If you’re looking to hold a large get-together without the stress of cooking a three-course meal, a cocktail party is an ideal solution. Ensuring your party is a success will require some planning. Here are a few tips help everything run smoothly — and to make sure you enjoy yourself as much as your guests.
Create a Menu of Cocktails
Rather than buying all the ingredients you could possibly need and attempting to prepare anything on request, create a menu of just a few cocktails that you’ve practiced preparing in advance. Classics like the martini, negroni, daiquiri, and mojito are all easy to whip up and are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Alternatively, you may prefer to create something more original. In this case, pick one or two cocktails to be your signature drinks. Even in this case, you should limit ingredients to no more than four (and ideally three) to reduce the time you’ll need to prepare each drink.
When creating your shopping list, estimate one cocktail per person per hour. Make sure you also have other options available, such as beer, wine, and nonalcoholic drinks.
Don’t Neglect the Nibbles
Food is just as important as drinks at a cocktail party. Choose five or six hors d’oeuvres that complement your cocktails. There is no need for food to be overly complicated — in fact, you may be able to simply miniaturize your favorite recipes. Remember to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies by including vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free options.
Decide On a Spot for the Bar
The bar should be at a distance from the seating areas and tables of food. Make sure there’s enough space to prepare drinks and for guests to gather around with their orders.
Vary the Music
Keep music playing throughout the party to add to the atmosphere. If you’re unsure everyone will appreciate your personal tastes, ask guests to bring playlists on their phones.
Assign Friends to Different Tasks
There’s no need for you to handle everything at your party. Ask friends if they’d like to volunteer to prepare cocktails, collect glasses, or help with the cleanup.
Know How to End Your Party
If there are still some guests remaining after your party has come to an end, use these tips to hint it’s time to leave without offending anyone: First, turn off the music. Next, start packing up the bar. Finally, switch off lights in unoccupied areas.
Start planning your cocktail party well in advance, at minimum drawing up a menu of food and drinks. This will enable you to add all the necessary ingredients to your