Cocktail Party Ideas

cocktail party ideas

Cocktail parties can be both fun and sophisticated. Just mix some great drinks, tasty appetizers, yummy desserts and good friends! Here are some of our favorite cocktail party ideas to help you plan your event.

Cocktail Party Ideas for Invitations

Sending great invitations by mail can make your guests feel special before the party even starts. You can either make your own invitations or send pre-made cards. Here are some ideas for both options:

  • Martini Glass Invitations — Cut colored cardstock into the shape of a martini glass. On the front, write something like, “Come Help Us Shake It Up at a Cocktail Party!” On the back write all your party information.

You can always find lots of great online party invitations with a free RSVP manager at Evite,


Here are some fun cocktail party invitations available for purchase online from our friends at Amazon:

Magnetic Cocktail Party Invitations

Retro Cocktail Party Invites

Summer Cocktail Party Invites

Planning Your Cocktail Party

A cocktail party can be as formal or as informal as you would like. When planning your party, first decide whether you’d like it to be a dressy evening or a casual night with friends in your backyard. Here are some cocktail party ideas to help you get started…

  • Set the Date — Saturday nights are a great time for a party, because most people won’t be worried about arriving late from work or getting up too early the next day.


  • Set the Time — In general, cocktail parties start a little earlier than other events. A good starting point is around 6 o’clock.


  • Decide on a Dress Code — If you are hoping to host a more sophisticated affair, you might suggest on your invitations for guests to come in “dressy casual” attire.


  • Consider Hiring Some Help — If your budget allows, hiring a bartender or catering service can make hosting a cocktail party a breeze.


  • Serve a Signature Drink — A great cocktail party idea that can add a special touch to your event is serving a signature drink. Check out a website such as for inspiration and then give your favorite recipe a fun name that goes along with your party. Another idea is to serve a set menu of both traditional cocktails and a few mixed drinks made specially for your celebration.


  • Provide Some Other Drink Options — Beer, wine, water, and a non-alcoholic party drink option are nice to have on hand for guests that might prefer something other than a cocktail.




  • Remember the Lighting — Twinkle lights, paper lanterns, and tiki torches can all be great ideas that help create a festive party atmosphere when the sun goes down.


  • Offer Some Small Bites, Both Savory and Sweet — Finger foods are great for a cocktail party, because they allow your guests to mingle and eat at the same time. Start with a selection of appetizers, and as the party progresses, add some dessert options to the mix.


  • Provide Ample Seating — Whether your party is indoors or out, be sure to provide places for your guests to sit. Small cocktail tables are also a good idea so that people can eat and rest their drinks. If your party is going to be held outdoors during warm weather, consider setting up some outdoor umbrellas to provide some shade.


  • Play Some Background Music — Soft background music is a great idea for any party. You can create a playlist specific to your event, play a compilation of your favorite CDs, or tune into your favorite radio station.


  • Add Flowers — Pretty flower arrangements can be a great touch at a summer cocktail party. Use them at your serving areas and on tables where guests wil be sitting. You might also add some citronella candles to serve double duty as both a part of your table centerpieces and a mosquito deterrent.


  • Use Pretty Tableware — Break out the good china or make clean up easy with some pretty paper goods. Here are some great options (each pattern below is available in a variety of colors):

Hope you found some helpful cocktail party ideas on this page.
Enjoy your celebration!

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