Skip to main content

Planning a Successful Cocktail Party

fort lauderdale catering


Step-by-Step Tips and Planning Strategies For Your Next Cocktail Party
Have you ever wanted to throw a successful cocktail party like the one you see in the movies, but are not quite sure how to do it?  Do you think you do not have the time or the money for one of those fabulous events and do not want something reminiscent of your college day parties?  They are easy to plan and can be relatively inexpensive.
Plan to have a theme, and I am not talking about a "costume" like the roaring 20's.  Choose one or two signature drinks, build a menu around the drinks and then go with colors for plates, candles etc that will reflect the feeling.  ie mojito inspired night can have everything served on green plates and platters.  Remember you are supposed to have as much fun as your guests.  Follow the step by step instructions and you will have a stress free and successful cocktail party.

Choose the theme
A theme can be as simple as a color or be inspired by a drink.  A good example would be a "Tropical Heat" theme. Plates and cups and candles would be orange or red.  Menu would be "tropical". The theme sets the mood.  It does not mean you have to bring in palm trees and beach sand. 
Picking the drink or drinks and plan the menu
A themed bar focuses on one type of liquor and an assortment of mixers. A signature cocktail bar features one or two mixed drinks. Regardless of the way you choose to serve cocktails, be sure to include an appropriate amount of wine and beer. Remember to always have plenty of water, still and sparkling.  Freeze some fruit slices to make it more festive.  These can be used in place of ice cubes.

Themed Bar

A themed bar features one or sometimes two types of alcohol and a variety of mixers, plus wine, beer, and nonalcoholic drinks. A themed bar works for any liquor.  Make sure you know which mixers go with the alcohol you choose.

Signature Cocktail Bar

Offer one or two signature cocktails, plus wine, beer. A signature bar is the way to go if you do not want to buy unneeded alcohol and by far the easiest on your wallet. You can mix the drinks ahead of time, then once guests arrive, add ice and serve. If guest are pouring make sure the ice and garnishes are laid out in an easily reachable manner.
You may want to provide at least two cocktail choices, made with different alcohols, for example, one with vodka and one with rum.
 Plan the menu
Here is  the one place that all or any of the items do not necessarily have to go with your theme. Try and have the party outside of the dinner hour or make sure you have enough food to replace a meal (6-8 types of hors d'oeuvres).  We will talk later about how many of each to prepare. 
If you have any "old stand-by" recipes this is a good time to break them out.  If they are "meals", don't be afraid to scale down the size to serve as one of the hors d'oeuvres.  Try some new recipes-don't be afraid remember these are on a small scale.
Our rule of thumb is half hot, have cold or room temperature.  A fruit and cheese platter is always a winner.
When with a theme pick a couple of the foods to that are theme oriented ex. Caribbean or beach theme--spicy tequila shrimp with tapenade on crustini, grilled chicken and pineapple skewers with sweet/spicy dip.  These are both served room temperature.
Pick foods you can prepare in advance.  We will offer some make ahead selections at the end of the article.
Everyone loves nuts, make your own candied spice nuts or mix.  Hit the gourmet olive bar for some extra munchies.
Enlist the help of a friend or two to help serve if you are doing passed hot hors d'oeuvres.
How to determine how much food and alcohol to have
Food
Remember, cocktail parties are normally hosted before or after the dinner our.  The food is not meant to replace a meal.  A good rule of thumb is three to five different types of hors d'oeuvres planning on two to three of each per person.
If your cocktail party takes place during meal hours, there should be enough food to replace the meal. Prepare six to ten types of hors d'oeuvres planning on two to three of each per person.
Guys tend to eat more than women, so if you have lots of up and comers on your guest list, plan on a few more of each hors d'oeuvres.

Beverages-alcohol and non

• Each guest will drink an average of two drinks the first hour and one drink each hour thereafter.
• Figure on four to five glasses per bottle of wine and two to three glasses per person.  That means one bottle will serve two guests.  Try to find out if your guest prefer red or white.  Right now red is more popular.
• There are approximately 26 shots per a one-liter bottle of alcohol.  Calculate two to three cocktails per person.
• Plan on having two litres of mix per litre of alcohol.  Mixers to plan on having would be club soda, tonic, cola, diet cola, lemon lime soda.  If you are featuring martinis get one bottle 750ml of vermouth(dry) per four to five bottles of vodka or gin.  Same for manhattans except also get a bottle of sweet(red)vermouth.
• Garnishes are just that a garnish and not part of a meal. Plan on one lemon or lime per guest 1/2 orange and nine olives, 3 cherries per person. It never hurts to have a little extra for those guest that inevitable nibble on the garnish.
• Plan on one and a half pounds of ice per person. This sounds like a lot, but you will need to ice down the beer and wine unless you have a small refrigerator by the bar.
Creating a guest list
Keep it simple.  We have so many online options today. Facebook, Myspace, regular e-mail or even online services like Evite.   Electronic invites make keeping track of RSV P's easy. Telephone and in person works well to and can make your invitees feel special. 
Count on 6 out of 10 people you invite that say yes to actually show up.  Ladies are more likely to attend when they say they will.  Invite more guys if you want the sexes to be evenly represented.
If you have a lot of time and some extra money on your hands or are really organized theme, use the theme of your party to set the look of your invitations. For example, in lieu of a traditional invitation send an object that communicates the theme of your party. If you're hosting a beach themed party go to the dollar store and get flip flops and send the invite on one of them to each of the people you are inviting.
Let the guests know if you want them to show up in themed attire.  A prize for best three would really help to get them in the mood.  Be sure to mention that on the invitation.
Setting the mood

Choosing and Arranging the Space

Set up your area the day before the party so you have plenty of time to make last-minute changes. Make sure guests can move throughout the room easily.  Remove furniture if you need to.  Remember you want enough seating for about 1/4 of the guest.  People have a tendency to just sit and not move.
If you do not have much room use one centrally located table or buffet for your food.  If you have plenty of space create "food stations" around the room.  This helps the guests to move about and mingle.
Have plenty of waste bins for the trash and have a couple of places to deposit dirty dishes and plates. You may have to put a used glass on them just to give everyone the "subtle" hint.

personal chefs and event catering
Miami + Miami Beach + Fort Lauderdale + Palm Beach
info@yadachef.com | 954-367-YADA (9232)


fort lauderdale catering and personal chefs

Popular posts from this blog

16 Best Benefits Of Corn (Bhutta) For Skin, Hair And Health

Corn, also known as maize or our good old ( Bhutta/Makkai/Challi ) in Hindi, ‘ Mokka Jonnalu ‘ in Telugu, ‘ Makkacholam ‘ in Tamil, ‘ Cholam ‘ in Malayalam, ‘ Musukina Jol a’ in Kannada, ‘ Makkai ‘ in Gujarati, ‘ Makai ‘ in Marathi and Punjabi and ‘ Butta ‘ in Bengali. Corn is a large grain plant which is said to have originated in Mexico and Central America. Though viewed as a vegetable, it is actually a food grain. The leafy stalk of the plant produces ears, which contain the grains known as kernels. For every kernel on the cob, there is a strand of silk. The white and yellow kernels are most popular, but today, corn is available in red, brown, blue and purple also. The white and yellow hybrids are known as butter and sugar corn which contain both kinds of kernels. This cereal is known for its pleasant taste and its versatility. Baby corn is available in cans or jars in the supermarkets and is used in Asian cooking. This grain is generally available in summer and can be

Meaning of Memorial Day: Why do we celebrate?

BY  JULIA GLUM   Memorial Day may be the unofficial start of summer, but it's so much more than an excuse for a three-day weekend. It's a U.S. holiday with a lot of history and lasting significance. Held annually on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War. Who exactly created it and where are unclear, but legend has it that the tradition began in 1864. That's when three women from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, put flowers on the graves of loved ones who had died in the war, including a young man killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. By 1865, according to the Library of Congress, people in states such as South Carolina and Mississippi were participating in unofficial ceremonies that preceded Memorial Day. But Waterloo, New York, claims to be the birthplace of the holiday, given that it held what Nelson Rockefeller would later call the "first, formal, complete, well-planned, village-wide observance of a day entirely dedicated to honoring the wa

Cherry-Almond Crisp Recipe

Fresh tart cherries can be hard to find, which is why we add some dried ones to boost the flavor of this crisp. If you have access to fresh tart cherries, use 3 pounds/1.4kg and omit the dried fruit. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired; a small (1/4-cup/60ml) scoop will add abou t 64 calories. Ingredients: 1 cup/225g dried tart cherries 1 cup/250ml boiling water 2 pounds/900g sweet cherries, pitted 2/3 cup/128g granulated sugar 3 tablespoons/23g US all purpose flour, unsifted 1 teaspoon/5ml vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon Cooking spray 3.4 ounces/96g US all purpose flour (about 3/4 cup) 3/4 cup/60g old-fashioned rolled oats 1/2 cup/110g packed brown sugar 1/4 cup/28g sliced almonds 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons/72g unsalted butter, melted 1/4 teaspoon/1ml almond extract Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas 5 Combine dried cherries and boiling water in a small bowl; cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Combine dried cherries with soaking liquid, 2 pounds sweet cherrie

Tarte Tatin Recipe

There is some controversy as to how this divine dessert (tarte solognote) came about. Was it an accident (as so many kitchen   wonders are) or was it just an improved upon recipe of the region? In any case it was made popular at by 2 sisters that ran the Hotel Tatin 100 miles (60 kilometers) outside of Paris. It was Louis Vaudable, owner of Maxim’s Paris that coined the name "tarte des demoiselles Tatin" Tart of the sister’s Tatin. Normally you would use a short crust or a pate brisee. I used a simple pie crust in our recipe as we were short on butter. Serves 6-8 9 1/2 inch/ 24 centimeter pie crust Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 1/3 cup/167 grams all purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon/2ml salt 1/2 cup/118ml vegetable (crisco) shortening or 115g cold butter 3-6 tablespoons/45-90ml iced water In a bowl add flour and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut the shortening into the flours until only small pea sized balls are visible. Mix 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough

Tuna Pasta Salad With Dill Recipe

This flavorful pasta salad is hearty and delicious. If you don't have chopped fresh dill, a few teaspoons of dried dill weed would work as well. It's easy to prepare and makes a good main dish or side dish for summer meals. This is a flavorful pasta salad, perfect for an everyday lunch with soup, or serve it as a side dish at your next cookout. Make this salad with cavatappi pasta, macaroni, rotini, or similar pasta shapes. What You'll Need  8 ounces/225g cavatappi, macaroni, or rotini pasta 1 can (6 to 7 ounces/170-198g) tuna, flaked and drained 3 tablespoons/45ml finely chopped red onion 2 cloves garlic, mashed and finely minced 1/4 cup/60ml finely chopped red bell pepper 3 tablespoons/60 chopped fresh dill 4 teaspoons lemon juice 3/4 to 1 cup/185-250ml mayonnaise 3 tablespoons/45ml sour cream 1/2 to 1 cup/125-250ml sliced grape tomatoes Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste How to Make It  Cook the pasta in boilin

Baked French Toast Recipe

It is always best to use day old bread.  If you can get some from your baker that is great, if not try and buy o loaf the day before. As last resort cut into rounds and place in a slow oven (300F/150C)  for 15-20 minutes or just drying out a bit. serves 8  1 cup/250ml pure maple syrup                                   1 1/2 cups/375ml milk  1 pound/450ml loaf French bread, cut into 2 inch/5cm thick slices  4 large eggs 3 large egg whites 2 teaspoons/20ml vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon/3ml ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon/1ml ground nutmeg   Preheat oven to 350F/175C/Gas 4 Spray large baking dish with cooking spray.  Pour syrup in bottom of dish.  Arrange bread slices on top of syrup.  Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.  Mix well.  Pour over bread slices, generously soaking the bread.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or bake immediately. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with additional syrup

A Burglarized Bakery Put the Suspect's Picture on Cookies So Locals Could Help ID Him

  Thanks to the bakers' creativity and a free cookie promo, the thief has since been identified. By  Jelisa Castrodale   May 12, 2021 Canfora Bakery has a longstanding reputation in  Milwaukee , Wisconsin for being a go-to spot for freshly baked breads and sub  sandwiches , for hot ham and rolls, and for its selection of  Italian cookies  and other sweets. But now it's getting a lot of attention for a limited-edition menu item that the bakery owners probably wish they never had to make in the first place. According to  the  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , a man wearing a dark hoodie and a knit beanie pried the door locks open and helped himself to the cash drawer before making his escape. When Canfora's owners, Eric and Karen Krieg, got over the shock of being burgled, they came up with a clever way to try to ID the subject.  They scrolled through the footage from their security cameras, found the clearest image of the alleged burglar's face, and then printed it out on edi

Easy Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork Recipe

  If you're making it in a stove top pressure cooker or in a 8 quart or larger electric pressure cooker, you will likely need to increase the water.  1 to 2 tablespoons/15-30ml vegetable oil  4 pounds/2kg  boneless pork shoulder, cut into two equal pieces  2 cups/500ml barbecue sauce, divided, plus more for serving  1/2 cup/125ml water  Toasted rolls, for serving Select Saute to preheat the pressure cooking pot. When hot, add the oil to the cooking pot. Brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Brown each half of the roast separately. Remove to a platter. Add 1 cup/250ml barbecue sauce and the  water to the cooking pot. Stir to combine. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot. Lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 75 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally (approximately 20 minutes). Carefully remove the lid. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks, discard excess fat. Strain cooking liquid, res

Why You Need A Personal Chef - Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach

Do you find yourself going to the grocery store and feeling overwhelmed by everything that is on the  shelves? With the hectic schedules that we all lead today it can feel like a chore to provide a good home-cooked meal for your family. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone working in your kitchen, providing delicious – and time-saving – family-friendly meals? Look no further: YaDa Chef is the stress-free answer to your family’s grocery shopping and cooking needs. A personal chef is not a luxury A personal chef service provides stress-free meals prepared to your specifications in your home.  Your kitchen is left spotless with a refrigerator full of delicious meals. Having your own personal chef is not a luxury reserved for the rich. A personal chef service can cost you less than eating out at a moderately priced restaurant. Using a personal chef service can free up 10 to 12 hours of your time every week. Personal chefs are responsible for handling all the menu planning, groce

Fireside Orange Brownies Recipe

Whether you are camping in the countryside, heading to the backyard bbq grill, or just want head into your kitchen, these brownies "baked" in orange shells will give you just what you want.   Serves 6-8 6 - 8 medium to large oranges 1 box of your favourite brownie mix or use our recipe found here https://food.yadachef.com/2018/01/yada-chef-brownie-recipe.html    aluminium foil to wrap the oranges. Build a campfire, or preheat your grill oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4 Cut the top of the orange about 1/8 of the way down.  Scoop the flesh out and reserve for later use.  Make the brownie mix according to the directions.  Fill the orange shells up 3/4 of the way.  You should have about 1/2 inch/1.3cm gap.  If cooking in the ashes of a campfire or the grill, put the lid back on the orange. Wrap tightly in heavy duty foil and place in the still hot ashes cut side up, until the batter is firm and a tooth pick comes out clean. If using the bbq grill or baking in the oven you can leave the to