It is impossible to find someone who does not enjoy a well put together dinner party. For the perfectionist host/hostess however, the planning process of such an event can prove to be far from enjoyable, as they struggle to create an experience rather than an event with food. While the dinner itself will depend heavily on the quality of the food, and not much be salvaged without it, the pre-dinner cocktail hour is the perfect time to set the right tone and atmosphere, as well to elevate the status of a perfectly made dinner to that of the perfect dinner party. Aside from drinking, the pre-dinner cocktail hour provides the opportunity to socialize and become situated in a more relaxed environment, before the formal and arguably, more intimate dinner table setting. While the quality and the variety of the served drinks pave the way for an enjoyable time, the presentation can elevate the event to make even a strong impression. Below, we have compiled six details every host or hostess of a cocktail hour should emphasize to create the unforgettable experience for all guests. And depending on the age group of your guests, you can mix and match the tips below to create the ideal set for your particular get- together, all without compromising on class.
Crystal ware is the most important aspect of the evening to consider. Well-made drinks in crystal glassware, with interesting designs and shapes, undoubtedly set the stage for a sophisticated and tastefully curated atmosphere. Further tailoring the glassware to the audience and to the theme of the event allows for the event to flow harmoniously and, makes the planning process infinitely more fun for the hosts!
If you are catering to guests above the age of 40 and the event is more formal than not (think: dinner party with coworkers and bosses) then, traditional glassware is the best option. While, traditional is often equated with being the simplest option, with glassware that is not the case. Some ornamentation on the glass is classy and pays homage to the royal roots of quality barware. Crystal ware of this kind is sure to woo with its romantic and universally appreciated form and style. Consider the options below:
If the dinner party is being thrown among friends, or for younger people, this is the time to experiment with the bolder options. In such a party setting, you should consider unique shapes and colors for your glassware. Further accessories, discussed below, can help establish a unified theme when combined with these sets.
Once you have chosen the right barware set, it is time to focus on the accessories that will complement it.
Here, the decision rests heavily on the kind of barware you choose — the bolder options allow for even bolder accessories in the form of whimsical stirs, illustrated lacquered trays, vibrantly colored coasters and even gold rimmed bar carts.
The easiest way to unify the bar set and the accessories is through the use of an accent color. If the room in which you are having the cocktail hour has an established accent color, you can continue it with these accessories, though not necessarily in the same shade or hue. For these designs, think stylized rooms of the ‘70s, where the clash of the colors was embraced but only by coordinating the specific tones (muted tones being heavily preferred in this specific era).
For the toned down bar sets, such as those used for family get together, the accessories can be the point of focus. Here, you can continue with the use of bold bar accessories, so as to elevate the simplicity with intentional details. Accessories that have a special meaning attached to them, is a bonus!
For the most formal cocktail hours, where our suggestion is to use the ornate sets, the bar accessories should be kept minimal and preferably coordinated in someway with the dainty designs.
Because the focus here is the beautiful etchings, not much needs to detract from their intricacy and pure elegance. The bar cart below is the perfect sole accessory.
Perhaps the easiest way to drastically change a given space is by replacing the decor, and the easiest decor to target for change are the smallest details of the house. You don’t have to uproot your space in an effort to accommodate the perfect cocktail hour; instead focus on putting out a new vase, or complementing the bar sets with similar types of candle holders. Because the purpose of the cocktail hour is to set the mood for socializing and to instill a relaxed feeling in another person’s home, we suggest you focus on the smallest details of your home; vases, candlesticks, clocks and mirrors are the perfect points of focus. Consider the options below:
Here, the trick is to be able to reveal your particular taste while choosing timeless products, in an effort to ensure that the item isn’t outdated by the particular theme of the cocktail hour. A long line of successful decor from established quality ware such as Moser, St.Louis and Hermes among others, ensures timelessness, as is evident from their long established statuses as the finest craftsmen.
By focusing on these 3 important planning aspects when planning the cocktail hour, you will ensure a delightful time for your guests and most important, for yourself.