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3 Tips To Plan A Cocktail Party

If you’re reading this article is because you have an awesome cocktail party in mind. You are not looking for just another party; you and your friends have been to many of those already… this time you’ll organize a cocktail party that will make you win the gold medal as a party planner. You may have been thinking about this cocktail party for weeks already, or you just thought about it and are looking for immediate inspiration. If your goal is to impress your friends and give them a party to talk about for weeks, you’ve come to the right place!

Here are the best 3 tips to organize your next cocktail party:

First things first

By now your party mood must be on fire, but first things first! Before we dive into party-specifics, you must make sure to cover some basic aspects. Here’s an overview of what you’ll want to consider:

  • Date
  • Venue
  • Theme
  • Guest list
  • Invitations (and reminders)
  • Time and duration
  • Music
  • Budget

Planning your cocktail party with at least 3 to 4 weeks in advance will make sure that you not only have enough time to organize yourself but also let your friends set the date in their busy schedules. Knowing on beforehand that you have a cocktail party in mind will also create a high sense of excitement among them. Sending them 1 or 2 reminders will also keep the date hot. Don’t give them too many details, just let them know that there is a party coming up and that they don’t want to miss it!

You’ll also want to decide on the venue and the theme of your party right from the start. Will you do it at your own place? This is perfectly fine. Just make sure that you move things around to let your friends have the feeling that they’re entering a completely new place. Think about the lighting and decoration that you will use. You may also want to pick a theme and have your friends come dressed up in a certain way, just don’t make them wear an expensive or uncomfortable outfit.

Finally, you should try to spend a week or two in “detective mode” with your friends and try to find out what songs they like. You won’t be able to please everybody at the same time, but at one point, each of your friends should feel like they’re having the time of their lives. During your detective period, you’ll also want to know more about the types of drinks and food that will appeal to your friends. This will give you a better idea of everything you’ll have to buy, and this is crucial for determining the overall budget that you should have.

Offer tempting cocktails

This is what everything comes down to, isn’t it? This party is all about the cocktails, and there are two ways in which you could approach this; you can opt to have a full bar, or if you don’t have one, you might choose to a have a cocktail menu.  Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option: 

  1. Full bar:

A full bar is a good option if you have a well-stocked bar and if you’re willing to buy all the essential tools, liqueurs and garnishes for a wide variety of cocktail mixing.


  • A full bar will make a great impression if your cocktail party and if set up well, you’ll be able to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.


  • A full bar is more of an advanced level, so you’ll either need to have some experience in mixing cocktails, or you’ll need to have a good bartending guide that will easily guide you through the wide variety of cocktails that you’ll have to mix for your friends.
  • Another con is that your friends might stick to the cocktails that they usually drink, thereby decreasing the exciting factor of your cocktails.
  1. Cocktail menu:

A pre-established cocktail menu is a safer option and it can be based on your detective findings from a couple of days ago. It should, however, include cocktails that you expect your friends will like, but that they don’t know about yet.


  • Having a cocktail menu is great because it encourages people to step out of their drinking routine. If your detective report tells you that your friend Jenny is a good old mojito-lover, then this is the time to blow Jenny’s mind and put some mojito variations such as a passion fruit mojito, zesty orange mojito or pineapple mojito on the menu.


  • Having a pre-established cocktail menu may seem less exciting than a full bar setting.

A cocktail menu is a safer option, but it doesn’t have to be boring! Pay great attention to detail and present your friends some unexpected variations!

Do you need some cocktail mixing inspiration? Don’t worry, check out our cocktail recipes and get the inspiration you need for your friends’ cocktails. (hyperlink to cocktail recipes)

Be the perfect host and own the party

Finally, it is all about your moment of glory and well-deserved fun with your friends. Act with confidence, you’ve prepared yourself well for this moment. Amuse your friends with cool cocktail facts and tips and walk around the party making sure that everyone is having a good time. Follow these tips, and you’ll win the gold medal as a party planner!