Monday night is a perfect night for a cocktail party, right? My boyfriend decided to go on a last minute camping trip, so I’m planning a casual get-together with friends for the evening! Now, not everyone’s pantry, fridge and liquor cabinet is ready for a last minute cocktail party, so I wanted to round up a few of my favorite, simple cocktails, appetizers, and decorating ideas (all made with basic items) that can be throw together super quickly and easily!
TABLE SETTING FOR A LAST MINUTE COCKTAIL PARTY
For the table setting, I made a cute runner out of some cotton I had laying around. I tore it down to the width that I wanted (about 16-18 inches wide) and left it long enough to drape over both ends of the table about 18-24 inches. I left the edges rough to give it a more casual, relaxed feel (and no one has time to stitch sides for a last minute cocktail party – there are more important things to spend your time on, like drinks!!). The design is just a crosshatch pattern painted really quickly with black paint and a wide brush. The less perfect, the better for this graphic look, it keeps it from feeling too stark in the black and white pattern.
The mix of stemware and porcelain cups looks elegant and simple, and the wood serving board and candleholder warm up the table nicely. If you’re lucky enough to have a green thumb and a thriving garden, fresh florals bring life to a table setting. I cut the buds off of a plant to scatter around the table and used a simple, single-stem in the brass hexagon pot.
QUICK APPETIZERS FOR A LAST MINUTE COCKTAIL PARTY
Shallow Bowl | (wood tray available soon)
Now, for food, I like to have dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit and chocolate on the table for people to snack on. It’s so important to have something to nibble on while you drink, otherwise you’re going to accidentally get white girl wasted on a Monday. I mean, there’s a time and a place, but probably not on a Monday.
Another option for appetizers are miniature grilled cheese sandwiches. This is so easy and everyone has bread and at least one cheese on hand. I’d love a entire cheese tray for a cocktail party, but let’s be honest, no one has cheese on hand. If there is cheese in my refrigerator it is gone before I could ever have a cute little party and put it out on a tray. So mini grilled cheeses are a great option and can be dressed up in the following ways.
Grilled Cheese with Jam (or Chutney, if you’re fancy) – Bread, Cheese, Jam, Butter
Red Pepper Grilled Cheese – Bread, Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, Basil, Cheese, Butter
Avocado Grilled Cheese – Bread, Avocado, Cheese, Butter
Grilled Cheese with Bacon – Bread, Cheese, Bacon Strip, Butter
Grill them up how you usually make grilled cheese. Yum! Now, on to the best part –
DRINKS FOR A LAST MINUTE COCKTAIL PARTY
So, quick drinks can be tough, but having a decently stocked liquor cabinet is something everyone should invest in by the time you’re 30. It gets you away from your rum-and-coke college party days and gives you a reason to use all the cute barware you’ve bought or been gifted by your wedding registry.
The Revolver – 2 ounces Bourbon, 1/2 ounce Coffee Liqueur, 2 dashes Orange Bitters
Blueberry and Ginger Fizz – 6 parts Ginger Beer, 1 part Lime Juice, 5 Blueberries (muddled), 1 slice of Lime
Grapefruit Margarita – 2 ounces Tequila, 1 ounce Lime Juice, 1 ounce Orange Liqueur, Mint Leaves for Garnish (if you don’t aways kill your mint plant like I do every week)
I also always like to have a non-alcoholic drink on hand that still feels as special as a cocktail. It gives people the option to not drink while still enjoying a beverage that’s not just water or fizzy water. I use orange bitters in this coffee mocktail because, though it does contain alcohol, the amount used is so small that bitters are classified as a non-alcoholic ingredient.
Espresso Old Fashioned – 2 shots Espresso, 2 dashes Orange Bitters, 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup, Orange Garnish
I love this animal bottle stopper (available on our website soon!)
Hope this inspires you to plan a fun night with friends this week! It’s so easy to pull together something like this with just your regular everyday ingredients. Who has time to bacon-wrap figs?! Keep it simple and keep the focus on the important part of the night – having fun with good friends.