Set the Mood
Select a theme for your cocktail party and communicate to your guests from the start with a well-designed invitation. If you want a casual, fun and hip setting, email your invitations electronically. Set an early start time and let you guests know that dress is casual.
If you'd rather treat your guests to a classy or professional party, send paper invitations on tastefully selected cardstock with elegant writing. Set a later start time and indicate that dressy attire is appropriate. Serve hors d oeuvres that are unique and attractive.
Choose music and lighting that matches the mood you want to permeate your cocktail party. Twinkling lights over a trellis on an outdoor patio with jazz music and a sophisticated bartender speak class. Louder music, brighter lights and simple appetizers keep the mood casual and unassuming.
Cocktail Party Supplies
Get your cocktail party supplies in order well before guests arrive. Shop for cocktail glasses and wine glasses that accentuate, rather than detract from, the spirits you plan to serve.
Have a good selection of margarita and martini glasses available, along with highball glasses for bloody mary drinks and long island iced teas, lowball glasses for whiskey and rum-based drinks and brandy snifters for high quality brandy and cognac.
Stock up on a basic selection of wide-brimmed red wine glasses and tall, narrow white wine glasses. Have sparkling wine glasses on hand if you plan to offer champagne.
Hire a bartender that can bring supplies and drink mixes with him or her, or stock your bar with the right bar tools and bar accessories.
Bar Tools and Accessories
Bottle openers, corkscrews, shakers, drink pourers, a cooler of ice or ice machine and ice tongs are all necessary bar tools and bar accessories that you'll want to supply your bartender with.
Have plenty of spirits like beer, wine, sparkling wine and liquor available along with common mixers like orange juice, diet and regular Coke and Sprite and grenadine. Don't forget garnishes like limes, cherries and of course, olives.
Hire a good bartender who knows how to make a wide range of cocktail drinks. The last thing you want is for big clients or treasured friends to try to order their drinks and walk away from the bar disappointed.
With the right theme, mood, food and drink, you'll show your guests that you know how to throw a cocktail party that exceeds expectations.