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Elegant Cocktail Party

Whether you’re having a few friends over for a fun-filled evening or hosting a big soirée, we’ve got you covered with an assortment of great recipes and tips for your best cocktail party ever.


Party Basics

Ensure your guests' enjoyment from the start by creating a warm, relaxing atmosphere; a mood-boosting music playlist will help set the tone, as well as some decorations to suit the occasion.


  • For a larger cocktail party, you should have a few different cocktails made with spirits and two alcohol-free punches. Make sure to have sparkling water, wine and champagne also on hand.
  • Plan to serve eight hot or cold hors d’oeuvres per person.
  • Have plenty of cocktail napkins for guests. Place stacks of them within easy reach and when passing platters, offer a napkin at the same time.
  • Remember that cocktail food should be bite-sized, so guests can easily eat and mingle.
  • Place plenty of toothpicks on each food platter and disposal containers nearby.


Bartending Tricks to Consider

So you have your tasty cocktails ready to go, what next? Step it up a notch by adding the fine details. Rim glasses with fine salt or fruit sugar for an extra touch of elegance (a little lemon juice or water will help make the sugar or salt stick). Use a polished silver tray to serve drinks––the reflection of the glasses and their contents will look fabulous.


Create a Mouthwatering Spread

The whole point of a cocktail party is to encourage people to mingle. Carrying a glass and plate around can be tiring, so arrange small tables in various parts of the room, where guests can set their glass or plate down if they wish.


The secret to making food for a crowd is all in the prep work. Choose foods that can be made ahead of time. For instance, brochettes can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until you're ready to cook them and sliced baguette can be baked at the last minute. It’s always good to have cheeses and fruit handy to help fill out big platters. And keep frozen appetizers as back-up––you never know when extra guests might show up!


Here are some delicious app ideas that guests will love.


  • Cherry tomatoes stuffed with cream cheese, shrimp or tapenade.
  • Wrap melon balls and quartered figs in thin slices of prosciutto.
  • Cut roasted red peppers into strips and roll them around cubes of feta. Fasten rolls with toothpicks, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced olives.
  • Cut a cucumber into 1½-in. (4-cm) long pieces and wrap in thin slices of smoked salmon. Fasten rolls with toothpicks.
  • Cut the top off cherry tomatoes, then core and fill them with pistou (Provençal pesto) and mozzarella or cocktail shrimp with mayonnaise.

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