Cocktail Party Catering Tips
Cocktail party catering is not extremely difficult, but if done right it is a bit of an art. Perhaps you have chosen to host a cocktail party because your bored with your dinner parties. No matter the reason, it is a great idea.
If you love to entertain it is the perfect way for your guests to enjoy good food, good conversation, and most of all, good drinks. If you are new to hosting cocktail soirées this is a great overview of how to plan a nice little get together.
List of Decisions
As stated before, hosting a cocktail party is not exactly difficult, but there a few detail that are best to decide on from the start.
Number of guests
Business or pleasure
Formal or casual
Full bar or limited cocktail menu
Indoor or outdoor
If outdoor is there a contingency location for in-climate weather
Will there be food
If there is food what is the menu
Theme if any at all
Budget limit for food and beverage
You do not have to have a theme for a good cocktail party, but it can help add an element of fun. When you use a theme it is easier to plan both the food and drink menu. Use menu items that will support the theme that you choose. Decorations are another fun item to use if you have a theme.
Themes can be based on destinations, time periods, or even just a color. Color theme cocktail parties are easily enforced by a mandatory color dress code for your guests. White parties are quite popular. A theme based invitation is an extra little fun touch to consider when planning your party.
Food Menu Planning
As stated earlier, planning a party around a theme is a great help when creating menus. Do not forget, the host is there to host the party not cook for the party. When you plan your food menu consider heavy hours d'oeuvres. Choose something that can be prepared ahead of time and heated right before service.
Also select items that do not need cooking. Bite size items will keep everyone free to mingle. There will be enough food to balance out the drinks without having a big sit down affair. Guests can serve themselves from a platter or you can politely pass a tray of treats around.
Select a delicious cocktail or two or three that follows the theme of your party. Unique and appropriate garnishes can put a new twist on a basic cocktail. Offer a few options in mixers and alcohols if you are not offering a full bar. Be sure to consider a few non-alcoholic options for drivers or for those who have had enough.
Ask For Help
This is the most important tip. Do not get overwhelmed with your party. The idea is for everyone to have fun. Ask your friends to help out with food prep or making drinks. The interactive element adds another unique quality people will enjoy.