By: Kat Bein By: Kat Bein | December 14, 2021 | People Lifestyle
International travel still looks a bit murky in 2022, but Netflix hit Emily in Paris is about to kick off its second season, and Ashley Park has the cocktail care package to turn your watch party into a proper Parisian soiree.
Park plays Mindy Chen on the show, Emily’s witty best friend and fellow ex-pat who originally hails from Shanghai. Her character has been living in the fashion capital for a few years, and she helps guide Emily through cultural hiccups while navigating her own dreams of singer stardom.
In real life, Park teamed with Ketel One Botanical to curate the perfect party recipe, from drinks and glassware to centerpieces, mood-setters and memory makers—and of course, we’re sharing that recipe with you.
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“What I really learned how to do [in Paris] is host a soiree really well,” Park says. “That was my favorite thing, whether it be four friends or 20, going out and buying all the different charcuterie, meats, cheeses, fruits and nuts; all these different snacks, baguettes and everything … In Pari, nobody comes to a party as a guest without bringing a bottle of wine or something. It's very much that kind of atmosphere. So you actually end up with more alcohol at the end of the night than you started with.”
When it comes to hosting the perfect kiki, Park says it all starts with the guest list.
“My rule is thinking of everybody having a private conversation with everybody else,” she says. “If you can imagine that happening, it's sure to be a good party. [You just need] a common point with everybody. Then also good music, and good cocktails.”
With Ketel One, Park is all about the botanical. Matched with soda water to create a season spritz, they bring bursts of floral flavors that create the center-point of her party package.
“The varietal flavors are very joyful, kind of like the show. No one's ever mad at cucumber melon or peach orange blossom,” Park says. “I feel like parties that are all wine, everybody gets sleepy or groggy at a certain point … [With] the botanical spritz, you make these cocktails with sparkling water or soda water, and everyone kind of stays hydrated.”
Come season two, Mindy and Emily are proper roommates. Park isn’t giving away any spoilers, but she says there’s a high chance of more singing for Mindy—and potentially a love interest. Of course, filming during COVID-19 lockdown changed everything about life on set, but Parks says it still felt like a celebration being with her cast mates.
“It felt like sophomore year in the best way,” she says. “We knew our characters, we knew each other … It was just nice to be with each other and see each other.”
Celebrate alongside the cast with your own Emily in Paris watch party, or impress your guests any time of year with Park’s guide to the perfect botanical bash.
“Ketel One Botanical has genuinely become my spirit of choice right now for many reasons,” Park says. “It’s made with real ingredients like 100 percent non-GMO grain, real botanicals and natural fruit essences (you can taste it truly). Also it’s low in calories (only 73 calories per serving), which is always a plus when you don’t plan on nursing a single drink all night!
“If you’re looking for something a bit less indulgent,” she continues, “grab your favorite varietal of Ketel One Botanical, pour into a wine glass with ice, and top with soda water and any fresh garnish (lately, I’ve been experimenting with some teas too!). It’s a delicious sensory experience from the very first sip, and it’s a simple yet elevated option that eliminates any of the guesswork around quality.”
“Let’s be real, we all have to be more careful with spreading germs, and I’m always the person losing my glass at a gathering,” Park says. “I love these delicate and chic little beaded wine charms that New York-based designer Susan Alexandra created in a limited collaboration with Ketel One Botanical. Always excited to support a female-owned local business! It adds a bit of sparkle to your spritz, and allows your guests to keep track of their drinks.”
“We love a wintery color palette!” Park says. “This amber smoke hue paired with glassware was an immediate and unexpected must-have for me! It brings such a cozy and festive tone, but upgrades the classiness and vibe of any gathering. This shape of Estelle wine glasses is personally my favorite, the perfect kind to sip a cocktail or glass of wine from during Friendsgiving or any dinner. They come in all sorts of shades that enable you to creatively tie any design aesthetic or tablescape palette together.”
“I've literally always wanted one of these but never knew they were called ‘Cloches’ ‘til now,” Park says. “These elegant, hand-blown glass cloches come filled with four-inch matches and strike-on-bottle flints, so you always have a light ready to set the mood. Paired with a gorgeous slow-burning candle, it also makes a charming host gift that's both functional and a beautiful decor accent. Again, the color palette is chef's kiss.”
“Instead of a diffuser, add a scintillating—wait, do we love or hate that word—I repeat, a scintillating scent to your space with something a bit more unique like this simmering autumn citrus potpourri,” Park says. “Who needs 'pumpkin spice latte' scents when you can have the balancing and delightful little bundle of dehydrated citrus slices, freshly dried apples sprinkled with cinnamon, cloves, one bay leaf and one cinnamon stick. Simply drop this potpourri into simmering water and instantly make your whole house smell like the holidays.”
“Capturing memories has always been special to me, especially on occasions or simple nights with a group of friends,” Park says. “I love capturing little moments on my Kodak disposables, and I've been cherishing Polaroids for years because each photo is truly one-of-a-kind. Having a camera like the Fujifilm Instax on hand always ends with a mini scrapbook at the end of the night. This newer, slimmer mini version in a pretty sage green even has a selfie mode with a built-in mirror for getting the perfect shots with your pals. It prints your photos instantly, and what I love most is it encourages everyone to put down their phones and have some fun.”
Emily in Paris Season Two streams on Netflix Wednesday, Dec. 22. Learn more about throwing your own Park-approved party via Ketel One.
Photography by: Courtesy of Ketel One Botanical; Johnny Fogg