EVERLEIGH AT HOME - The Cocktail Party

Everleigh Bottling Co Entertaining at home

Article from by 'A Spot at the Bar'

By Michael Madrusan & Zara Young 

So you're throwing a party? How wonderful! Sure, there's some pressure involved. Who is going to show? What if there's not enough food? What music does everyone like? But with a little planning and preparation it is possible to pull this off seamlessly — and enjoy yourself too. Hosting an event can be a scary experience. We understand. The host of a party is often the entertainer, server, chef and organiser all at once. Balancing all those duties requires dedication and care. As anyone who has attended an Everleigh birthday party will tell you, we up the ante every year. We want to throw the best party Melbourne's seen, we want to raise a glass to everyone who loves us and, last but not least, we want to celebrate - and have some fun ourselves. While it is undoubtedly a tricky task, it is possible to host an event and enjoy it yourself! This is the art of hosting. Here are a few hints and tips for hosting a classic cocktail party at home, with love from The Everleigh. Just make sure our invitation doesn't get lost in the post. 

How much for how many?

For the casual affair, void of formal invitations and RSVPs, count on about seventy per cent of those invited showing up. The smart host expects unexpected guests, and has an additional stash of liquor and snacks set aside.For the casual affair, void of formal invitations and RSVPs, count on about seventy per cent of those invited showing up. The smart host expects unexpected guests, and has an additional stash of liquor and snacks set aside.With an average number of attendees in mind, you can calculate how many bottles of booze it'll take to keep everyone topped up throughout the evening. For example, a 700 ml (23½ fl oz) bottle of spirits will cater to approximately eleven cocktails. Depending what other beverages are on offer, it's wise to prepare for at least three cocktails per person.
Glassware and Ice for Home entertaining

Glassware & ice

When deciding on your menu for the evening, take note of which drinks go in which glass, (Collins glass, cocktail glass, rocks glass, etc.) and be sure to have enough of each shape and style. Stemmed cocktail glasses are guaranteed to do the rounds, taking care of your shaken citrusy numbers, stiff stirred classics and Champagne, should things get festive.When it comes to ice, you always need more than you think. The DIY method is doable if you have the space, time and enthusiasm. Alternatively, order hand-cut blocks from your nearest ice company and wow the crowd with diamond cuts they can read a book through.

Light fare

Serving some light fare alongside your welcome drink will help put guests at ease. Single-mouthful-size snacks are ideal. Present these on sharing plates to keep things social, but make sure they're not too large, or else food will be left to go stale.

Setting the tone

Inviting people into your home is a generous, hospitable act. Whether humble or lavish, it's your home, and it's a place you should be proud of. That said, in preparation for hosting it is always wise to consider what you'd like your guests to learn about you and what might best be kept private.In the calm air of the afternoon, before things get busy, note any embarrassing, unsavoury or incriminating items and see that they are stashed safely out of sight. Don't assume that new colleague you've been getting on so well with will know that The Book of Big Breasts was a Secret Santa gift and, unless you want your success with laser hair removal to be a topic of conversation, it'd be wise to take your appointment  reminder card off the fridge.
In terms of décor, take this opportunity to flaunt your favourite things. Framed photographs and curious ornaments are charming, and assist with the recounting of worldly tales. Fill the room with fresh flowers and plenty of candles, keeping electric lighting at a moody low. Appear cultured with a playlist that's neither generic nor wildly adventurous. Unless you're hosting a karaoke party, be sure to lower volume levels well before guests are expected. The same goes for later in the evening. That song might sound amazing to you at 3 am but, as unreasonable as it may seem, your neighbours are unlikely to agree ...

Social etiquette

To avoid boring the first to arrive with your disappointment that the soufflé didn't quite turn out the way it did last time, brush up on topical events likely to spark light and interesting conversation. Prepare to conduct guest introductions with confidence by triple-checking the names of your colleagues' partners. Stalk social media profiles where necessary, but be sure to act surprised when the person shows you their new tattoo, tells you about their recent holiday, or shares their controversial views on climate change. The chores always take longer than you expect and, regardless of clear instructions, someone always arrives a little early. There's no excuse to answer the door in your robe. Get the heavy cleaning out of the way and then get dressed. It's a good idea to wear something cool, regardless of the season, as there's likely to be some last-minute running around to do. It's been a long day and you've worked hard. Treat yourself to a beer while you're getting ready, but just the one. You want to be sober enough to entertain, but merry enough to be entertaining.