Planning a Cocktail Party at Home
Cocktail parties are really fun get togethers to host. Not only are they easy to plan, but they can also be as casual or as glamorous as you want. The key to throwing a great cocktail party is for you, as the host, to have just as much fun as the guests, but the only way you can make this happen is by planning your event well and executing it perfectly. The following are a few tips to help you do just that.
Choose a Theme
To start the party planning process, it helps to choose a theme. This doesn’t have to be over-the-top, but just a small theme such as a flavour or a colour that will be present throughout the entire evening. A creative theme will make your party unique, plus it will help you come up with ideas for the food, drinks and decorations.
Plan the Menu
The traditional fare that people expect at a cocktail party is hors d’oeuvres, which are small, savoury finger foods that can be eaten in one or two bites. These can either act as appetisers for your meal, or can take over a meal if you serve enough. The important things to remember regarding your hors d’oeuvres are: making enough for all your guests, making a large variety, and including some vegetarian options.
Plan the Cocktails
Obviously, cocktails are a must at a cocktail party. While the final preparations for the food can wait until later, the cocktails have to be ready for when the guests arrive. Come up with a few fancy cocktail ideas to serve at your bar, making sure you stay true to your theme. As always, you should include a good variety of cocktails, wine, beer and other alcohol to suit different tastes. Remember to have interesting water and non-alcoholic options as well.
Set the Scene
Having a cocktail party in your home will require you to spend a bit of time on the prep work. Start with a thorough clean, and set up the decorations, the furniture and the bar the day before so you can make last-minute changes. Arrange your furniture so that guests can mingle easily and place a few drop tables around so that people have somewhere to set their drinks. Here are some other things to consider:
1. Lighting helps to establish the mood of the party. Avoid any unflattering overhead lights and use mood-enhancing candlelight or lamps instead.
3. Music helps your guests relax and gets them in the right party mood. Choose a play list that complements your theme, or that creates the atmosphere you want. Also make a back-up play list to avoid any awkward silences and music changes.
4. Cocktail napkins are an important staple for any successful cocktail party. You will need to have about six for each guest, and linen is best to use as it’s more elegant than paper. Spruce up your napkins by decorating them with stamps or paint that matches the party’s theme.