A Cocktail Party to Remember

how to plan a cocktail party

There’s nothing like a cocktail party to get to know new people and reconnect with old friends and family members. But if you’re going to host one, you’re surely going to want to make it one to remember. That’s why we’ve created this article. It highlights the best tips and tricks to make your cocktail party an evening or afternoon that will be discussed long after it’s over. So keep reading to learn more about how to host a cocktail party.

How to Make Your Cocktail Party Stand Out

Make a Signature Cocktail

What better way to commemorate a cocktail party than with a signature cocktail? If you’re hosting a party to celebrate an important event or milestone, you could even build out a full cocktail menu with several special drinks or cookies named for the occasion.

This is a fun strategy that’s sure to make your cocktail party stand out from every other social gathering that your attendees have gone to.

Set the Mood

The average cocktail party lasts for 2-3 hours. If you want your guests to stick around that long, then you’re going to need to create a mood that’s enjoyable for them. There are a few ways to do this.

First, you can use decorations to set the space apart from the rest of your house. Things like banners, posters, and other decorations will help your guests step out of the concerns of daily life and into your fun cocktail party.

Music is a really effective tool for this as well. Music evokes emotions whether we want it to or not. You can use that to your benefit by creating a playlist that reflects the mood you want your cocktail party to have.

Consider Choosing a Theme

Hosts are divided about theme-setting for cocktail parties. Some dismiss themes as a gimmick that adds nothing to a party. But others prefer setting themes for their cocktail parties and appreciate how they help set the tone for the event.

You can choose to use a theme or not at your next cocktail party. But doing so is one way to make it stand out from all other events immediately your guests attend.

rita cocktail table by koket marble and brass

Offer Plenty of Drink Options (Non-Alcoholic Ones, Too!)

Of course, what’s a cocktail party without drinks? So you’ll want to ensure that you have a wide variety to choose from, including non-alcoholic options like lemonade, club soda, and maybe even non-alcoholic beer.

The more drink options you have, the likelier it’ll be that all of your guests can find something that satisfies them. And if your cocktail parties develop a reputation for always having the right drinks on hand, you won’t have any trouble getting people to come back again in the future.

Go with Garnishes

What sets a cocktail party apart from a standard gathering with adult beverages? The garnishes, of course. Picking the right garnishes for your cocktail party will help to both set the tone and make the event feel more festive.

There are lots of different garnishes that you can get for this, including novelty ice cube trays, fruit, and even veggies like celery if you’re making bloody marys. But perhaps the most effective garnish for a stand-out cocktail party is custom drink stirrers. These will remind your guests of your party’s mood, theme, or tone with every sip they take.

Put Out Some Nibbles

Drinks are a major detail when it comes to how to plan a great cocktail party, but you’re also going to want to put out some food to make sure your guests don’t get hungry. Things like nuts, cheeses, crackers, and spreads are perfect for a cocktail party.

If it makes sense to do so, you can even choose nibbles that reflect the theme of your party – such as the favorite snack of whomever you’re celebrating.

Whatever you choose to put out on your tables, make sure that you have enough variety to ensure everyone has something they can enjoy. Depending on the crowd, that may mean including vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free options as well.

Don’t Forget the Ice!

You don’t want to be remembered as someone who didn’t have enough ice at their cocktail party. So make sure you get more than you think you’ll need just in case you go through it faster than expected. This will ensure that the party doesn’t get thrown off course unnecessarily.

Invite the Right People

You can use the strategies we’ve covered above to host a cocktail party that stands out. But, ultimately, it comes down to the people that you invite. 

Anytime you can get friends and family into a room together where there’s nothing to do but enjoy each other’s company is a win. Make sure you set aside time to cherish that as you fulfill your hosting duties.

Feature Photo by Helena Yankovska

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