and reflect on our love for this iconic show. To into the Stars Hollow spirit, we've rounded up food that Luke and Sookie would whip up; music Lane would spin; decorations would scoff at (but secretly love); and games Emily Gilmore would probably think are tacky (AKA perfect). With these tricks up your bedazzled shirt sleeve, you can throw the party of Lorelai Gilmore's dreams.
Drinks: The Coffee Klatch
Let's not kid ourselves, coffee is the start of this menu. This is a Gilmore party, after all, where java has nearly as big a starring role as Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham themselves. Plus, you're facing six hours in front of the boob tube, and you're going to need some fuel. Since Luke's Diner is not just around the corner, we have a few suggestions on how to stay caffed up for your Stars Hollow Wallow. And while Lorelai may have been content with hers hot, black, and served in large quantities, there are plenty of other great ways to make your own.
Update black coffee with a cool, modern take: Make your own cold brew. Cold brew is brewed, well, cold (coarse grounds are stepped in water for at least 12 hours) which pulls out less astringency and bitterness from the beans. So, you'll get less of that heartburn-y after-effect that Lorelai somehow always avoided (but keep all of the caffeinated goodness). Mix it with sparkling water, a few drops of vanilla extract for a great coffee soda--or for a mocha soda, stir in a splash of chocolate extract. And, in case you're wondering, yes you can heat up cold brew and go old school cuppa joe.
Or, whip up some coffeeshop drinks at home.
The Main Event: Fast Food Heaven
What pairs well with coffee (or, um, everything)? Burgers. Specifically Luke's burgers--but a really good, classic diner-style burger will always be a hit.
Pizza and Taco Mashup
What else do the Gilmores love? If you shouted out "tacos!" or "pizza!" you're right! So why not combine the two greatest food groups and make a fun-to-construct, fun-to-eat wonder of junk food: Taco Pizza. (You're welcome). Even better without the two-hour wait when the town delivery truck breaks down and someone's cousin has to deliver it by Razr scooter...
Chinese Take Out
Another must in the Gilmore household: Chinese take-out, whether or not you believe Al's Pancake World has the chops to Chop Suey. Order in from your favorite spot in town, or try this super popular, super delicious recipe for Kung Pao Chicken--a guaranteed win if you want to kick butt at party throwing.
A Sweet Finish: Homemade Pop-Tarts
Since every day starts way earlier than it should, Pop-Tarts are the antidote to many an early morning. But why not make your own top tarts in a truly Sookie way? These are tops.
Special Guest Stars
Want more more iconic Gilmore-esque food and drink choices? Pretend you're Emily and throw a fancy tea, complete with sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Make an apple tart and wait for Lorelai to come running, or try stuffing squash blossoms if you can find any — after all, that's the food that made Sookie and Jackson fall in love. As long as you avoid mashed bananas on toast, we're all good. And of course, the booze-minded would be wise not to forget their fun flask--or try this recipe from the Gilmores-inspired cookbook for Founder's Day Punch
Living Room It Up
If you're partying in your living room--the room that was the site of many a good movie night in the ol' Stars Hollow--you'd be wise to decorate with monkey lamps, sparkly accessories, family pictures of Alexis Bledel as she grew up from middle-hair-parted youngin' to the glamazon she is today. A cozy couch that fits at least a few folks is vital, as are floor cushions for whichever bag boys might come over to join the fun.
Very Jane has a ton of décor ideas and printables from invitations to posters to cut-out photos of the character's heads for cupcake toppers.
Want to get a bit more ambitious and really set the scene? Deck out your dining room with a Luke's Diner vibe, including a "No cell phones allowed" poster — vital, considering you don't want anyone accessing spoilers online while you're enjoying the show. Since Luke hasn't changed a thing since his dad died, make sure to include some odes to the hardware store (think: a well-placed vintage saw on the wall). Vinyl chairs, laminated menus, and even a counter seat for the guest who wants to ogle some pastries on the bar might be just the thing to pull it off.
Get The Inn Crowd Look
If you have a big group and a unique collection of friends, a Dragonfly Inn theme may be just right, with a harp playing as guests enter, a snooty Frenchman directing traffic, and plenty of pots and pans banging in the kitchen. Watching outdoors? Make sure everyone has a magic tree to lean against, Yale-style, and you'll get an A for effort.
You can't watch the show the whole time. After all, you only get Six. More. Hours. Of. Gilmores! So you might as well take some breaks and pump up the stereo between episodes or on a break to chow down with these ready-to-party soundtrack suggestions.
Obviously, you can't start the party with anything but Carole King's "Where You Lead, I Will Follow" to set the scene. It's not often a theme song stands the test of time like hers. The Bangles should make an appearance, along with PJ Harvey, The Ramones, and anything Lane would hide under her floorboards are definite musts. And we're not the only ones who love Lane and everything she loves (besides Zach and Dave and probably Dean's friend Todd still, too). There are tons of playlists featuring songs in her musical tastes:
And blogger GilmoreGirlsFanatic catalogued and listed every artist and episode (and some of the song titles) of all the songs on the show.
Games and Swag Bags
Did we mention this is a six-hour bingefest? Even the most diehard fans might want to take a break. Here are three ideas to keep idle hands busy.
Razzle Bedazzle Them
Who could forget Lorelai's love of rhinestones? Set up a bedazzler (what, don't you still have yours?) or just pick up some rhinestones and a hot glue gun, ask guests to bring a plain shirt to decorate, and get 'dazzlin. And don't forget the puffy paint — it's the perfect way to declare your allegiance to Team Dean, Team Jess, Team Logan, Team Luke, or whatever romance you have always shipped.
What's a party without a little goody bag for your guests? Just a meeting, if you ask us. In the spirit of Al's, stock up on Chinese food take-out containers, then stuff them with makeup minis from Sephora, little treats that look like Sookie would've just thrown together, or a mix tape of your favorite Gilmore music.
The internet is littered with literally hundreds of Gilmore trivia questions, but one of the most fun ways to show off your knowledge is to write your own. A week before your party (or a day if you slept through your alarm and then got hit by a deer), invite your guests to send over a few of their favorite tidbits about the show. Then, compile them into one big game of trivia. Winner gets first dibs on party treats.
Really want to feel all the feels? Relive your favorite moments while watching the new ones fly by playing Gilmore Girls Bingo. Just try not to cry whenever Richard is mentioned.