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How To Throw A Cocktail Party At Home

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

Hosting a cocktail party is a sure way to treat your friends and give everyone a great time. Whether you see yourself as a cocktail bartender extraordinaire, or you’re planning to go for mobile bar hire, throwing a cocktail party at home doesn’t have to be difficult.

Here’s how:

1. Keep it simple

If you’re doing it yourself, create a menu of three or four simple cocktails and stick to those. Choose light crowd-pleasers with only a few ingredients, like a Mojito or a Margarita.Having a more limited menu means you can invest in fewer, better-quality ingredients. Plus, if your menu makes it clear what’s in each cocktail, people can get in the swing of the party and make their own, meaning you have more time to mix with your guests.

It’s a good idea to have some beers, fizz and non-alcoholic options behind your bar, too.

2. Prepare

Prepare everything in advance – mix sugar syrup, chop fruit and herbs, polish your shakers, line up bottles and lay out glasses. The more you do in advance, the easier, and more fun, it will be on the night. Consider batching drinks into bottles or pitchers.

3. Choose ethical, good quality drink

We’re firm believers in sustainability, fair trade and shopping locally. People love to feel a connection and hear the story behind what they’re drinking, so support your local producers and share their inspired products. We recommend Gin 77 and Blacks Cold Brew and Vanilla Liqueur (a fantastic addition to an espresso martini) from Bristol Distilling Co. Or try The Aperitivo Co. for fantastic vermouths and amaros.

4. Keep it fresh

For crisp, clean flavours, use fresh, organic fruit, veg and herbs for garnishes and juices. Remember to cut off any long stalks from herbs as they can release bitter flavours into your drinks. Give your mint a slap before throwing it into a Mojito, it doesn't need heavy muddling to release it's flavours.

Resist the urge to roll out those ancient bottles from the back of the drink’s cabinet – spirits lose their flavour with age.

Ice doesn’t just make a cocktail cold; it plays a key role in the mixing process and affects the taste. Buy plenty of good quality ice in the size and shape to suit the cocktails you’re serving. Some drinks, like a Frozen Daiquiri, need crushed ice, while others, such as a Negroni, require large ice cubes.

6. Make space

Have a designated area where you can lay out all your cocktail making kit, ingredients and glasses. You’ll need plenty of space and easy access to a tap, freezer and kitchen equipment. A kitchen island can work well, but a trestle table would do.

Try to keep the space clean and organised and dispose of empty bottles and food waste as you go.

7. Don’t forget the food

While you don’t need to serve a lot of food at a cocktail party, it is a good idea to offer something to soak up the spirits. Guests will mostly be standing and moving around, so having plates of tasty canapés that can be handed round are ideal.

Canapés can be easily adapted to suit the season or occassion, or you can even match your canapés with your cocktail flavours. We recommend mini salsa-topped tacos if you're serving Mojitos.

8. You don’t have to rely on DIY

House parties are all about DIY, but cocktails do take a bit of time and effort. Unless you love doing it and are happy to be stationed behind the bar all night, consider hiring some help.

We provide everything you need for the bar at your party, including cocktail bartenders, mobile bars, drinks, glassware and ice. We'll deliver it all to your door at least a day before, and collect a day or two later, allowing you to relax and look forward to the party.

Get in touch today and start planning your cocktail party.

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