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How to throw a fantastic Cocktail Party

Updated on January 15, 2015

Cocktail Party

Why not throw a cocktail party - after all who doesn't like cocktail parties? You get to dress up in little cocktail dresses and drink all manner of great concoctions culminating in the wearing of little cocktail umbrellas behind your ears while dancing away to Girls Just Want To Have Fun!

Photo Credit -
ambernambrose on flickr

The idea of thowing a fantastic cocktail party, however, seems to turn people into nervous wrecks, but it's really quite simple. Read through this page, bookmark it or take notes and you will be throwing cocktail parties on a regular basis.

Cocktail Party Invitations

First things first are invitations

So who would you like to invite? Make a list, and make sure you don't forget anyone important.

Now you have to find the perfect invites to send. You can make them yourself on the computer, invite people verbally or by email.

For a much wider selection of cocktail party invitations you can check out my cocktail party invitation page. I've also included a link to custom cocktail postage stamps as it looks really great when you use these on your invitations - get people talking before the party even begins!

Cocktail Party Invitations
When you're throwing a cocktail party one of the things you have to do is invite people! I think cocktail parties are pretty special so cocktail party invita...

Custom Cocktail Postage Stamps
These custom designed postage stamps are ideal to pop onto cocktail party invitations. Cocktails are so fun that seeing these cocktail postage stamps on a le...

What Should People Bring?

What do you ask your guest's to bring? This is completely up to you. A friend of mine used to have a cocktail party every year for his birthday, he supplied venue, disco and food and his guests supplied everything else. Quite simply the parties were huge and on everyone's invites were a bottle of alcohol and a bottle of non-alcoholic mixer and you brought along what was on your invite.

You will still need to make sure you have some back up supplies (in case of no shows) and plenty of ice.

Cocktail Party Food

Party Dips | Party Nibbles | Feed Those Party Guests!

First comes the nibbles that you will have on the tables and bar for people to have with their drinks. This could be chips, nuts, pretzels etc. or even cheese on a stick, check out Retro Party food ideas.

Of course dips are synonomous with parties. A quick and easy one that I make is a corn relish dip.

Corn Relish Dip

1 tub cream cheese (500g)

1 small jar corn relish (250g)

Blend them both together - I just use a stick blender for ease. Easy, quick and delicious, what more could you ask for?

Finger Food for Cocktail Parties

Yummy Recipes Your Guests Will Love

Finger foods are something else to offer. Mini quiches, pinwheels, finger sandwiches, dim sims and spring rolls all go down well.

More Party Food Ideas - Recipe Books To Help Kickstart Your Party Menu Planning!

If you're still unsure what to cook then you might want to invest in a good recipe book or two, I know I have quite a few at home to help me when throwing my own parties!


You need to adapt your music to the type of party you want. My idea of a great cocktail party also includes dancing, but you may prefer a more sophisticated party where everyone stands around talking, eating and drinking.

For dance music you can't go past the 70s and 80s to get everyone's feet tapping. The more sophisticated cocktail parties do better with jazz music in the background.


There are so many cocktails to choose from that I recommend you decide in advance on what ones you will offer. Make up menu's for people to choose from. I also make up a special crib sheet for who ever is acting as Bartender for the evening. The crib sheet includes what glass to serve cocktail in, how to make the cocktail and what garnish to use - leave nothing to chance, that way you can relax.

Check out Lou's Cocktail Lounge for some fantastic cocktail recipes or buy yourself a great cocktail book.

Cocktail Books - So Many Cocktail Recipes, So Little Time!

Now there are some great cocktail recipe books here, but my advice would be to only serve a certain number of cocktails at your party. This way you can make sure you have all of the ingredients in good supply (including garnishes) and you can even have a crib sheet so that you know exactly how to make them, garnish them and serve them.

Specialized Cocktail Parties

The Martini Party & More

Holding a cocktail party that is specifically about one type of cocktail helps to set a theme for the evening .....

How to Throw a Martini Party
A Martini Party is all about sophistication. The martini being the ultimate cocktail that means that a Martini Party must be the ultimate cocktail event! If...

How To Throw A Christmas Cocktail Party
If you want to make your Christmas party stand out from your neighbors then why not throw a Christmas cocktail party? Cocktail parties really aren't that har...

How To Throw An Alphabet Party
Have you heard about alphabet parties? The main idea behind an alphabet party is a fancy dress theme that starts with a certain letter of the alphabet. Choo...

Tell Us About Your Cocktail Party

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    • profile image

      Beaufort Sabourin 2 years ago

      Thanks for your post. I'll consider the tips and ideas you share. I'll gonna throw a Cocktail Bar party sooner for a good friend of mine.

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 4 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      Mum used to throw the best parties ever when we lived closer to the city. Now we have friends come and stay the entire weekend on our mountain. Times have changed!

    • surpriseitsme profile image

      surpriseitsme 5 years ago

      We throw fantastic parties! I love to invite people who don't know each other. It makes for a fun evening. Great lens. Cheers! ;)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 9 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      My cocktail parties are pretty tame now. Usually nobody wants alcohol in the punch. This is a nice lens though and a lot of good ideas. I've lensrolled you to my Maureen O'Hara lens. I'm sure that she still likes cocktail parties.