Skip the bar scene and invite friends over for a cocktail party. Yes, they are very much still a thing. No, they aren’t your parents’ parties anymore. Unless you have really cool parents who host really fun parties. Here are a few tips for hosting a cocktail party of your own.
Provide as much detail as possible in the invitation. This will take all the guessing out for your guests. Include suggested attire, parking information, anything they can bring, and specific directions to your place.
Create a signature cocktail(s). Depending on your level of expertise or excitement, have one or two signature cocktails for your guests. They can be made in a batch or have a bartender ready to mix it up one by one for guests. Your cocktail should reflect the season of year.
Set up the bar! This includes all mixers, bottles of alcohol, chopped fruits, ice, cups, etc. Keep extras of everything nearby and easy to access. Guests will want to have fun with cocktails, too. Make it easy for them to mix a cocktail without making a mess.
Set an engaging environment. Move furniture around to encourage conversations. If you are planning on playing games, make sure everything you need is already in place. Close doors to any areas you want to keep guests out to encourage them to stay in one general area.
Prepare for clean up. Double line your trash cans to catch any liquid spill over. Clearly mark recyclables. Empty the dishwasher so you have a place for used glasses and plates.
Remember, the cocktails are the star of the party so keep food simple. Finger foods are per-fectly acceptable to serve throughout the evening. Just don’t forget vegetarian an vegan friends. Serve plenty of food because no one should enjoy cocktails on an empty stomach.
Play music! Almost everyone carries their music with them on their phones. If you love your friends, you may also love their music. Have speakers in which guests can easily plug in their phones to play music. Let them take turns. This will also keep them off their phones and en-gaged with other guests.
Keep the designated bar area stocked. As you, your bartender, or guests are making cock-tails, make sure you are stocked on all necessary items.
Arrange options for safe drive home. Either through a designated driver or through ride share, encourage guests to make the safe choice in getting home safely. Send them home with a parting gift. A card recipe with the signature cocktail is a nice touch. They can recreate the cocktail on their own at home.
Have a clean up plan. You may have those guests who insist on helping clean up. Make it easy for them to help.