Recently The Huffington Post published an article 9 Reasons to Bring Back Cocktail Parties. Intrigued by the concept I took the first step by floating the idea on Facebook. I linked the article in my status update with a quote, “Stop making excuses… just have people over.” Cocktails anyone?
The crowd, as they say, went wild.
The Days of Wine and Roses
The cocktail party conjures up images of a bygone era. Women clad in dresses, pearls, and kitten heels clinking martini glasses in a mid-century modern living room. Men, dapper in suits with skinny ties, sharing news they’d heard down at the bank while expertly sipping bourbon on the rocks. Listen close enough and you can hear the crystal ting of ice cubes swirling in a high-ball glass as newly suburban America swayed to the crooning of The Rat Pack.
Both sets of my grandparents were well versed in the art of hosting cocktail parties. One in a small town in the Texas panhandle and the other in the heartland of America, Kansas. Neighbors and co-workers gathered regularly for cocktail hour in the now oft-forgotten living room.
Cocktail parties provided a simple and intimate way to see friends without the fret or cost of serving a full meal. My grandparents weren’t being chic or trendy, as history might lead us to believe, cocktail parties were the social norm. Restaurants were for the social elite and scarce in small towns, bars were taboo, and country clubs exclusive. Homes were the heart of hospitality and the cocktail was the love offering.
Bring Back the Cocktail Party
I could wax eloquent all day long, but the truth is I haven’t been invited to or hosted a cocktail party in ages. I don’t own a proper cocktail dress or kitten heels and the crystal high-ball glasses we received as wedding presents are far more likely to have traces of Crayola paint in them than gin. I don’t even like gin.
But, here’s the thing. The allure of the cocktail party scratches the same itch as The Turquoise Table. People need people. We were designed to hang out together. Whether over coffee at a front yard picnic table or sipping spirits in a cozy living room.
It’s not about wearing the perfect LBD or having an Elle Decor worthy living room. After a cocktail or two no will notice or care about the dog pee stain under your dusty cocktail table. The truth is, no one cares about the mess.
We just want to be together.
As the article says, “stop making excuses about babysitters, decor, whatever. Just have people over.”
I’m all in. Let’s bring back the cocktail party, have a little fun, and spend more time together in 2016.
Keep it simple. Invite 2-4 people over for just an hour. To kick start your planning try a simple Moscow Mule recipe and my Nana’s Olive Balls.
- ½ lime
- 2 oz vodka
- 4-6 oz ginger beer
- Squeeze lime into copper mug, add vodka, ice, and ginger beer. Stir and serve.