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How to Throw an Impromptu Cocktail Party

Think it's impossible to pull together a last-minute cocktail party? Not with these 4 tips from Domestic CEO!

By
Amanda Thomas,
Episode #138

Set the Mood

You don't need fancy decorations to host an incredible cocktail party. In fact, I like to just scatter candles around the room, as the glow of candlelight can add plenty of mood-setting atmosphere.

Next, be sure to prepare a killer playlist - nothing makes a party like awesome music, so choose wisely! Think of the group you are inviting and what time of year it is when picking your party tunes. Obviously, if it’s December, you’ll most likely choose Christmas music, but don’t make that the only thing on your playlist. Not everyone likes holiday music (in fact, some people don’t like it at all!), so try to select create a nice range of songs that everyone will enjoy. I recommend not playing music too loud, though - you want your guests to be able to comfortably carry on conversations.

Plan Some Games

It may seem like a juvenile thing to do, but I like to plan a few party games for my guests. Getting the group involved in some silly activities can really gets the party going! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Celebrity: This is an involved game that requires some space, since the version I prefer involves pantomime. Everybody does a good imitation after a drink or two (or thinks they do!) so this is an awesome game for a cocktail party. Click this link for detailed instructions on how to play.
  • Who Am I? (Aka The Famous Person Game): Write the name of a different famous person, from history or pop culture, on a Post-It, making sure there is one for each guest. Place one sticky on each guest’s forehead or on his back. Using the "20 Questions" format, each person then asks fellow dining companions questions to try and figure out their celebrity identity. The person who guesses their identity in the least number of questions wins.
  • I Never: Have each guest write down a secret act they have committed in the past, beginning the confession with. “I never...” Put the secrets in a bowl, and then let everyone take turns reading one secret aloud. After each secret is read, try and guess whose secret it is. We guarantee that if you don’t already know your dining companions well, you will by the end of the night! Want to create a bonus point version? Anyone who has also committed the secret act wins 10 points. Trust me, this game is awesome.

These games are guaranteed to liven up any party so don’t be afraid to add one or more to your impromptu cocktail party.

If the thought of throwing a party still gives you a nervous stomach, consider hiring some help. You can hire just one affordable server from most catering services, so If you really want to keep party prep stress to a minimum, get someone else to do the work. This frees you up to have just as much fun as your guests!

For some delicious cocktail ideas, head over to my Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest, or send me your suggestions on Facebook.

Until next time, I’m the Domestic CEO, helping you love your home!

Photo of martini in the city and snowflake cocktail party courtesy of Shutterstock.

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