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How to host the ultimate winter wonderland cocktail party | Hammonds

dining table with candle lighting

Wondering how to host a cocktail party? Get ready for your big event well in advance with our helpful and sophisticated cocktail party ideas.

You might not have seen it coming just yet, but Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re somebody who enjoys hosting at home, there’s no bigger season for parties and opportunities to show off your beautiful dwelling to family and friends. However, things are a little different right now, and while chances of a big party any time soon are looking pretty slim, you might want to start looking to the future for when it’s safe to get back together with your loved ones and celebrate in style.

Say you’re looking to hold a belated festive do, or you’re even looking to next year already, a winter wonderland cocktail party is a perfect theme for all to enjoy. Even if it’s just preparation for better times right now, take some inspiration from our short guide on how to host a cocktail party that everyone will love.

Decide on the date and send out your invites

One of the first rules of party planning is to get well ahead of the game, which suits the current situation we find ourselves in perfectly! During a typical winter season, peoples’ schedules will be at their busiest, with all sorts of engagements happening every weekend. With that in mind, you want to find a date you think will suit most people and get it in the diary early. Don’t let someone else steal your spot!

Set the tone for your party with a fancy invite, and make sure you’re using first class stamps for extra quick delivery!

Choose which cocktails will feature on your menu

Now for a fun part – choosing the booze. If you’re hosting a cocktail party, your guests will be expecting, you’ve guessed it, cocktails. Try to cater to a range of tastes, from bitter to sweet and covering all the major spirits (vodka, whiskey, gin and rum). You’ll want plenty of the classics (mojito, sex on the beach, espresso martini) with a few curveballs, too.

Presentation-wise, if you can create a bar area somewhere then that makes a great touch. If you’re throwing things together in the kitchen, what about a swanky drinks menu with a few creative names on there? If you’re fretting about your lack of cocktail-making skills, there are plenty of easy cocktail recipes for parties to be found online.

Ask for some help

Pride comes before a fall, and when talking about parties that pride comes in the form of trying to do too much on your own. Maybe you don’t want to burden someone else, maybe you’re keen to keep all your ideas a surprise, but you shouldn’t be shy in asking for help from a few people close to you.

This goes for both the build up to and during the party. Maybe you need someone to do an emergency shop for you, perhaps you need some help with service on the night. Whatever it is, your family and friends should be more than happy to get involved.

Ensure you’ve got all the right bar tools

Unless you’re a regular purveyor of cocktails, you’ll need to stock up on the essentials before the party starts. Some things you might not have in just yet:

  • Cocktail glasses
  • Cocktail shakers
  • Cocktail strainer
  • Garnishing tools
  • Straws and stirrers
  • Napkins

Make sure your hosting area is up to scratch, too. You’ll probably be doing most of the work from the kitchen – our fitted kitchens and appliances can ensure you have the perfect hosting environment for the evening.

Decide on your outfit

Party planning is stressful, no matter how much time you give yourself in advance. So, you want to minimise that stress by having you can control under control by the time the party comes around. One of those things is your outfit for the evening, which if you get sorted early will give you one less thing to worry about as you get closer to crunch time.

Cocktail parties are traditionally classy affairs, so think about proposing a formal dress code for your guests in order to give your event the swanky aesthetic it deserves.

Decorate your space

Some decoration, but not too much, is advisable for your event. Bearing in mind the more formal tone you’re likely to go for, keep the décor simple with a centrepiece or wreath on your dining table, with a few wintery elements like snowflakes and white flowers scattered around the house.

Consider your entertainment options

One of the harder cocktail party ideas to figure out is your entertainment. While your friends can undoubtedly entertain themselves with conversation and a little music, it might be fun to introduce something a little different. Consider some ideas around cocktail party games for adults – perhaps a make your own cocktail section of the evening. Of course, a good old-fashioned game of charades always goes down well.


While party season might not be what we’re normally used to this year, it’s still fun to think of all the ideas you can put into place once things get back to normal.

Whenever you do get a chance to host your winter wonderland cocktail party, take these tips on board and look forward to creating a magical night for your nearest and dearest.

You can also find further guides and inspiration on the Hammonds blog.   


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