PDF The Never Ending Cocktail Party

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You can watch any TV show or film and just by setting thwhe tips, tricks and rules are that there are always established guidelines in place. The party may be different in every decade but each book has one clear message: be prepared, know the rules and have fun. So allow me to help you with the rules and the prep and leave the fun to you.


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Entertaining is a lot like drama, or in some cases HBO. You set the scene and then let the story unfold but the whole time remembering that you need to share its meaning with others. Like most film or TV there is usually some focal point or narrative that commands the attention of everyone, whether that is multiple characters like Game of Thrones or just 3 main characters like True Crime, your party should be around your "characters".

The food, the drink, the theme, the people or crowd.

However unlike most TV or film, the party is the first true experiential event. It is the interactive theatre of entertaining, the sum of energy, motion and people.

Titles & Designations

At parties, the action and the stars are not confined to one moment or one space, the story is without true conclusion because is the audience, the crowd, the characters. Like all good film and parties it all comes down to the director. Who has not been to a party where there is no direction and people stand around, mingle a little and then leave after twenty minutes when they feel they have enough business cards and can justify the activity to bosses, partners and the like. There needs to be dramatic tension, a sense of movement, it should feel like they are in the place to be and the only way to make this possible is for you the party planner to give your show a plot!

The Old Fashioned Cocktail

Mailing out the invitation that hints at the colour, tone, formality is the equivalent of a movie trailer or a film poster. Before the party starts you need the invitations, send printed invitations to your guests in something other than an envelope, why not a glass bottle or a rectangle box filled with wood shavings incorporating elements that will be included in the party to come. This will create a sense of anticipation and curiosity about the event, they will also serve as mementos after the occasion is done.

By having a good understanding of your guests profile you can always add something personal that will appeal. Remember you must also account for all the much needed basics, which includes what drinks will be served, the RSVP info, the dress code, the full timings of the event and the venue address and transport opportunities and accommodation if needed.

Once they arrive everything needs to be both fabulous and dynamic, physically prepared and leaving a mental memory for we in events are in the memory business.

How To Host A Fun And Fabulous Cocktail Soirée

We want to create the party the guests are expecting before they even arrive, so go through the flow of the room. How will the guests move around the room, from food to drinks, decorations and most importantly to each other as this is a cocktail party our main star of the night is the bar and its stars, the drinks. The host should always greet the guests at the door with the offer of a drink - you should always be the first person they meet - this will immediately make them feel welcome and ready them to step, on to the stage , into the party if only to grab a drink.

Already you have set up the first interaction into motion. Act One.

The Old Fashioned Cocktail

If you are a good director you have set up stations of simple snacks like canapes, nibbles, and such in interesting locations all over your entertaining space so that people will have a reason to move to all corners of the room. Think about how great TV is as opposed to a theatre show due to the scene changes so give your guests a chance to change scenes DO NOT put all your drinks or food in one place only. Create different stations with different cocktails.

How To Host A Fun And Fabulous Cocktail Soirée

By now your guests are moving all over the room and mingling, not only will they now have more chance to move but they will have an excuse to get out of those uncomfortable conversations by excusing themselves to go hunt down the cocktail they saw go by from another part of the room. Offer your guests a progressive selection of tastes, begin by setting out simple bites, cheese, nuts and olives then introduce a few new items in the second hour and so on.

Then when everyone least expects it, you bring out your show stopper. Your guests will feel a sense of development, story, theatre and just like that your narrative is in motion. Another great thing about this is that it allows your guests to nibble consistently throughout the night without eating the same thing over and over again. Also think about the importance of chemistry amongst actors, never think about serving strong spirits or other potent concoctions without food. You need the elegance of waltz, people moving around the room instead of the room moving around the people.


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An essential element of every party is the best use of space and the easiest way to do this is by spreading your decorations throughout the space so people don't perceive any central place to be. Do not worry over one centrepiece, scatter vases with fresh flowers or simple elements of the design motif throughout all the active spaces.

Do not forget to be practical about the positioning of small tables unlike movies, parties don't have a blooper reel where you can laugh as you see people trip over props. Serving Plates : Having at least three to four options of food is ideal. You will want to make sure ahead of time that you have enough platters to hold your food, so take inventory. Remember, this is not a dinner party; the cocktails should take center stage, but food is necessary. Consider having food that only requires napkins, toothpicks and fingers to eat.

Adam Buchanan (Author of The Never Ending Cocktail Party)

But, this is also a generational thing. Some people want plates, so know your guests and their expectations. Yes, you can have a full bar on hand and a even a bartender. If you stick with two or three cocktails, you can streamline the alcohol needs. Remember to offer some non-alcoholic options, too.

Do you want a theme? The choice of drink can also help guests know how to dress. Margaritas says something different than martinis. If you are the type to juice your limes for margaritas we admit we are … you are well aware of the disappointment in having all the hollowed out fruit and nothing to do with them except compost. Well, this idea, found on Imgur , allows you to make margarita shots! Have at least three or four food options to help soak up alcohol.

Also, consider different dietary needs. Having a vegetarian option and a gluten-free option are gracious since so many people do have these dietary restrictions. Garnishes can vary from slices of lime to a strawberry.

The salted rims can all be normal margarita salt, or you can mix this up to have spicy or flavored versions. For a beautiful food blog that happens to include quite a collection of finger foods and truly amazing drinks, see bobvivant. Then, find your favorite recipe for each and provide three pitchers with the liquor bottles showcased. Handwrite a note about each distillery showing pride in these small batched businesses.

WWE 2K20 “Cocktail Party” commercial

The Bacon-Grits Fritters we came across writing this look pretty amazing. Then, perhaps a Bloody Mary to round out the selection. For food, think fried chicken bites, deviled eggs, ham biscuits and cheese straws. An example are these gorgeous and delicious bourbon balls by Art Eatables. These ideas are just to get your creative juices flowing. If you can afford it, hiring a bartender and someone to help out will allow you to enjoy your own party and leave you with a clean kitchen as well!

Consider making a playlist for the night. Party favor ideas: food and music are always good party favors that you know will actually be used.