Now that the global health restrictions are slowly loosening up, it’s about time you reunite with friends and family. But a simple lunch or dinner might not cut it. If you want to throw a grand celebration of life and happiness, throw a cocktail party at home.
It’s not as challenging as it sounds. Think of it as hosting a formal affair without the extra fuss and frills. Since the gathering will be at home, it may also be less expensive compared to a grand event in a venue somewhere far away. All you need are a few pointers, which are listed below:
1. Stock Up On Drinks
A cocktail party isn’t complete without some drinks available. Look for well-known and well-loved drinks like the best gins in Australia, so you can assure guests they’re getting quality beverages. You can even create your signature cocktail party drink using gin and other liquors. Mix classic Martinis or French 75s with a twist to make them your own. Then give it a name while you’re at it, too.
As soon as guests arrive, greet them by offering your signature drink. Pour them in clean glasses in various shapes and styles to make things interesting. Offer non-alcoholic beverages, too, for those who prefer them. Make sure you’ve also got ice on hand because no one enjoys a lukewarm drink at a party.
2. Ready Your Bar Appetizers
Cocktail parties aren’t all about drinks. Guests will get hungry and may want to pair snacks with your signature concoctions. Set up an appetizer spread offering a variety of meats, cheese, and vegetarian options so you won’t leave out anyone. Try to provide different hot or cold dishes for guests to choose from.
Also, make sure your food is enough for everyone you’ve invited. It all depends on how long your party will last. You must estimate about six finger foods per head per hour. If you’re planning a two-hour event, 8-9 pieces of appetizers per person will do. For a 3-hour event, 10-12 pieces per person should be appropriate.
Some popular mess-free finger foods you could add to your party menu are:
- Mini meatballs
- Deviled eggs
- Shrimp cocktail
- Cream puffs
- Dumpling, pierogi, or empanadas
Another element to consider is the food’s location. As much as you might want to place everything in one area, you’ll risk people hovering over a single spot to get a bite to eat. Scatter the plates and bowls around your party venue, so guests can still snack on finger food wherever they are. Don’t forget to refill the appetizers once the containers are empty. Near the end of the party, serve your guests some freshly-cut fruits, chocolates, or small cakes to cap off the night.
3. Choose A Theme
Having a theme for your cocktail party will make it memorable and easier for guests to plan their outfits. Here are a few tried-and-tested yet still fun themes you can go for:
- Gold and black
- Around the world
- Summer holiday or winter wonderland
When you have a theme, it’ll also be easier for you to plan out drinks, food, and decorations for the party. Even if you do a simple color-themed event or something as grand as a murder mystery, you’re sure to make the atmosphere exciting for everyone invited.
4. Deck The Venue
Decorations turn plain venues into a whole different world. By decorating your home to match the theme of your party, even your regular visitors like family and friends will find themselves transported to another place.
Your décor isn’t only limited to wall effects or flower vases. Also, take note of the tables and seats your guests will use. Proper furniture placement will help everyone move and mingle during the party and avoid overcrowding, too.
Lights are also part of the decorations. Use indirect lighting that’s neither too bright nor too dim to enhance the ambiance you’re going for. You don’t want people stumbling in the dark or squinting their eyes at the harsh white light.
5. Crank Up The Music
Good music paired with good food and drinks makes any party worth staying in till midnight and beyond. That’s why having a theme is essential. You can curate your playlist to suit the concept of your cocktail party.
Retro cover songs work best for a 70s or 80s-themed event, while mellow songs or instrumental background music fits a speakeasy-type atmosphere. Make sure the music is soft enough to allow guests to converse and avoid shouting at each other.
If you know someone with a talent for music, you could hire them as your live DJ or singer. Many people enjoy a live performance, and your guests may even request songs for entertainers to perform.
Social gatherings don’t need to happen in an expensive venue out of town. Your home is the perfect place to hold a cocktail party for your friends and loved ones. With these tips and some experimentation, you can host an event people will enjoy. So, send out those invitations and foster good relationships with a cocktail party right at your own home.