The Museum of Modern Art’s incredible new exhibit, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, is filled to the brim with entertaining and craft inspiration, as well as some of the most exuberant artwork ever made. Open through February 8 (RUN, don’t walk!), it’s the ultimate excuse for an artsy cocktail gathering in honor of the master’s works.
We turned to our friends at Botanica, a bar owned by Red Hook’s Cacao Prieto Distillery, to concoct a special cocktail for the occasion. The “Bleu Céleste” pays homage to Matisse’s color palette and is topped with cutout-inspired garnishes. The drinks look even more animated sitting atop DIY cocktail napkins that we created with easy-to-find materials.
The recipe is simple, so you can mix and chill a pitcher before your guests arrive. Arrange the napkins, glasses and garnishes in a Matisse-like composition on a prominent table in your home. Voilà, you’re throwing a fête to equal the best artist salons! –David Stark
Click through for the full how-to after the jump!
Matisse-inspired Cocktail Napkins
– White cotton duck
– Jacquard fabric paint (or your favorite brand)
– Paint brush
– Fabric scissors
– Sewing machine
– White thread
– Pencil and paper
– Glue stick
1. Paint an area of cotton duck large enough to cut out the classic Matisse coral shapes.
2. Either cut a piece of paper to use as your pattern or go freehand – like Matisse – and cut the fabric into a variety of shapes. Remember, his were very organic so there are no mistakes. Iron your shapes to set the paint.
3. Place on a piece of 6”x 6” white cotton duck with frayed edged. Secure down with a bit of glue stick. Use your sewing machine to zig-zag stitch the edges. Ta-da! You’re done.
Bleu Céleste Cocktail
-2 ½ ounces Blue Curaçao
-1 ounce white rum (We used Cacao Prieto’s)
-½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
-Large piece of orange rind, shaved thin for garnish
1. Mix Blue Curaçao, rum and lemon juice in a shaker. Pour over ice.
2. Use scissors to cut out fun, Matisse-inspired shapes from the orange rind. Cut a small indentation and prop on the rim of the glass.
The Sheaf, 1953. Collection University of California, Los Angeles. Hammer Museum. Photograph: Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image via the Moma Press Center
Panel with Mask, 1947. Designmuseum Danmark. Photograph: Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image via the Moma Press Center
Pale Blue Window, 1948-49. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Photograph: Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image via the Moma Press Center.