Cocktail parties are especially popular during the holiday season, but they are also quite the ‘in’ thing throughout the year. The good aspect about cocktail parties is that you do not have to serve a vast amount of food (especially entrees) or a four-course meal, and you can mix and match your guests without worrying about them being awkward with each other – as opposed to seating guests at a dinner table, where they’re basically forced to engage in small talk with the person next to them (talk about uncomfortable silences).
But there’s still plenty of detail that goes into planning a successful cocktail party. There are various aspects you have to keep in mind in order to have a party that your guests will enjoy.
Timing is everything
The first aspect you have to determine is the actual time of the party. Cocktail parties are traditionally held from 6 in the evening to about 10 in the evening, but of course, it can extend even further. Usually, cocktail parties last for two hours (especially if it’s a corporate event) – but if it is a less formal cocktail party amongst friends, you can expect it to last more than three hours.
Preparing your bar
What’s a cocktail party without a bar? You need to have a cocktail bar, even if it’s as simple as a single table loaded with bottles of liquor and ice. But if you want to impress your guests and make sure they have a good time, you need to have enough ice – we can’t stress this enough. Ice is usually the first thing that runs out in a cocktail bar because it is not only used for drinks, it’s also used for chilling cans and bottles, and someone will then have to step out and buy some from a 24-hour corner shop. Try to avoid this by stocking up on ice. The ideal calculation would be half a kilo of ice per guest.
Glasses are also an important consideration. You know that at every party, guests tend to leave glasses lying around so they have to get a new one. Have more than enough for all the guests two or three times over, and make sure you have different types of glasses as well. Provide wine glasses as well as juice and water glasses, martini glasses, shooters, straight-sided glasses for highballs, and tumblers for lowballs and spirits.
Your bar stock
Here’s how to calculate alcohol and spirits for your guests: set aside one wine bottle (which can give you five servings) and six beers for every two guests. When it comes to liquors, make sure you have the basics for making mixed drinks and cocktails. Vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, and bourbon are essential for cocktails. Garnishes and mixers are essential as well, so don’t forget to stock up on seltzer, orange juice, tonic, soda water, cola, ginger ale, grenadine, lemons and limes, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and the like.
If you do not have enough glasses and do not want to worry about planning for (and manning) your cocktail bar, there’s good news: you can actually hire a mobile bar service where all your bar needs are taken care of for you. Click here to know more about portable bar hires.
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