How to properly throw a mini cocktail party for you and your friends, all the while keeping it Covid-friendly.
The art of hosting has been studied for decades. Inviting guests over into your home requires a certain level of maturity. One has to be able to provide their guests with whatever they need and go above and beyond. However, with the right atmosphere and the right group of people, a happy hour at yours will become a weekly thing, if you please.
I hope you have pain killers because you’re about to bend over backward for your guests! Just kidding, a little.
The Company you Keep
How many people do you intend to invite? Who are you planning on inviting into your home? Do these groups of people know each other, or are they meeting for the first time? Are your guests your good friends, your co-workers, your employees, or perhaps even your boss? Being a good host/hostess is inviting agreeable people that you know can and will mix well. It does not matter what part of your life they are from. As long as you know your people and how they behave in social settings, you will know who to invite with ease.
The physical form of the invitation has become a lost art, sadly. However, there are ways to send invitations online that make it much more meaningful than a text. You build up more excitement, anticipation, and all the more reason to come. Because you decided to take the time to send a proper invitation, people can already tell their night is going to be great if you’re the host.
Setting the Atmosphere
My favorite part of the entire evening is setting up. This is partly due to my passion for having my guests feel warmth/happiness and can have a good time amid our chaotic world. It makes me feel warm, making people feel warm. If your night is a success, you will be able to empathize with me. It is also 50% of the OCD in me. I am an extreme perfectionist, a blessing, and a curse, perhaps my downfall. However, I enjoy hosting because I can express myself honestly in good time and in good Company.
Candles are a must. Always have lots of candles!!! There are no ifs, and, and or buts about it. Do not use several scented candles and overwhelm your guests. Instead, try and use one scented candle while keeping the rest unscented. There are fabulous and inexpensive unscented candles and beautiful candle votives all over the internet or at any home goods store. I personally prefer using real candles versus battery-operated ones for several reasons:
- It feels somewhat regal/old-fashioned.
- All the candles light up to form a light show on the walls.
- Your guests will sense the warmth you’re sending them.
- You can dim the lights and set a mood.
Make sure to have votives and obviously candles that appropriately fit. I vary between mini candles, larger candles, and their matching votives. Click here to read more about what candles and votives you should by looking into. Other suggestions for a good ambiance would be to place string lights around the room or maybe even install Hue Bulbs in your lamps, which you can learn all about here.
Having a signature cocktail of the night is pretty unique and fun if you ask me. You can go as far as to base a whole theme around the cocktail. For example, a Valentines’ theme opens several creative doors. Perhaps you will introduce a “love potion” cocktail. People will definitely leave enchanted.
Have Different and Have a Lot
Make sure to have a good assortment of different liquors, mixers, as well as wine. People tend to forget about wine when it’s happy hour, and it seriously bugs me. Leave the appropriate glasses out for each type of liquor you’re serving, and please, do not use plastic. Also, remember to have olives if you’re serving martinis, picks, and cocktail straws.
Get Cheesy With It
A cheese board is a must! Who doesn’t love cheeses and meats? I bake a truffle honey brie wheel for my guests and place an assortment of different meats, cheeses, fruits, and bread around it. Cheese boards have become a trendy plate for cocktail parties and happy hours. People have done themes on their boards! Get creative with it and get a lot. People get hungry when they are drinking, and guests tend to stand the food. So make it worth the stand. Remember, not everyone does or can eat cheese and meat, so leave vegan-friendly options for our green friends.
Go Hard or Go Home
Get fancy with the napkins. You just gave your guests a level up on the ladder to sophistication. They will also probably be taking a picture of the drink with the napkin under it. Make sure that they are so lovely; even your napkins are social media shareable.
Playing Host/Hostess with the Most/Mostess
Dress to Impress
Wear something that will charm your guests. Pretend that you’re actually going to a cocktail bar and not staying at home. Do not wear something laid-back just because you are home. No excuses. You are the host, and you need to dress to impress. After all, people will be looking to you as their leader, don’t you want to be dressed for that honor? It’s your night to truly shine.
If your guests notice how beautiful the area is that you set up for them, they will start imagining the rest of the house. Perhaps, they will ask you for a tour. If that’s the case, keep all the rooms tidy and ready for showing. The whole party can get disappointed and maybe even feel a bit deceived.
Smile and Wave
Are you heavy? Because you need to carry yourself well. The host sets the energy, which is a mighty gift to be given. If you’re welcoming and can make friends out of strangers, the night is successful. Your radiance should be so clear that everyone else shines as well, through you. The right attitude and disposition in a host is always telling and can carry you very far if you allow it. Oh, and if no one has told you, no politics or religion talk. Forget the world and enjoy the people for who they are, not their opinions.
Call a Lifeline
If you feel the burden of responsibility weighing too heavily on your soul, ask a good friend to help. They will be more than happy to, and it makes your life much more comfortable. Being on top of all your guests can be daunting and sometimes not very fun.
Last but not least, keep it Covid-friendly.
Be Well Versed
Even though your party has the potential to be great, you need to be sensitive to and be aware of the current world’s state of being. Many of us have lost loved ones and have felt heavily depleted during these trying times. Remember to be respectful and never kid about Covid.
Those Who Couldn’t Make It
Have a laptop ready for those friends who can make it virtually! They will love that you thought of and included them, regardless of the distance or situation.
Keep it Clean
Make hand sanitizing stations available and make that entire space feel as clean as possible. Covid is on the brain, and your guests might not want to touch anything if they think that your home is unclean. Also, keep pens with drink markers available to each guest, so they can quickly identify their drinks. Make sure everyone wears a mask!
Keep it Small
Invite only people you trust, people who have been tested, and no one else. If you don’t know where and who someone has been around, do not invite them. It will make your guests extremely uncomfortable if they find out you asked just anyone to come during these strange times. It was probably difficult enough to decide if they should go or not. Your guests are putting their full trust and health in you.
And remember, the guest is always right.