Cocktail parties are a low-key way to celebrate special events such as open houses or receptions. At first glance, it might seem simple to throw together a few snacks and drinks, but it takes some planning to pull off an event that impresses your guests. We’ve put together this go-to guide to get you started on throwing a cocktail party that everyone enjoys.

Tend to Every Guest’s Needs

A diverse group of guests means that you’ll likely have people on special diets or that don’t drink alcohol. Make sure to include a few vegetarian or gluten-free options on the menu. You’ll also want to stock up on a few alcohol-free beverages that lets everyone enjoy a cool drink.

Shake Off Worries About Running Out of Refreshments

Your guest count should guide your food and drink selections. On average, you can expect most people to have 2 drinks the first hour of the event followed by one for each additional hour. For hors d’oeuvres, plan to have 4 to 6 pieces per guest available for each hour. Keep in mind that the total amount you need to order can vary depending upon the timing of your party and if you might expect that guests ate before they came. We have Mini Meals on our menu that are perfect for making sure that everyone has enough to eat.

Mix It Up With Different Food Temperatures and Flavors

Cocktail parties might seem like they are all about the drinks, but it is the food that your guests will remember. You don’t need to have an extensive menu if you plan to include options that provide a variety of sensations. Caterers in NJ can keep your food at the perfect serving temperatures, and our menu offers sweet and savory flavors that go perfectly with mixed drinks. Plan to include around five different options to keep the menu interesting.

Sip and Mingle With Your Guests

Being distracted by trying to mix up drinks is no fun when everyone else is mingling. Consider hiring a bartender who can do all of the hard work while you relax and enjoy the party. For your drink selection, you’ll first want to decide between an open bar or planning a simple menu. If you have a signature cocktail that you want to highlight, then just let the bartender know. They’ll pull it off perfectly while you enjoy making sure that all of your guests are having a good time.

Blend It All Together With a Theme

Planning around a theme can make it easier to pick your food and drink options. For example, there’s nothing like coconut shrimp to bring out the fun at a tropical-themed party, and cheeseburger sliders work great for sports-themed gatherings. Our Jersey Shore catering chefs are great at recommending hors d’oeuvres that go with specific drinks, and you can finish it off by playing some matching music low in the background while everyone mingles.

The big rule of thumb when it comes to throwing a cocktail party is to make sure that you are able to enjoy socializing with your guests. By planning to let us cover the food prep and service, you’ll be able to mingle from the moment your guests first arrive and until the last one leaves.

"Creating Culinary Magic"

- Chef John Deatcher

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