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Elegant Cocktail parties

Elegant_Cocktail_PartiesHosting an elegant cocktail party is not as simple as it appears; those people that make it look easy have learned some techniques and strategies to make the evening perfect. Thankfully these strategies are not hard to learn and with a bit of planning and coordination of the various aspects of cocktail party planning you can achieve the same results.


One of the first considerations is how to invite your guests. For a formal cocktail party you may want to send out written invitations, for a more casual get together an email or a phone call may be all that is needed. Be sure to let people know that it is a cocktail party, so they don't expect a full meal. Usually cocktail parties occur between six to eight o' clock in the evening, and are usually more of a drop in style. Be sure that the invitations clearly state the location of the party, especially if it is not being held at your house.

Staff or Do It Yourself

For a small number of people you may wish to prepare the appetizers and drinks yourself, or enlist a few friends to help out. If you are planning on having more than 15-20 people you may want to consider either having the appetizers catered or hiring a bartender to help prepare drinks. A large number of people and just one person to act as both bartender and food manager can be very stressful.

In addition for larger groups you may want to have staff that circulate through the guests with trays of appetizers rather than having a table set up buffet style. More formal cocktail parties often use serving staff while casual parties are great for the buffet style. Staff does add expense to the cocktail party but it can be well worth the price as you can relax and enjoy the party yourself, without having to worry about clean up or serving.

In addition be sure to have enough space for guests to move and mingle. In the summer months a patio or backyard cocktail party is a terrific option. Hosting a cocktail party in your home may require a bit of redecorating. Consider removing all unnecessary pieces of furniture to give more space for guests to move around. Usually cocktail parties are more of a stand up type party so seats only need to be provided for a few of the guests as most will choose to stand.

Small patio style tables and chairs are great for both indoor and outdoor events. They can be easily decorated with tablecloths, small floral arrangements or theme centerpieces. Scented candles or simple pillar candles set in decorative candleholders provide soft lighting at the edges of the party. For outdoor events consider citronella candles or torches to help keep away pesky mosquitoes and insects and provide a great atmosphere.

Drinks and Appetizers

To prepare for the cocktail party plan for two to three drinks per guest. This is usually more than is required but it is embarrassing if you don't plan for enough. The easiest types of drinks to serve are wines and beers. Be sure to have a good selection of both. Most wine drinkers prefer either red or white, stick to a good quality of wine that is about mid-range for price. Avoid buying the very inexpensive wines, as they usually do not have the same appeal to guests as the more popular brands. Be sure to purchase both light and regular varieties of beers and even some non-alcoholic beers. The beer can be kept on ice in buckets or coolers in a casual type cocktail party or can be behind the bartender in coolers for a more formal event.

If you want to make mixed drinks be sure that you have all the supplies and mixers that you need. You may want to have a theme drink for the party such as daiquiris or margaritas. These drinks are easy to make because they can be blended in large quantities and then served. If you are having blended drinks remember to have more than one blender on hand and be sure that you have a power outlet close to the bar area. If you are making cream based drinks have the cream or milk on ice at all times, especially if you are hosting the party outdoors in warm temperatures.

Foods for a cocktail party will reflect the tone or theme of the party. Finger foods such as:
  • Mini pizzas
  • Peel and eat shrimp
  • Cheeses
  • Egg rolls
  • Quiches
  • Taquitos
  • Fresh fruits such as strawberries, melon slices, grapes
  • Marinated olives
  • Candied or spiced nuts
  • Spicy chicken wings
  • Mini grilled hamburgers
  • Vegetables and dips
The more formal the cocktail party the more elegant and sophisticated the appetizers should be. Often browsing through cookbooks and even looking around at various websites can help you with ideas for both formal and casual elegant cocktail parties. -------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Entertaintment Site, part of Localwin Network.
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