How To Host A Cocktail Party

I really enjoy the fact that Christmas is just few weeks away, and there are so many celebrations along the way before the actual Christmas event. While that time is yet to come, I look forward to organising regular gatherings with family and friends. As the weather gets colder, it’s always a perfect idea to host family events at home.

Cocktail party is one of my favourite winter gatherings. This type of party has been around for decades, and fortunately, they’re still popular. It’s a great way to entertain friends or business associates. It’s also a great idea for house warming, with an average party time of 2-3 hours, depending on the occasion. It’s a must to ensure that enough foods and drinks are available for guests.

The Process

Hosting a cocktail party at home can be fun as there are so many creative ideas which can be implemented in the arrangement. However, since I’m the only host, I like to keep things simple by making sure I focus only on drinks and nibble that require me to spend less time in the kitchen. The first thing to have in mind is the number of people that will be attending the party. Then, work out how much food is going to be needed. For a party of 10 guests, I normally make sure there is a mix of 4-5 different platters to choose from. With an expected average of 8-10 bites per person for the first hour, and 5-7 bites for the remaining hour.

Colour Scheme 

You should choose a colour scheme that will set the tone for your cocktail party. There are plenty of colours to choose from, especially if you are hosting a party during the Christmas period. You can choose the traditional gold or red, or you can experiment with contemporary colours such as blue, purple and so on. Once you have decided on the colour schemes choosing decorations and deciding on floral arrangement should be much easier.


Music is essential at cocktail parties. If you don’t have a DJ for the event, then you can create a playlist, as it is much better than flipping through songs during the event. You can also contact DJ’s to create a playlist for your event.

The perfect Bar Setting

Decide where you’re going to display your food and drinks. There is no need to purchase a bar, as you can use available furniture, such as dining table or a side table, to create a bar station to display your food and drinks. If you have a large tray or a basket, you can arrange your drinks on it and set it aside while the remaining space on the table can be used to present foods, tools, etc. It is also a good idea to setup the bar away from guests, as this will allow more room for interactions.

Food Labels

Be creative and design your own stylish signs to display next to foods and drinks. You can design these on your computer and print them out, or handwritten is just as fine to present a personal touch. You can also purchase stylish labels from Amazon and other online stores.


It is always essential to have selections of vegetarian foods to choose from, especially for those guests who may not fancy meat. I have prepared three hot appetisers and two cold appetisers. These include cheese platters, crudités and bruschetta. Making sure there are enough cheese, olives, and mixed nuts, as they are great to display on the bar.

Drinks And Mixers

The trick is to have a signature cocktail mix ready in time for the event. You can choose from classics like Mojito, Martini or Bloody Mary. So, ideally, you will prepare 1 alcoholic punch and another non-alcoholic punch ready to be served. This will reduce the stress of mixing drinks when your guests arrived, and this will allow them to grab a drink and join the fun. Make sure you have spirits such as gin, vodka, rum and tequila. It is also great to have variety of mixers such as lemonade, tonic water, and fruit juices, in order to encourage your guests to mix their own ideal cocktails.


Slices of fresh fruits

Prepare slices of fresh fruits to display on your bar. Fruits like fresh lemon, strawberries, oranges, lime, and olives look gorgeous on display. Fresh herbs such as mint, basil, and thyme, are also great.

Tools and Glassware 

Strainer, cocktail shaker, measuring tools, wine bottle opener and any other tools you may find necessary that your guest may need. And, don’t forget to make some ice cubes in advance.

I hope my tip will inspire you to host your next cocktail party.

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