Retro Cocktail Party – Break out your smoking jacket, because nothing brings out the “rat pack wannabees” like a swank cocktail party!

1.) Create a DIY bar.  Sure, a bartender is a great idea, but it is just as much fun to stock the bar with everything (including condiments) that you need to make a great cocktail, and place a martini recipe book that allows your guests to test their bartending skills.  For your use, I noted a bar guideline below (compliments of

For 20 guests –

  • Bottles of Spirits – One Vodka; one Whisky; one Gin; one Scotch; one Sweet vermouth; one Dry vermouth; two Rums (one light and one dark); and one Tequila. Make sure that you have beer and two bottles of red and white wine available for this number of guests if you are offering more than cocktails.
  • Extra Supplies – Twenty pounds of ice; two Tonic Waters; two Ginger Ales; two Colas; two Soda Waters; two Orange Juices; one Cranberry Juice; one Lime; one Lemon; Olives; Maraschino Cherries; Napkins; Cocktail Sticks; Any extra mixers that you see fit (i.e. pineapple juice); and any extra fruit that you see fit (i.e. oranges)
  • Glassware – 60 glasses (estimate 3 per person). Stock up on mainly lowball and highball glasses but with a few variations too if possible.

2.) Make sure that there is a command performance from Old Blue Eyes!  The martini may be the main attraction, but nothing will set the tone of your party like holiday music sung by Frank, Sammy or Dean.

3.) Serve easy-to-handle appetizers.  A martini cocktail is certainly an appetite wetter, so be sure to serve fun and easy-to-handle hors d’oeuvres.  Big winners include fondue dips, crudité platters (vegetable tray), cheese straws, shrimp, and meatballs.

4.) Viva Las Vegas!  Nothing says “rat pack” like a retro Las Vegas casino, so add a little casino flair in the party décor!  Decorate the buffet and the party room with the playing cards and big fuzzy dice.  Consider renting a roulette game from a party rental store.  It’s an unexpected addition for your guests – and it’s just plain fun!

Love & Soul Always, Kay