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Stylish Cocktail Party Ideas for the Modern Entertainer

It’s cocktail party time! The holidays are over, but there’s still plenty to celebrate. For one thing, it’s awards season, and awards shows like The Oscars and The Grammys are the perfect excuse for group viewing with a touch of festivity. Not to mention, as winter begins turning to spring, people begin to venture out more, ready to socialize again after falling into the habit of staying bundled up at home to escape the cold.

Festive cocktail party Stylish Cocktail Party Ideas for the Modern Entertainer

Festive cocktail party

[Image courtesy of Epicurious]

If you’re preparing to host a cocktail party, we hope today’s featured pics inspire you. Not only do they offer some wonderful suggestions for how to entertain with style, they give us a glimpse into the world of hosting with ease. Whether you prepare a series of bite-sized appetizers that cut down on clean-up time or you encourage guests to mix their own drinks, make sure you leave some time for yourself to enjoy the party when all is said and done!

Prepare a Festive Spread

There’s nothing like walking into a party and seeing an enticing display of drinks and nibbles. An easy way to entertain with flair? Take some time to set up a beautiful party table. Whether you showcase a collection of lovely glassware or you feature a decadent arrangement of liquor bottles, make the most of the spread, as shown below. [The Register-Guard]

Time for cocktails Stylish Cocktail Party Ideas for the Modern Entertainer

Time for cocktails

Your party spread doesn’t have to take up an entire table or counter top. A lovely tray of food or drinks can get the job done, especially when embellished with candles and fresh greenery. [from Houzz user Kate]

A stylish display of liquor

A stylish display of liquor

One easy way to create an amazing party tray that guests will remember? Premix drinks and display them in a group. If the colors are as lovely as the rose and gold cocktails below, the drinks themselves can double as instant party decor. [from The Sweetest Occasion via Favim.com]

Cocktails on a tray

Cocktails on a tray

Drink Embellishments

We now focus on the drinks… Will you have a designated bartender? Will you premix the drinks and set them out before the party? Will you leave out recipe cards and encourage guests to mix their own drinks? And just how will you present the cocktails in the best light? To make a display of drinks more impressive, embellish each glass with a colorful garnish. Below we see sunset-hued cocktails jazzed up with vivid yellow lemons. Note the fancy trim on each round lemon slice, achieved through strategic cutting. [from Toast Catering & Event Management]

Premix party drinks

Premix party drinks

Not a fan of garnishes? Try swizzle sticks! The gold pom swizzle sticks below were handmade for an unforgettable awards season bash. For more details, including how to make your own, visit Camille Styles. These cocktail picks are whimsical and dreamy, don’t you think?!

Festive cocktail swizzle sticks

Festive cocktail swizzle sticks

Food Presentation Tips

How will you serve the food at your party? One option is to have each appetizer/dish pre-divided into individual portions. Then all guests have to do is grab and enjoy! Below we see a holiday cocktail party designed by Prairie Hive. Note the clean-lined design, as well as the way that small portions cut down on the potential mess that would be created by guests scooping from community bowls and buffets.

Elegant cocktail party table

Elegant cocktail party table

In an image from the same gathering, we see how bite-sized goodies encourage tidiness while serving as mini-artistic statements of their own. Interested in the recipe for the Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Pistachio Dust (shown below)? Check out all the details at Prairie Hive:

Bite-sized appetizers for a cocktail party

Bite-sized appetizers for a cocktail party

A little color goes a long way. Don’t hesitate to select a bold tablecloth or use vibrant dishware to create a vivid spread of party food. In the next image, we see Mexican green chili fondue for a Latin-inspired cocktail party. Yellow pops against a blue background, ensuring that this gathering has plenty of color. [from iVillage]

Cocktail party appetizers

Cocktail party appetizers

When it comes to the food, don’t hesitate to go with classic drink-complementing goodies such as Manchego cheese toasts and cherries. You can’t go wrong when you mix cherry and cranberry cocktails with hearty favorites such as nuts and cheese. For the full recipes, check out AnnArbor.com.

Classic cocktail appetizers of cheese, nuts and fruit

Classic cocktail appetizers of cheese, nuts and fruit

You’ve gotta love the power of variations on a theme… Entice guests with a row of toasted mini-bites. What stays the same: each toasty piece of bread. What changes: the toppings. Which appetizer bite would you choose? [from Bite Catering]

Cocktail party appetizer bites

Cocktail party appetizer bites

Are you ready to host a cocktail party? Wow your guests with a design-happy presentation of drinks and appetizers, but don’t think that your gathering has to be over the top in order to be festive. Display and serve the food and cocktails in a way that cuts down on clutter, engages guests and keeps the evening running smoothly. If you can pull that off, you’ll really have reason to toast… [from Southern California Public Radio]

Party toast

Party toast


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