Cocktail parties gained popularity in the early 1900’s and since then it has become a classy state of affair held for entertaining business associate and friends. Now days they are also organized for weddings, receptions, business meetings, fund raisings or just for spending quality time with friends.
If your one of those inspired by the cocktail party culture and would like to organize it, here are the 10 tips which would make you a perfect host for such parties.
1) Setting up a Theme:-
If you are organizing the party and would like to make it look different form the rest, you should set up an interesting theme. It could be inspired from Halloween, Hollywood/ Bollywood blockbusters or merely by a drink that you intend to include in your party. However if the cocktail party is held for business associates it’s safer to keep it formal. But do not forget to mention the theme in the invites or you would have people turning up improperly dressed.
2) Guest List:-
Now that you headstrong you want to host a cocktail party its one of the important things to do- setting your guest list right. If it’s arranged for business associates you can avoid calling your friends and if it’s for friends do be selective as to whom you would want in your party. Preparing this list makes you aware the number of people you going to be holding this party for, which would help you in deciding the venue, the quantity of food & liquor.
3) Choosing a right Venue:-
So your guest list is ready, the next step is to decide on your venue. Looking for the right venue is very important and this should be done atleast 2- 3 weeks in advance. The venue should be such that it is easy to commute for your guests. Holding it at a remote place would result in lack of attendance and you and would not want that. The hotel or bar space should be decided according to the number of guests invited. Too big a place and a few invites would make your party look a disaster and the same vice a versa. Also book your venue in advance so that you don’t have last minute changes in your venue, which could really make you look like an armature. Here is the list of cocktail party venues in Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Goa and Chennai to choose from.
(Here’s a tip if you on a constraint budget you could organize this at your place too.)
You could sure do this over the phone, but again that’s not formal is in it?
It would be great if you could make innovate invites and send them to your guest. Make sure they reach them a week in advance so they too can prepare for the party.
The invitation should include Date, Time, Venue, Purpose of the party (in case of eg:- fund raising parties), Theme of the party.
5) Strewing up the Menu:-
Now Menu is one thing which would be suicidal, if you go wrong with. It’s the heart of your party and the guests are looking up for some great cocktails and lip smacking food. If you have decided a theme party do coordinate your menu with it. Like for example if your theme is inspired by a cocktail drink do include it in your menu, a guests will be eager to try that first. Also compliment your cocktails with the right food. Now that cocktails are generally held in the evenings (5pm – 7-pm) your guests are not expecting dinner, but for sure would want appetizers going well with their drinks.
You should play safe by serving hot & cold dishes, which include vegetarian & non-vegetarian both.
About the drinks now, you could keep the classics like Mojitos, Martinis, Margarita, Pina Colada, Screwdrivers etc or go for some innovative ones.
6) Coordinating the affair:-
Doing the party at your home increases your responsibilities. You got to shop all the raw materials required for your menu. Divide this into perishables & non perishables. Shop for non perishables a few days before, like hard liquor, wine, fruit juices, soda, cocktail equipments, decor etc. As to perishables like fruits, vegetables, meat should be purchased a day in advance.
You could call a bartender to do the drinks or if you keen serve the guests yourself it would be a great chance to show off your bartending skills. Or you could just set up your bar in Self- Sever manner.
Here is a quick tip for do it yourself party holders: – Pick the cocktails with not more than 4 ingredients excluding garnishing. This would make it easier for you to serve your guests efficiently. Serve drinks that can be made in advance and be kept in pitchers on the bar. Do keep the garnishing plate & fruits cut into pieces along with the pitcher.
7) Getting the Cocktail Equipments:-
Now what sets cocktail a part form the other parties is the cocktail glasses. Here are a few things you require in your bar:-
- A three piece shaker
- Bar strainer
- Ice bucket
- Cocktail sticks
- Measuring cup
- Bar knife
Glasses like Martini glass, High Ball glass, Low ball glass, wine glass, cocktail glass.
8) Decor & Entertainment:-
Again if you have a theme based party, do decorate your party in accordance with it. As decor is one thing, that sets the mood of your guests as soon as they enter your party. Here are some things you could decorate with scented candles, lights, flowers this kind of backdrop relaxes your mind. While colorful chairs covers, table cloth, center pieces give a festive mood to the party.
Music must be soft as the crux of these parties is to socialize and have a conversation with each other.
Now as we all know that it is not safe to drink and drive. It may so happen that some of your guests would be in high spirits, and you sure don’t want them knocking off people on the streets. So do arrange a few cabs or drivers in case such situation arises.
These leave a great impression of you as a host on your guests by reminding what a great time they had at the party. You could give personalized glasses, elegant bottle opener key chains, wine stoppers, fortune cookies, mini candy packs.
Follow these and sure you shall be a super hit host amongst your friends & business associates.