Top tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

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Cocktail parties have been some of the most popular social gatherings for decades. A few decades back i.e. during the 1900s they were mainly fueled by the infamous Prohibition which later died off during the second part of the century. However, that didn’t kill cocktail parties that lasted well into this century. These parties today last around 3 hours during which guests will snack on small simple foods and great cocktails.

These parties happen to be an excellent way to entertain business associates and friends or even both. These parties are also great for both business and personal gatherings.
Cocktail Party

What party decisions need to be made?

Cocktail parties can be as complex or simple as you want them to be. However, there are a few things you need to ask yourself during the planning phase:

  • How many guests are you going to invite to the party?
  • Is the event casual or formal?
  • How much time and effort can you realistically put into the party?
  • Are you going to need a full bar or just a limited cocktail selection?
  • Will the party be conducted outdoors or indoors? If the party is outdoors how will you deal with bad weather?
  • What type of party catering will you opt for?
  • Are the guests required to bring along anything?
  • What is your budget?

The Catering

When it comes to party food you don’t need it to be a full course meal. You can ask the party caterers you choose to provide you with simple cocktail party dishes like hors d’oeuvres. This will give guests the chance to easily graze during the time they are there when they need to. Salmon Tarts as well as Mocha Shortbread are perfect for cocktail parties. If you’re on a tight budget even simple foods like crackers, cheese and cut fruit will work. If you don’t want to hire a caterer to handle this you can always buy your own crackers and cheese.

The drinks

A cocktail party without drinks is not a cocktail party! So when it comes to drinks you have two distinct options:

  • A full bar, if you opt for this option your guests can choose their favorite drinks. This is the best option especially because you have a well stocked bar of all the essential sprits which can be mixed up by an experienced bar tender.
  • The other option is to have a selected drink menu. This is a good option if you want people to really step out of their regular drinking routine. This also happens to be a much cheaper option because you’re not spending on a fully stocked bar. You can always hire a caterer with a liquor license to handle this for you.

Get help

You’d have to be superman or woman in order to handle everything that is going on during your cocktail party on your own and still be able to socialize. Since, we all don’t have super powers it is always a good idea to get some help from family members and friends who will handle the bar and food during the event. You can also alternatively hire a catering service to do everything for you.

Catering businesses also provide bartending services as part of the package which makes a lot more sense if you’re already hiring a service to take care of the food and decoration.

Some more stuff to keep in mind

As a host or hostess you are responsible for all the sprits being drunk during a cocktail party. So, you should be aware of guests who have had a lot more than they should to drink. They should be cut off when required and always paired with drivers on their way back home. In addition to alcohol your party should also contain a few non-alcoholic drinks or even mock tails for people who do not drink. Planning for everyone is important because that is the only way your party will be a success.

However, whenever you’re planning a party start with determining your budget, then find a caterer that will take care of everything and finally send invites out to everyone whom you want to see there. If you’d like to add a personalized touch to your party, consider getting customized coasters or napkins.

Author Bio:

Manu Alias is an experienced wedding and party planner and he works for Catering Sydney. He has a flair for arranging high successful personal and business parties.

This article is for educative purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.


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