Cocktail party is one of the most welcoming party themes especially in the western countries. Various ideas can be used for making the party a great one and it all depends on your creativity.
A cocktail party is one of the easiest gatherings to host. You spend more time socializing with the guests than prepping and serving a meal, and the atmosphere is more relaxed than that of a dinner party. Cocktail gatherings are also much easier on your budget, because you can make the drink selection as big as your wallet will allow, and the appetizers don’t need to be expensive, either.
Depending upon the theme of your cocktail party, you can either choose simple decorations or create an elaborate atmosphere. Decorate so that guests can mingle and move around to different areas without the confines of one table for the evening. Arranging the decorations to compliment the room set up and feed the flow of the room will ensure that guests feel free to move about comfortably.
The key part of a cocktail party is, of course, the cocktails, but the food accompanying the beverages can be just as important. Depending on your budget, time constraints and cooking abilities, you can choose to have your cocktail party catered or do it yourself. It is also good that you limit your drink selection. You don’t need a drink menu like one you would find at Applebee’s. Take stock of the liquor and wine supply you already have on hand before you buy more. As long as you have vodka, gin, tequila, triple sec, whisky and rum, you have the basic ingredients to make drinks.
If you choose to hire a catering service you will have a lot more time to mingle and concentrate on your guests, especially if you have butler service. Ask around for trusted caterers in your area. Most companies will supply you with many choices of canapés, hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, try to have a good balance of hot and cold food trays. Find a caterer that keeps up with food trends instead of offering the same old wings and stuffed mushrooms.
Instead of settling for chips and dips, serve bowls of wasabi peas and spiced nuts, which pair well with cocktails. Another good option is hummus with toasted pita wedges or thin, toasted baguette slices. A homemade bruschetta accompanied with a platter of roasted vegetables like asparagus, zucchini and aroma tomatoes or whatever veggies you like is usually a crowd pleaser. Endive leaves make a good portable wrap for cream cheese mixed with finely chopped olives or any type of shrimp or crab salad.
Seasoned and savoury dishes are usually the main event but you should offer a small variety of sweet treats as well. Slices of pear with soft goat cheese on a cracker or crostini is light and delicious especially when drizzled with honey. Cup-sized lemon or chocolate meringues are hard to pass up. Strawberries, long-stemmed cherries and orange slices partially dipped in chocolate never seem to go to waste. Cheesecakes flavoured with liqueurs like amaretto or hazelnut are a good accompaniment with most cocktails – just cut your slices small and thin or use small muffin tins to bake them in.