So it’s Friday afternoon, and you’re more than done with a very long week. Your spouse calls and informs you that some people are coming over… in an hour. To him, it’s no big deal, but to you, it means hosting a cocktail party, and the blood pressure is rising. It happens a lot during the holidays, so how can you look all cool and collected on a moment’s notice? Here are a few ideas for you.
The Best Plan is Not to Plan at All
Your guests take their emotional cues from you when they walk in your door, so chill out. I know, it is easier said than done, but if they feel you are stressed and put out, they will feel uncomfortable. Put some great music on, light a candle or two, and breathe deeply. You will have a great time this evening. Promise.
If you are throwing a cocktail party together at the last minute, a couple of things to keep in mind: the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sweetie. There are a couple of ways to approach it. Have a few bottles of a good red and a good white ready. Get a few beers iced down. Have one ‘signature’ cocktail available. This time of year, something like a pomegranate martini would be festive. But don’t try to have everything anyone could ever want. If appropriate, text or call the invitees to let them know what you have, and if they’d like something different, to bring it with them. Win. Win.
Just put those red solo cups away, please. Yes, I mean it. Now is the time to pull out the stemware. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match: it can actually be better if it doesn’t. That way, it’s easier for your guests to find their glass when they’ve walked away from the table to join another conversation! Pull out a variety of glassware, from various wine glasses to highball glasses to shot glasses.
If you have time to run to the store, look for some funny cocktail napkins. There are a lot of creative options out there. One of our favorites is: “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, but if the White Runs Out I’ll Drink the Red.” It is often the small details like these that people remember from an impromptu gathering, so feel free to show your personality!
Again, this is a relatively last-minute cocktail party. It is not a 3-course gourmet meal, so don’t stress about it. What do you have in your pantry and refrigerator that work? The best way to start is to pull out a wooden cutting board. Then pull out olives, cheeses, crackers, fruit and nuts. You want to arrange it artfully, but when it’s last minute, that means artfully messy! It’s best to have a variety of cheeses on the board, like 3, arranged in a triangle. Then fill it in with grapes, maybe a ramekin filled with nuts, a stack of green and black olives. You will want to have a couple of cheese knives available by the board. You will look like a contestant on the Food Network’s Chopped but it was actually pretty light culinary lifting.
Yeah But What About the Queso or Pizza Rolls?
Resist the urge. If you are feeding a hungry crowd for a football game, then yeah, go for it. But for an impromptu cocktail party, keep it simple and classy. Plus, your home will smell better from a scented candle than a pizza roll! Speaking of homes, we have some fabulous properties to show you at The Kovacs Connection. Let our team of real estate professionals find you the perfect place to have that impromptu party… and yes, you will forgive your spouse for springing it on you with no notice… whatsoever!