As the weather gets warmer it’s time to start thinking about those great cocktail parties. I am sharing with you some of my tips, tricks and ideas on how to host a party your guests will be talking about all summer long.
Before you run to the store and fill your cart with cocktail franks and party streamers there are a number of things you’ll want to consider first:
How many people do you want to invite?
Is there a party theme?
Is it going to be formal or casual setting?
Are you going to have a full bar or a signature drink for your guests?
Will your party be indoors, outdoors or both?
What kind of food will you be serving?
How much money do you want to spend?
Do you want guests to bring anything?
Deciding on a party theme is probably the hardest part. Once this decision is made your theme will help you decide what type of food to serve, possibly a signature drink and dictate the décor. Everything seems to follow suit once your theme is chosen.
Traditionally, a cocktail party does not have food involved, but I like to provide my guests with some finger food especially since they are having a few cocktails. Serving bite sized food can make it a much more relaxed environment where your guests can grab and mingle. My biggest tip for providing food is to have all items prepared ahead of time. If a dish is served warm then keep it in the oven at 200 degrees until you are ready to serve. This will leave you more time to socialize with your guests and keep their cocktail glasses full.
This could be the most expensive part of your party, so be careful. A full bar option is great because it offers all your guests the option to choose a drink of their choice. However, if you don’t already have a fully stocked bar it could cost you handsomely to stock it. The alternative is to create one or two signature drinks that go with the theme and serve those as the primary beverages. This will get your guests to try something new and keeps your cost to a minimum. Another great tip is when your guests walk through your front door you should greet them with a refreshing drink; this extra jester will go a long way.
Planning a party can be stressful if you let it. If you begin to feel overwhelmed during your party don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your guests that are coming to bring a dessert or if you don’t feel like dealing with the food hire a caterer. Just like caterers you can also hire bartenders for your party. This may be a good choice if you are hosting a large party with an open bar. Remember, your cocktail party should be an enjoyable experience for you and your guests.
Leaving you with one last thought, your guests more than likely won’t be bringing their tooth brush to your party and so your guest leave with a “A Good Clean Feeling®”,
provide a large bowl atthe front door of several different kinds of Orbit® gum they can choose from. They’ll love the idea! Eat. Drink. Chew™ Orbit!
To get you started of on the right foot with your party I’d like to provide you with a couple recipes for a Summer Evening theme, including a perfect signature cocktail and bite sized dessert.
Made Popular in NY in 1915
1 1/2 oz Gin
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Simple Syrup
1 cup Ice
2 oz brute Champagne
Combine gin, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and ice into a shaker and shake well. Pour into a tall fluke glass and top with champagne. Garnish with a thin spiral of lemon peel.
Lemon Bar Bites
For the Crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flourConfectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.For the crust cream together the butter and sugar and then add in the flour and salt. Place the mixed dough onto a floured board and gather into a ball. Then flatten out into a well greased 9 x 13 x 2 baking dish, making sure to push the dough up on the sides slightly.Place into the oven for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Take out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Combine all the ingredients for the filling and place it on top of the crust. Place back into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until custard has set. Allow for the dessert to cool completely and then cut into bite size pieces and dust liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy!
Orbit® gum is a global brand, enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Chew Orbit after any meal to leave your mouth with “A Good Clean Feeling®”. Eat. Drink. Chew™ Orbit! Like us on Facebook here. Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Orbit® gum via Glam Media but such compensation did not influence any opinions expressed herein. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Orbit® gum