During the more casual decades of the 1960s and 1970s, cocktail parties may have taken a break, but since then they have regained their popularity. Although wine and beer remain popular beverages, mixed drinks have surged in popularity.
From neighbors to business associates, cocktail parties are a convenient way for busy hosts to entertain their guests. A typical cocktail party lasts two hours. This type of party allows you to mix guests who might not feel comfortable sitting across from one another at a three-hour dinner party.
The best thing about hosting a cocktail party is that you can serve a wide variety of food. Since everyone will be eating only little bits of everything, if they don’t like something, there will be a lot of other options for them. It is likely that everyone will find something they enjoy.
Here are some great tips in hosting a cocktail party:
- Go for simplicity! It is not fun to make complicated, fiddly cocktails for a crowd, and it might turn into a disaster. Try simple recipes with minimal ingredients instead.
- Prepare as much of the work as you can in advance: squeeze and chop the fruit or decorations; polish the glasses; prepare the liquid ingredients and cocktail kit; and bring out the bottles.
- Consider that about three-quarters of those invited to a large event will attend. This will help you estimate how many drinks and bottles you’ll need.
- Make sure you have the essential bar tools for your cocktail menu and stock up on quality ice. Having an Ice Ball Maker will be a really big plus.
- Invest in the best spirit you can find. To achieve the best results, you need premium products. If the initial cost seems steep, keep in mind that spirits go a long way – sometimes a large splash is all you need.
- Prepare all the garnishes, but do not prepare them too far in advance so they stay fresh.
- Provide plenty of cocktail napkins, small plates, and glasses. It is possible to borrow or rent glasses for the event. There’s no need to worry about “correct” glassware; martinis can also be served in wine glasses or small tumblers.
- Fresh spirits, bitters, and liqueurs are best – not old bottles that have been sitting in a cupboard for years. Drinks like these lose their taste and aroma over time, so if in doubt, discard that dusty bottle and get a new one.
- Fresh, organic, top-quality fruit can be squeezed and/or turned into decorations. When using citrus zest, try to find unwaxed citrus (it’s often said in the shop or you can ask).
- Engaging everyone in a simple conversation-starting activity will keep everyone mingling. Although not every party needs one, it’s good to have one in mind just in case.
- If you don’t have the right glasses, don’t worry about it too much. While serious mixologists (cocktail makers to you and me) make a lot of exactly the right shape, there’s nothing wrong with using a large wine glass or glass tumbler. Choose a classic martini glass in a pyramid shape if you are going to buy one cocktail glass.
- When serving light food at a party, avoid serving rich, creamy cocktails. Cream-based cocktails clash with many savory snacks.
- As a host, you are responsible for those who drink at your party. You should be aware of guests who have drunk too much, cut them off when necessary, and arrange for designated drivers.
When hosting a party that includes alcohol, being prepared and responsible will ensure success. When it comes to these types of events, alcohol can be a festive addition, but ensuring employee safety is your number one priority.