Reflect on your childhood for just a moment and you’ll likely recall the iconic pizza party. Whether it was your friend’s birthday party, your own graduation or even a simple sleepover, pizza was probably involved. On occasion, you may have handmade little personal pizzas. But, most of the time, you probably ordered delivery or threw a store-bought pizza in the oven. Which was, of course, the best way to party when you were a kid.
But now, pizza parties aren’t as common. Everyone heads to the bar for their birthday or takes a trip with their best friend to celebrate good news or job promotions. Somewhere along the way to adulthood, the classic pizza party lost its appeal. But just because pizza parties were a staple of your childhood doesn’t mean they aren’t still fun today.
So, send the invites, chop up some toppings and gather all the board games — and the booze! — because this adult pizza party is going to be one for the books.
If you’re going to throw a pizza party, you really should opt to make your own. The resulting flavors will be mouthwatering, plus everyone will have fun making a personal pizza with all their favorite toppings. If everyone is coming over in the early evening, you might even make your own dough. Choose a recipe that doesn’t require extra time to rise so people aren’t sitting around waiting on the dough.
However, if you’re hosting the party later in the evening, it’s totally acceptable to purchase pre-made dough or crust. However, you should still provide authentic ingredients for guests to choose from. And, of course, allow everyone the freedom to pick and choose what toppings they would like.
Speaking of quality toppings, be sure to buy a wide variety of them, especially if you’re hosting a large crowd. Basic ingredients like pepperoni, cheese, bacon and peppers are obviously a must. But you might also consider purchasing mushrooms, onions, pineapple, Italian sausage, ham, tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, anchovies and more. Be sure to pre-chop and prepare all ingredients before guests arrive so all your friends have to do is spread everything onto the dough. And don’t forget seasonings like dried basil and parmesan.
Additionally, try to choose a few different sauces to give your guests options. Sure, marinara sauce is an infallible classic. But alfredo sauce, pesto, barbecue sauce, and white garlic sauce can all be delicious substitutes. So grab a few alternatives during your trip to the grocery store. You might just discover you like barbecue pizza even more than classic Margherita.
One of the best parts of throwing an adult pizza party is — yep, you guessed it — the booze! You certainly didn’t have the option to drink beer with pizza when you were a kid. But, now, you probably can’t imagine indulging in an ooey-gooey slice without a beer in your hand. So, if you want to treat your tastebuds, tell everyone to BYOB.
It’s also not a bad idea to pick up a few six-packs for yourself and others as well. You are the host, after all. So pick out a few seasonal, local beer varieties that will complement the flavor of the pizzas. For instance, pale lager often pairs well with cheesy pizzas and parmesan crusts. Pilsner and Margherita pizza with fresh basil are a match made in heaven. And stout often goes with mushroom spinach pizza, adding a hearty finish to a rich veggie pie.
The best parties will remind you of your younger years. And that means playing some fun games, laughing, smiling and spending quality time together. But that doesn’t mean the evening’s entertainment has to include a game of tag, telephone or hide and seek. There are any number of fun board and card games for adults. Stick with classics like Monopoly, Scrabble or Jenga or make them drinking games for a wilder time. Ask your friends to bring their favorite games too.
If no one’s in the mood for card or board games, you may choose to play a fun game like charades or minute-to-win-it. While these may seem childish, they’re actually a lot of fun if your friends aren’t afraid to look or act a little silly. Plus, any game will likely be amusing after a few beers and slices of pizza.
No party is complete without sweets, right? Whether it be cupcakes, cookies or candy, dessert is a must. Serve up cannolis or gelato to match the Italian theme. Or contrast the heaviness of the pizza and beer with fruit dipped in chocolate. Alternatively, you could allow everyone to make their own dessert, just as they did their pizza, with a sundae bar. Be sure to include adult toppings like nuts, boozy gummy bears and dark chocolate shavings as well as dessert staples like sprinkles, chocolate sauce and whipped cream.
Finishing off the night with a sweet treat is a perfect way to conclude your adult pizza party. And, if some guests are too tired — or tipsy!— to drive home, feel free to declare an adult sleepover, complete with popcorn and a late-night chich flick or horror movie. Whoever says adult parties are boring will have never been to one of yours.