Home and Living

Tips for Hosting the Perfect Cocktail Party

Now that it’s 2017, maybe one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to practice more of what we like to call “adulting.” This can mean paying your bills on time, cleaning your apartment, or cooking more at home (hello, Plated!). However, adulting doesn’t have to mean “not fun.” Here, we’re showing you how to throw an epic (and very adult) cocktail party. From no-fuss hors d’oeuvres to pitchers of strong, fancy cocktails, we’ve got your next cocktail party covered: you’ll be the host of 2017!


  • Take inventory of your alcohol supply, replenish as needed, and go buy ice.
  • Chill the glasses as needed.
  • Prepare your snacks for the evening and taste test them.
  • Before your guests arrive, quickly tidy up and put on some good music.
  • Channel your inner Tom Cruise and make some cocktails!
  • Have a great party; convince one of your guests to make you Weekend Brunch the next morning.

Hors D’oeuvres

A cocktail party isn’t a party unless there are delicious, tiny snacks to go along with all those tasty drinks. Lucky for you, here are three easy-peasy, fast recipes you can pull together in no time. These Spicy Roasted Nuts are the perfect finger food for guests who aren’t quite as adventurous, or maybe just aren’t that hungry! And for a little more pizzaz, whip up a few salty-sweet canapés, like this Tuna Tartare with Soy and Cucumber or Prosciutto-stuffed Figs.


Now, on to the main event. We’ve got a cocktail for everyone here, whether you love gin or tequila. We recommend you choose one or two, however, or you might not be feeling so great the next morning.

Rosemary-Thyme Vodka Lemonade

1/2 cup sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary
6 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
2 cups water
12 lemons
2 1/4 cups vodka
Ice cubes, for serving

In a small pot, combine the sugar, rosemary and thyme sprigs, and water. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Juice the lemons into a large pitcher. Add the rosemary-thyme syrup and vodka and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve.
Serve over ice with a sprig of thyme for garnish.

Elderflower Gin Gimlet

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
12 limes
6 tablespoons St-Germain elderflower liqueur
2 cups gin
1 cup seltzer
Ice cubes, for serving

Place 6 highball glasses in the freezer to chill.
In a small pot, combine the sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
Juice the limes into a large pitcher. Add the sugar syrup, elderflower liqueur, and gin and stir well to combine.
Just before serving, add the seltzer and ice to the pitcher and stir quickly to chill. Serve over ice in chilled highball glasses.

If gin or vodka aren’t your preferred liquor, worry not: a Charred Old Fashioned or Tequila Negroni are sure to do the trick.


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