There’s nothing better than a delicious cocktail, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go out to a swanky bar and spend loads of money to enjoy them. While some of them are tricky to get right, there are a lot of great cocktails you can easily make on your own at home with a simple cocktail shaker and some basic ingredients. If you are planning an event and you really want to wow your guests, why not throw your very own cocktail party at home?
If you go online, you can find plenty of easy recipes for cocktails. Start with some classic cocktails and then branch out from there. The first few might not be amazing, but you’ll soon get the hang of it and you’ll be mixing drinks like a pro in no time. Now that you’ve got the drinks part sorted, it’s time to start planning your cocktail party. Follow these simple tips to make sure that it goes off without a hitch.
Stick To Basic Cocktails
When you are just making drinks for a few people, you can afford to spend a bit of time on a more complicated cocktail with lots of ingredients. But if you are hosting a cocktail party with a lot of people, keep it simple. You might think that you need to do something complicated to impress people but you don’t. If you choose recipes that have lots of ingredients, you’ll end up spending the whole party in the kitchen stressing over drinks and you’ll have a big mess on your hands. It will also be incredibly expensive to buy lots of different ingredients. You will have a much better time if you pick a few signature cocktails and make up some large pitchers that people can help themselves to.
Theme Your Cocktails
This isn’t always applicable, but if you are having your party around a holiday of some kind, you should theme your cocktails. These spooky Halloween cocktails are perfect for an October party, and if you do a quick search online, you’ll find some great themed cocktails for every holiday. Theming your cocktails adds another element to the party and makes it feel a lot more special. It also gives you the chance to create some unusual cocktails that people won’t have tried before.
Presentation Is Everything
When you buy a cocktail at a fancy bar, it’s not the drink itself that makes it really special, it’s the presentation. Mixing the ingredients together properly is obviously important, but with simple cocktails, it’s all about how you present them. So, instead of spending money on lots of expensive ingredients, buy glasses and garnishes. Get hold of some Martini glasses and copper mugs, and use crushed ice and fruit to top your cocktails. Before the party, you should experiment with your presentation and try out some fun cocktails. Once you get the presentation right, you can really impress your guests.
Invest In Good Quality Ingredients
Making cocktails isn’t as hard as you might think, but the key to making them delicious is using high-quality ingredients. If you use the cheap own brand stuff, your cocktails won’t come out as good as what you would buy in a bar. But if you spend a bit more on some nice stuff, your cocktails will be delicious. Avoid using anything that has been sitting in the cupboard for a long time too. Spirits lose their taste and aroma over time so if they’ve been in the cupboard for years, they probably won’t taste of much at all. Anything that is more than a few months old should be replaced before your big cocktail party.
The same goes for buying fruit and garnishes for your drinks. Fresh, organic fruit will give you much nicer juice. It’s especially important that you look for waxless lemons if you are using the zest. Nobody wants wax in their drinks!
You even need to make sure that the ice is good quality. If the tap water in your area isn’t great and you use it to make ice, you risk ruining your cocktails. Buying bags of ice is the easiest option but if you want to make the ice cubes yourself, you should use mineral water instead. It might not seem like a big thing, but it makes a huge difference to the quality of your cocktails. You’re going to use a lot of it as well, so make sure that you stock up.
Prepare As Much As Possible Before The Party
Cocktails should be shaken up just before serving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do any preparation beforehand. You can still mix ingredients together in the right quantities so when making cocktails, you just need to measure out the right amount and shake it up. You can also cut up fruit and make all of your garnishes ahead of time. Then, clean all of the glasses and line up all of the bottles and you’re ready to go. The actual shaking of the cocktails doesn’t take that long, it’s all of the prep that makes it time-consuming. If you can get all of that done before the party, you will be able to enjoy yourself without any stress.
Pair The Food With The Cocktails
You’re going to need some food to go with all of those drinks, and you need to make sure that you pair it well with the cocktails. If you are going for creamy cocktails, you need to keep the food nice and light. Simple canapes and snacks will suffice. However, you should be careful with creamy cocktail recipes, especially if you are having a lot of people over for the party. It can get quite hot and crowded so people will prefer something more fruit-based. If you decide that you want to serve up a full meal, you need to be careful with the cocktail recipes you choose and go for something refreshing. Gin cocktails are perfect as a light option. The cocktails are the star of the show, so it’s best to decide what your signature cocktails are going to be and then decide what food works well with them.
Get The Atmosphere Right
You’ve got the drinks and the food sorted, now you need to consider the atmosphere. A cocktail party is supposed to be an elegant affair, so you should try to emulate the same feel that you get in fancy cocktail bars. A bit of low mood lighting goes a long way and helps you create that sophisticated feel. Don’t go overboard with the decorations either. A few simple pieces here and there will do. If you want to create a centerpiece, you can use a bar cart or even just a table as the cocktail making area and decorate it nicely. This also gives people a chance to try their hand at making their own cocktails if they want to.
Choosing the right music for your party is crucial too. A cocktail party is all about pleasant conversation and mingling, so you don’t want loud music ruining the atmosphere. Go for some nice background music that isn’t too intrusive, and keep the volume to a minimum.
Planning a cocktail party doesn’t have to be stressful as long as you follow these simple tips. Remember, the cocktails are the star of the show, so don’t worry about lots of extravagant decorations and big meals. Just get high-quality ingredients and practice your cocktail making skills and you can really impress your guests.