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Party Cocktails and Easy Tapas Recipes for Summer Parties

Updated on May 2, 2017

Inspiring Cocktails

Gin over crushed ice with soda water, mint leaves and lime wedges
Gin over crushed ice with soda water, mint leaves and lime wedges

Party Time

Parties with family and friends are great fun and a good way to get everybody together. Celebrating a special day or occasion always requires good food and cool drinks to kick off the party mood. Cocktails and tapas are perfect for a party. Easy to prepare and tasty too. Party themes are also good fun. If you don't want a fancy dress, go for a colour or a time of year. Having a Christmas theme in summer or a summer theme in winter is easy for everyone to accomplish, without expense. Select some music and ask quests to bring along a favorite CD, especially if your music collection is a little limited. Below are a few cocktails based on vodka and gin. Both these spirits are popular alcoholic drinks and make great cocktails. It's a good idea to invest in a cocktail shaker, a drinks measure, some cocktail bling; coloured straws, umbrellas and cocktail glasses to really create a party atmosphere from the word go. Lets get this party started and our cocktails shaken.

The Salty Dog


  • 50 ml of vodka
  • fresh grapefruit juice
  • ice
  • lemon wedge
  • tall glass (a highball)


Frost the rim of the glass with salt. Add the wedge of lemon and ice. Pour the vodka over the ice and top up with grapefruit juice.

The Blue Lagoon


  • 100 ml of vodka
  • 100 ml of blue curaçao
  • lemon soda
  • ice
  • a long stem cocktail glass
  • cocktail cherries to garnish


Pour the vodka and the blue curacao into the ice filled glass and top up with soda. Add the cherry (on a cocktail stick) and enjoy.

The White Russian


  • 50 ml of vodka
  • 25 ml Tia Marie
  • 25 ml white creme de cacao
  • 50 ml pouring cream
  • crushed ice
  • a highball glass


Place all the ingredients except the ice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into the highball glass 1/2 filled with the crushed ice. Sprinkle with freshly grated chocolate and grated nutmeg. One word, delightful.



  • 90 ml gin
  • 30 ml dry vermouth
  • ice
  • a martini glass
  • green olives to garnish


Stir the Gin, dry vermouth and ice together in a mixing glass and strain into the martini glass. Pop in your green olive. The olive tastes great at the end of your drink. To make a Vodka Martini simply replace 90 ml of Vodka with the Gin. Two great cocktails.



  • 50 ml Gin
  • 50 ml creme de cacao
  • 50 ml fresh cream
  • sugar frosted cocktail glass
  • grated chocolate


Pour all the ingredients except the chocolate into a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into the frosted glass. Sprinkle over the chocolate and indulge.

Lady of Leisure


  • 100 ml gin
  • 50 ml chambord
  • 50 ml cointreau
  • a dash of fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 75 ml pineapple juice
  • ice
  • orange rind to decorate
  • a cocktail glass


Pour all the ingredients except the orange rind into a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into the glass. Garnish with the orange rind.

The Cocktail King

This Brooklyn Bomber cocktail recipe was introduced to me by a friend. I hope you like it; I certainly do!


  • crushed ice cubes
  • 30 ml tequila
  • 15 ml cointreau
  • 15 ml cherry brandy
  • 30 ml lemon juice fresh is best
  • a slice of orange and a cherry (on a cocktail stick) to garnish


Put all the ingredients (not the garnish) into a cocktail shaker. Shake rattle and role. Strain and pour into a glass. Add the garnish and slurp .. ahh.. wonderful.


*The following easy to make nibbles can be made a couple of hours before your party starts; the top six nibbles listed also make great pre-dinner canapés.

  1. Dried dates sliced in the centre and filled with cream cheese. Mascarpone or philadelphia cheese are perfect or any soft cheese you prefer. Go all posh and pipe the cheese through the centre of the date.
  2. Fresh figs cut in two and topped with thin slices of cured ham; parma ham will do nicely. Arrange on a large plate. The deep pink of the fig looks gorgeous against the purple pink of the ham.
  3. Thread a halved grape onto a cocktail stick, with the rounded part facing the point, next thread a small cube of stilton/brie cheese or your favourite hard cheese followed by the other halve of the grape. Use green and black grapes to add colour. Cherry tomatoes work really well too.
  4. Thin wheat biscuits topped with smoked salmon. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the salmon, before arranging them on the biscuits. Top some of the biscuits with cream cheese and sprinkle with chopped fresh chives.
  5. Cooked king prawns (shelled apart from the tail) arranged in a circle on a plate, tails facing outward around dips of sweet chili sauce, garlic mayo and traditional marie rose sauce. Garnish with lemon or lime slices. Prawn crackers will also go down well as an accompaniment.
  6. Soft boiled quail eggs, cut in half, topped with a little dollop of mayo and a sprinkle of sweet paprika. Place on top of small leaf lettuce, baby gem is ideal.
  7. Marinate small chicken pieces in teriyaki sauce (found on any supermarket shelf) with a little added soya sauce and honey for a couple of hours. Skewer and grill for about 4 to 5 mins each side till the chicken is cooked through. Fillet of pork also works very well for an alternative meat.
  8. Coat chicken wings with BBQ sauce and cook in the oven for about 15 to 20 mins on a medium heat till cooked through. Serve the wings with a little extra BBQ sauce to dip.
  9. Coat a rack of spare ribs with BBQ sauce and cook in the oven till tender and sticky about 35 to 40 minutes on a high heat. An optional extra, sprinkle with saseame seeds.
  10. Never underestimate the power of the old cocktail sausage, fresh or frozen, shallow fried or deep fried. Always a fond favorite with everyone, not just the kids.

Family Fun

How often do you get together with family and friends and have a party?

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© 2009 Gabriel Wilson


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    • Gabriel Wilson profile image

      Gabriel Wilson 3 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

      There's nothing like your own cocktails at home, and the price is even better. Enjoy :)

    • profile image

      Donatien Savard 3 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes you shared, that would be fabulous for bar events. Anyway, I'll try making it at home.

    • Gabriel Wilson profile image

      Gabriel Wilson 6 years ago from Madeira, Portugal

      Hey Sandy. Hope you enjoy :)

    • profile image

      Sandy McCollum 6 years ago

      Gin and chocolate? Hmm, interesting idea. Lots of good ideas here, thanks.