How to Throw a Cocktail Party

Hosting the Perfect Cocktail Party

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2021

Cocktail parties in the past have been expensive, black tie events reserved for the rich and famous. Couples would purchase an expensive gown and tuxedo and have a glamorous night with others in their social circle. During this era, cocktail parties were not for the working class.

The times they are a-changing! Cocktail parties aren’t just for the wealthy any more. They aren’t always black-tie events. Your average Joe, or Jane, can now host a beautifully organized cocktail party. Experience is not a requirement—as long as you do your homework and make it a night to remember.

Make Your Cocktail Party Memorable

The most important thing you need to know is that you can throw an awesome party that your friends will be talking about for months without breaking the bank. Yes, even a cocktail party!

Get things started by deciding whether or not you are going to have a theme. Need theme ideas? No problem! Here are a few quick and easy ideas for you to consider:

Battle of the Sexes: Set out tools and make-up and see which side knows the most about the opposite sex. Play games and pit the guys against the girls. Offer a great variety of gifts for the winners or gag gifts for the losers.

Summer in the Winter: Create a summer themed party in February. Wear sunglasses and flip-flops inside. Set up a cooler or wet bar with favorite drinks instead of the refrigerator. Offer summertime favorite foods if they’re available in your local grocery store.

Holiday Themes: Choose your favorite holiday and plan your cocktail party around it. An April Fool’s themed party may include pranks played on your guests. Specific holiday themed cocktail parties require little creativity and minimal planning.

Sports Themes: Sports themed cocktail parties are always a blast. When possible, host a sports themed party that coincides with a major sporting event. Your guests will enjoy the drinks, foods and all other aspects of the party for years to come.

Cocktail Party Games and Contests

Include contests like “who makes the best drink contest” for even more fun. Karaoke and console games are a great way to get to know everyone and have a good time.

Send invitations out that match your theme and have a small welcome gift for each guest. When having a contest, make sure to have fun prizes for the winners. Take lots of pictures and send them in the thank you cards to remind everyone of the great time they had.

Cocktail Party Planning on a Budget

Always take advantage of post holiday sales on glasses, napkins, decorations, tablecloths, even toothpicks. Purchasing things ahead of time will make future party planning a snap, because you will already have several supplies.

At most cocktail parties, seating is not generally needed. Most people stand, sampling drinks and appetizers, and mingling with others. So you do not need to worry about purchasing chairs. Simply line the walls with the chairs you already have, and keep the den open for use of the inviting and comfy couch. This will provide ample seating and will make your guests feel welcome to linger or have a seat.

Types of Drinks for Your Cocktail Party

When it comes to drinks, variety is the key! Use the blender and make mixed drinks with lots of ice, fruit, and a dollop of whipped cream on top. Strawberry daiquiris, fuzzy navels, and margaritas are great for a cocktail party. Decorate your drinks to create a conversation starter and invite guests to make their own.

Have a variety of wines available as well (because not everyone might want mixed drinks). To have the perfect cocktail party, choose other drinks to serve as well. Martini, Cosmopolitan, and White Russians are basic and delicious. Keeping the drinks to fewer than ten to choose from will make your party a success because it is focusing on more than the drinks.

The perfect martini is relatively easy to make. You will mix two ounces of gin with half an ounce of dry vermouth and half an ounce of sweet vermouth. Add the ingredients to ice then mix or shake well, and pour into a glass with olives, a pearl onion, or a lemon twist.

Making a Cosmopolitan, that infamous “pink drink,” is also easy. (This drink does require a shaker.) This recipe calls for one and a quarter ounces of vodka, one ounce of cranberry juice, half an ounce each of triple sec and fresh lime juice, and a quarter of an ounce of Chambord. Shake with ice and pour the pink deliciousness into a funky glass.

The White Russian is a sweet and milky addition to any party. It rounds out the celebration to include many varieties and styles. This ensures that there will be something for everyone, and will have all of your guests leaving satisfied and happy to return. Simply combine one ounce of coffee flavored liqueur, one ounce of vodka, and half of a cup of cream to ice in a shaker. Shake well, and pour into a long and tall glass.

Foods to Serve at a Cocktail Party

Prepare a wide variety of appetizers. Crackers and cheese, crackers and dip, fruit platters, and chicken pockets are always a hit. You also won’t want to forget chips, peanuts and other salty snacks that go well with drinks.

For Chicken Pockets in a snap, just follow these easy directions: Combine shredded cooked chicken with mayonnaise until you reach the desired consistency. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Stir in two teaspoons of dill and half a teaspoon each of fresh lemon and fresh lime juice. Open a can of croissant rolls, separating at the lines, and drop two tablespoons of the chicken mixture in the center of each triangle. Fold the rolls over the mixture, brush with melted butter and bake in a three hundred fifty degree oven until lightly browned.

Simplicity along with a welcoming nature will assure your guests that they are welcome to have fun and enjoy the party. They will want to come back after experiencing a relaxed, fun, and light cocktail party in your home.

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