Always wanted to throw a cocktail party but were afraid that you are not good enough? Anyone can host a cocktail party, and it is not a difficult task. The key to having a successful party is to keep things simple, the famous KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principal. That means planning ahead, purchasing ready-made goods rather than making it all yourself, and most importantly, making lists and getting organized so you can relax and enjoy the party and your guests. Here are six easy steps to ensure your party will be fun and exciting:
1. Guest List and Invitation
Some people like to have a theme for the party. It may make things easier in terms of the décor, food and games. But if you do not have a theme, that’s all right too. Start with a list of people you would like to invite to the party. Use social-planning networks like Evite or even Facebook to manage your invitations. Do this three weeks before the date of the party.
2. Decoration and Planning
If you need an excuse to clean your house, now is the time to do it, preferably a week or two before the party. Come up with a menu for what you would like to serve at your cocktail party. Go through your household inventory from paper goods, air freshener, candles to groceries, and make a shopping list. Spread out your tasks so you won’t be exhausted before your party begins.
If the party is timed around the holidays or for a celebration, I recommend serving festive drinks, like champagne and sparkling wines. Sangria, topped with seasonal fruit, is also good idea. If the party is happening around the summer time, cool refreshing drinks are a must! Beer, soda, ice tea, lemonade, margaritas or daiquiris are all excellent choices. Don’t forget an ice chest to keep all the drinks cold.
What is a cocktail party without hors d’ouvres? There are so many to choose from. With the KISS principal in mind, try serving hors d’ouvres that are easy to put together: mixed nuts with raisin and mini-pretzels, an assortment of cheese and crackers with some fruits like grapes, strawberries or pears, a tray of assorted vegetables with a dip, olives, hummus with flatbread, salsa or guacamole with corn chips. For a more filling snack, you can make or buy quiche, lasagna, pizza or meatballs.
To enhance the atmosphere and mood at your party, set out some fresh flowers, dim the lights, light some candles, and put on some good music before your guest arrives.
Make a countdown checklist of all the things you need to do. Enlist the help of your spouse or a friend, or if necessary, a professional bartender or caterer.
Let the party begin!