Guest Blog – The Essential Cocktail Party Checklist

We’re delighted to have Managing Director of Plato Catering Hire, Stuart Slaughter, as guest writer for our blog this week. Founded in 1999, Plato Catering Hire are an award winning catering equipment, linen and furniture hire company and recipients of the Hire Association Europe’s Hire Awards of Excellence ‘Event Equipment Hire Company of the Year 2017. You can find out more about Plato by visiting their pages on Twitter and Facebook.’

The Essential Cocktail Party Checklist

A great cocktail party requires two essential components; good drinks and good people. As long as you have these core elements, you’re set to have a blast. But if you want to plan an unforgettable event, one that your guests will be talking about for years to come, here are some essentials to include on your cocktail party checklist.

Cocktail party drinks

1. Invitations

In a world where online communication is so convenient, it’s easy to forget this detail. But invitations are such a great way of making your event extra special. There’s something very exciting about receiving an official invite in the post, and paper invitations can help you set the tone of your party theme / dress code if you have one. Sending out invitations between six to eight weeks before your party will give guests plenty of time to clear their schedules and depending on your budget, they can be homemade or designed and printed professionally.

2. A Cocktail Menu

Once you’ve sent out your invites and decided on your theme, it’s time to build your drinks menu. This may take some time as you need to curate a good selection of tipple to please everyone at your party. Try to include specialist cocktails as well as some crowd pleasers, AKA the classics. Here are some easy classic cocktails to inspire your menu.

3. Decorations and Partyware

Decorations for your venue are a must. Decide on a style or a theme, set yourself a budget then start shopping for the little finishing touches to make your party venue look the part. If you don’t have the money to transform the room, focus your budget on the smaller things such as party straws, cocktail sticks and stirrers, and stylish tableware.

4. Beautiful Glassware

No cocktail party is complete with beautiful glassware for your cocktails. And every cocktails requires a different size/style of glassware. From tumblers to highball glasses, martini glasses to hurricane glasses, or from a flute to a shot glass, there really is a lot to think about. If you don’t own the right types of glassware to serve your cocktails in, consider hiring glassware from a reputable company.

Gin and tonic glasses

5. Food & Nibbles

There’s no better way to wow your party guests than with a good spread. But remember, cocktails parties are all about mingling and working the room. So sit down menus and big plates will not be required. Easy to grab nibbles and canapes usually work best for cocktails nights so opt for things that are convenient to eat whilst standing up. Devilled eggs, crisps and nuts, topped crostini, mini tarts, small sandwiches, cheese and crackers, cocktail sausages and other finger food is ideal.

King prawn canapes from Caviar & Chips Catering
King prawn canapes from Caviar & Chips Catering

6. Music

Every party needs a good party playlist, and crowd pleasing music can really help you create the right atmosphere for your evening. If you’re planning a lively night ahead with all night dancing, select clubbing classics and chart toppers that everyone can sing along to. Or if you want a classy affair with good conversation, choose upbeat background music that gets everyone in the mood. If you don’t have time to devise your own, try using one of the free party playlists available on the internet.

Stuart Slaughter is Managing Director of Plato Catering Hire. Delivering throughout Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and the West Midlands, Plato can deliver directly to you or your venue.

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