Hosting a Vintage Cocktail Party

Two years ago, I hosted a cocktail party at my house. I had always been fascinated with the idea of dressing up, acting “fancy”, and sharing some great food and drinks with my friends. It turned out to be a huge success.

Cocktail parties are a great way for breaking the ice and socialising. However, a great party requires great planning. You need to have an idea of the number of guests attending, if it is going to be a formal/informal gathering, whether it is going to be an indoor/outdoor party, finalising the food & drinks menu, and finally allocating budget for the party. For elaborate party planning, click for info.

A few helpful tips for a great cocktail party includes sending out early invitations, having all the necessary bar tools, the right pairing of food with drinks, arranging for ample food and drinks, and stocking up on the utilities such as plates, spoons, forks, glasses, napkins, etc…

The hardest part of the entire planning process was choosing which cocktails we’d serve. We were having both men and women, so we didn’t want something too girly or too strong. We ended up with some classic choices: margaritas, martinis, and strawberry daiquiris.

If I had read Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails before my cocktail party, I would have had Dr. Cocktail’s help in choosing some fabulous selections. Lucky for me, I’m all about hosting parties, so I decided it was time for another party and this time I went vintage.

The food was simple. Cheese, crackers, and garlic bread. The drinks? They were delicious. Here’s the roll call.

Vintage Cocktail #1

Name: The Corpse Reviver #2
Ingredients: Gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Lemon Juice, Absinthe
Verdict: The favorite of the evening. Strong, but truly delightful.

Vintage Cocktail #2

Name: The Jack Rose Cocktail
Ingredients: Applejack, Lime, Pomegranate Grenadine
Verdict: Sweet and intriguing.

Vintage Cocktail #3

Name: La Floridita Daiquiri
Ingredients: Rum, Limes, Sugar, Maraschino Liquor
Verdict: A cherry on top (homemade thanks to my cocktail cherry recipe!) makes this one absolutely delightful.

Vintage Cocktails and Forgotten Cocktails

Ted Haigh, a.k.a. Dr. Cocktail, makes his living as a graphic designer in the Hollywood movie industry and has worked on such spectacles as O Brother Where Art Thou?, American Beauty, and The Insider. He has been researching cocktails since the ’80s and has been referenced by the New York TimesEsquire, the Malt AdvocateMen’s Journal and writes regularly for Imbibe Magazine. He is a partner in, an encyclopedic database of cocktail knowledge and curator and designer of The Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.