1940s Themed Dinner and Drinks Menu: A Nostalgic Feast


Welcome, distinguished guests, to our 1940s-themed dinner party! This evening, we’ll indulge in a delightful feast inspired by the elegance and charm of the 1940s. From classic appetizers to hearty main courses and nostalgic desserts, this menu is designed to transport you and your guests back in time to an era of refined dining and sophisticated flavours. So, don your best 1940s attire and prepare for a night of exquisite dining and vintage charm!

Embracing the Spirit of a 1940s Party

A 1940s-themed party is all about elegance, sophistication, and a touch of nostalgia. The food and drinks should reflect the classic flavours and refined presentations of the era, with each dish showcasing traditional recipes and vintage flair. This menu includes a variety of exquisite dishes that will make your guests feel like they’ve stepped into a glamorous evening from the past.

Appetizers: Classic Starters

  1. Shrimp Cocktail:
    • Ingredients: 1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined), 1 cup cocktail sauce, lemon wedges for garnish.
    • Instructions: Boil shrimp in salted water until pink and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and chill. Serve shrimp with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
  2. Cheese and Olive Canapés:
    • Ingredients: 1 baguette (sliced into rounds), 1 cup cream cheese, 1/2 cup green olives (sliced), 1/4 cup finely chopped chives, salt and pepper to taste.
    • Instructions: Spread cream cheese on each baguette slice. Top with sliced olives and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper.

Main Courses: Hearty Entrees

  1. Roast Beef with Gravy:
    • Ingredients: 4 lb beef roast, 2 tbsp olive oil, 4 cloves garlic (minced), salt and pepper to taste, 2 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine, 2 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp butter.
    • Instructions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub beef roast with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 2-3 hours until desired doneness. Remove roast and let rest. In the same pan, add beef broth and red wine, stirring to scrape up browned bits. Simmer until slightly reduced. In a small bowl, mix flour and butter to form a paste. Whisk into broth mixture to thicken. Serve gravy over sliced roast beef.
  2. Chicken à la King:
    • Ingredients: 4 boneless chicken breasts (cooked and cubed), 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup milk, 1 cup mushrooms (sliced), 1/2 cup peas, 1/2 cup pimentos (chopped), salt and pepper to taste, puff pastry shells or toast points.
    • Instructions: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk. Cook until thickened. Add mushrooms, peas, and pimentos, cooking until vegetables are tender. Stir in cooked chicken and season with salt and pepper. Serve over puff pastry shells or toast points.

Sides: Traditional Accompaniments

  1. Creamed Spinach:
    • Ingredients: 2 lbs fresh spinach, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste, pinch of nutmeg.
    • Instructions: Cook spinach in boiling water until wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and chop. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until bubbly. Gradually whisk in milk and cream. Cook until thickened. Stir in spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Buttered Carrots:
    • Ingredients: 1 lb carrots (peeled and sliced), 1/4 cup butter, 2 tbsp honey, salt and pepper to taste.
    • Instructions: Cook carrots in boiling water until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and return to the pan. Add butter, honey, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until carrots are glazed.

Desserts: Nostalgic Treats

  1. Apple Pie:
    • Ingredients: 6 cups sliced apples, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 pie crusts (store-bought or homemade).
    • Instructions: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a bowl, mix apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Roll out one pie crust and place it in a pie dish. Fill with apple mixture. Top with second pie crust, crimping edges to seal. Cut slits in the top crust for ventilation. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Cool before serving.
  2. Chocolate Mousse:
    • Ingredients: 8 oz dark chocolate (chopped), 2 tbsp butter, 4 eggs (separated), 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, whipped cream for garnish.
    • Instructions: Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a bowl, beat egg yolks with half of the sugar until thick. Add melted chocolate to the egg yolk mixture. In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually adding the remaining sugar. Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Spoon mousse into serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream before serving.

Drinks: Refreshing Beverages

  1. Classic Lemonade:
    • Ingredients: 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 5 cups water, lemon slices for garnish, ice cubes.
    • Instructions: In a pitcher, combine lemon juice and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add water and stir well. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.
  2. Manhattan (Alcoholic Option):
    • Ingredients: 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, ice, maraschino cherry for garnish.
    • Instructions: In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters with ice. Stir well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
  3. Sidecar (Alcoholic Option):
    • Ingredients: 2 oz brandy or cognac, 1 oz Cointreau or triple sec, 1 oz lemon juice, ice, lemon twist for garnish.
    • Instructions: In a shaker, combine brandy, Cointreau, and lemon juice with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.


A 1940s-themed dinner party is a fantastic way to bring elegance and nostalgia to your home. With this menu, you can create a delicious and luxurious experience that will delight your guests and make your party a memorable event. Enjoy the food, the drinks, and the vintage atmosphere!


Can I prepare these dishes in advance? Yes, many of these items can be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to focus on hosting during the party.

What non-alcoholic drinks can I serve? In addition to the Classic Lemonade, you can offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks like sparkling water with fruit slices, herbal iced tea, or a non-alcoholic punch to keep all guests refreshed and happy.

How can I cater to dietary restrictions with this menu? Offer a variety of dishes, including vegetarian options like Creamed Spinach and Buttered Carrots. Clearly label any potential allergens.

What's the best way to serve the food at a 1940s-themed party? Plated service works well for a more formal atmosphere, but buffet-style serving can also be elegant if presented beautifully and allows guests to sample a variety of foods.

How can I make the party more interactive with the food and drinks? To make the party more interactive, you can include a vintage costume contest or a swing dance lesson to keep everyone entertained.