Editors' Corner

Notorious Etiquette: Hosting The Perfect Cocktail Party

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Photo via stuff.co.nz
Photo via stuff.co.nz

No matter how old you are, you’ve got to throw a Cocktail Party at some point. Most of the time it’s a half- voluntary reaction to having been a guest forever but never playing host. With a cocktail party, you’re relatively off the hook though as your duties are limited to serving alcohol and finger food. Furthermore, your guests will be anxious to come across as noble as possible.

It sounds easy, but reality isn’t. To make sure your (first) cocktail party is as fabulous as in your wildest dreams we’ve put together a small guide on what to consider:

  • Guest list: the first step in the right direction is inviting a good mix of people. Following a saying, it’s always good to mix 3 different cliques. That way you can be sure your frenemy and ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend are having the most sophisticated conversation about how beautiful your place is.
  • Drinks& food: You can either make an open bar where everyone can mix his favorite drink or hire a professional bartender, have a fixed cocktail “menu” and invite people to try new things. Food-wise, stick to cold finger food, nobody likes cooled-down mozzarella sticks.
  • Dress & decoration: Throwing a cocktail party is very much about showing off, especially when hosting: make the best of your apartment, but try not to disguise it as something it isn’t. In terms of dresses, check our cocktail dressing guide.
  • Music: Make sure you either hire a DJ or prepare a good playlist. The (right) music makes a party top or flop. And let’s be honest: nobody wants to struggle with the stubborn guest/wannabe-dj your frenemy brought along as a “well-meant” surprise.
  • Act like the adult you are (or wanna be): Wave and smile, wave and smile. Vary a little and nod and smile, nod and smile, all the time! The perfect hostess is appropriate, which means polite, courteous and good-humored. She manages to spend 5 calm, very personal minutes with each guest to then magically get out of the affair because she has to “check on the salmon blinis”.Because: hosting a cocktail is self-presentation at its best – it’s about showing your strengths, not your weaknesses.

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