Let’s face it; setting up a cocktail party is not an easy task. It requires knowledge of various liquors, ingredients, and a myriad of associated elements. However, cocktail parties are fun, and a sophisticated way to entertain friends, colleagues and dear ones; a versatile tool which offers instant recognition within your social circle. Yet another advantage of cocktail parties is its long timeline. You, as the host can begin the razzmatazz as early as noon, evening or even late at night. Now, isn’t that wonderful? So, go head and throw a cocktail party but before that read the following 8 tips to pump up the spirits and the ambiance of the occasion.
1. Preparation – Once you decide to throw a cocktail party you need to decide on the names; people who will be invited. Keep this number at a healthy count. Around fifteen invitees would be your best bet. Next, send out invitations. This could be a fancy printed letter, email or even telephonic request. However, never ‘message’ an invitation. It lacks emotional touch. Even before you send out formal letters of requests, you need to think about the theme. The rest of the planning will be based on your chosen topic. Make sure you have stocked enough crushed ice, glasses, liquor, essential ingredients like sweetener, vermouth, slices of pineapple and lemon, a couple of decanters, paper umbrellas and throw away bags.
From the above list, glasses and shakers are the two most important items. If you want your guests to enjoy drinks over their entire stay you need to continuously fulfil their requests. This will ensure a satisfied guest. Scarcity of basic elements would simply mean you will be spending most of your time busing used glasses and shakers which in turn will result in a temporary pause. Once the rhythm is broken guests typically tend to call ‘quits’.
2. Limit the Number of Cocktail Options – Remember to limit the number of options to two or maximum three varieties. With each new drink you increase the number of essential ingredients. This would mean additional shaker. You don’t want to mix drinks in the same shaker? This will only fetch you a sympathetic glance during get-together and bad comments afterwards.
More options will also mean more work which in turn will slow down the supply which as mentioned above is not good. Cocktails are hard to prepare, and if you offer half a dozen options chances are you will mix wrong ingredients which will seriously hamper the ambiance and the mood of the party.
3. Unlimited Fun – As mentioned above offer a couple of cocktail options but make sure you provide a continuous flow; your guest should always find a flesh drink handy. No one should feel deprived. The idea is to create a feeling of non-stop entertainment. Music forms an essential element of such gatherings. However, make sure you allow your guests to chat without having to raise their voice.
4. Measures – Now cocktail is one drink which requires perfect measures of several essential ingredients. Clinical proportions need to be maintained or else you can ruin the drink. It is therefore advisable to have a couple of measures, maybe more to make sure all the drinks taste and smell the same.
A decent number of measures and shakers can really hasten the drink making process. Remember, cocktails are made from several ingredients and fixed portions, crushed ice and liquor which require vigorous mixing.
5. Assembly – You need not make the cocktail drinks after your guests arrive. Certain portions can be assembled or mixed beforehand and stored in the freezer or set over ice to maintain its taste and ambient temperature. Store this concoction in large glass jugs.
For example you can mix liquor with other ingredients leaving aside the fruit extracts or citric extracts for later. Once you guests start arriving pour the content from the jug into the shaker depending on the guest’s choice, add the rest of the elements, shake, decorate with additional elements and serve. Your efficiency will drastically improve if you adopt this method.
6. Pre-chill and Decorate Glasses – Yet another trick or tip which will help you earn numerous compliments after the party is pre-chilling the glasses. This is typically done to prevent the cocktail from turning sour. If your glasses are chilled your guests can enjoy their drinks for a longer time. You can go a step further and cover the stem of the glass with lemon and salt/sugar extract. Certain cocktails demand this procedure.
7. Make Arrangements for Teetotallers and Boozers Alike – Although you have sent invitation for a cocktail party you will face a situation where some guests might opt for regular drinks or even change their choice completely; not wanting to have booze at all. Make sure you make provision for them.
Teetotallers or guests who suddenly lose the urge to drink can be offered mock tails. It could be a regular cocktail minus the liquor component. You can also serve these guests chilled beer. This single tip will save you from innumerable blushes and earn laurels in terms of a host who is an intelligent planner.
8. Food – Serve appetizers such as cheese slicing, olives or “small bite” food items such as French fries, fish fingers, peanuts to make sure your guests have a mouthful which is not overwhelming but still turns out to be a great cocktail partner. These handy fillings do not require elaborate set up. Make sure you offer few items. However, they need to be served on continuous basis.
Titbits can be served in large bowls or in a more personalised manner, typically in a small, contoured glass container. You can also serve sausages as your next serving coupled with salad in various avatars which could be based on fruits or vegetables. Use your creativity to cut them in such a way that they complement the theme of the party.
Finally, make sure you offer equal attention to all your guests. This is very important, more than drinks and food.
Liked this article or found it helpful? Share it with your friends using the social share buttons below and or post a comment to let us know your feedback or any addition using the comment form below..