The Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be more daunting than a dinner party if you don't remember the rules. However, it is a great way to kick back and relax with your friends. There is no need to have a theme or a special occasion.

The Key Factors:

  • Expect 60% of the number of people you invited.
  • Do not serve from the kitchen. Set up a bar.
  • Have someone (not you) tend bar. Ask a friend or hire a local bartender ($15-20/hr).
  • Multiply the number of guests times three for the number of glasses you need.
  • Use small plates and finger foods. This is not a dinner party.
  • A cocktail party should be two hours in length sometime between 6PM and 10PM.
  • The area in your home that you select should be cozy, but not overcrowded.
  • Keep furniture to a minimum. You want guests to stand and socialize, not sit in the corner.
  • In order to cut down on the number of bottles of alcohol you need, select a signature drink(s).
  • Don't forget to have non-alcoholic beverages (again choose a small selection) for the designated drivers.

In honor of Spring and taking are cue from the spring fashion colors (turquoise, coral, green, raspberry), here are a few signature drink suggestions:

The Go Girls at ON THE GO 4 U are champagne drinkers so here are a few ways we suggest to change the champagne:

1. Add 2 dashes of Chambord or pomegranate juice to champagne.
2. Add 4 dashes of Blue Curacao to champagne.
3. Shake ice, a measure of Creme de Menthe and Irish Whiskey, strain into a champagne glass and top with champagne.

Not a champagne drinker? Try Smirnoff Ice with a touch of your favorite colored liquor and serve over ice.

Remember, we are thinking spring so why not try these combinations:

Bellinis are always fun. Mix it up a bit and use the same concept for a martini. Use 2 measures of your favorite vodka to 1/2 measure of Peach Schnapps and a touch of peach juice. Use the same preparation method as with any martini.

Margarita with a twist. Use equal parts tequila and pink grapefruit juice and 1/2 measure of Countreau.

Want something a little blue? Use equal parts of vodka, tequila and blue curacao. Stir with ice and fill the glass with lemonade.

And of course don't forget, the classic mojito!

If you are going to experiment, make sure you test your recipe before the party. Whatever the signature drink, remember to drink responsibly and be a responsible host.

Must have books for party planning:

Every household that is going to have cocktail parties should have a decent bar manual or classic cocktail book.

The Last-Minute Party Girl by Erika Lenkert. This must have book contains party etiquette as well as quick recipes that are great for any cocktail party.

The Cooking Club Party Cookbook which is full of great party ideas and recipes.

How often should you have a cocktail party? Well, if your social schedule is busy and assuming that your friends are hosting events as well, we suggest having some kind of get together for each season as a relaxing time to catch up with the gang.

Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles, is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The company's creed is to provide its clients with the ultimate life management experience. In addition to its services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops on wardrobe, entertaining and decorating.

For more information about the author and ON THE GO 4 U, please visit

© 2005 Indra A Books for ON THE GO 4 U

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