How to Host a Great Cocktail Party in Addison, IL

Whether it is for business associates or friends and family members, the perfect cocktail party can be an event that attendees will never forget. People have been hosting cocktail parties for decades, and just about everyone has attended one.

When you host a cocktail party, you want it to be a great night, so it is important to plan ahead of time so that you can enjoy the party too. At Corky’s Chicago Catering, our team can help you with event planning as well as making sure you have the hors d’oeuvres and finger food options your guests will love.

Why Host Cocktail Parties?

Cocktail parties are fun, light-hearted events where guests arrive, enjoy unique drinks and light fare, mingle with each other, and leave within two to three hours. Depending on how many guests you invite, the event can be very intimate or grow quite large.

People will host a cocktail event for a variety of reasons. Business executives often throw these parties when they have new associates or important clients they want to impress. With a great cocktail menu of mixed drinks and a lovely food spread, they can easily win over their clients and have fun in the process.

People often have a cocktail party just for friends and family as well because these events are a great way to enjoy one another’s company without worrying about children. They also do not have to concern themselves with a full food menu since serving appetizers or a nice cheese board is expected. The primary aspect of a cocktail party, after all, is the signature cocktail!

Important Elements of a Fabulous Cocktail Party

A great cocktail party does not have to be overly complex or ornate. It can be as simple as you would like as long as you cover the most important elements of the event. These elements include:


When you go to a cocktail party, you will expect to find a variety of interesting and classic cocktail options. The host of the party will need to consider the number of guests that are invited and if they want to have a full bar or limited cocktail options.

With a full bar and lots of guests, you may want to consider hiring a licensed bartender to help make and serve drinks. Many catering companies, including Corky’s Chicago Catering, offer bartending services.

If you opt for a smaller menu of specialty cocktails to be served, be sure you have at least one classic drink such as a martini that everyone will recognize in addition to unusual or unique options and a signature drink.

Elegant Cocktail Party Food

Cocktail party food should not fill your guests’ stomachs as if it was a full dinner. Finger food, cold dishes, and hors d’oeuvres are expected. You could even have a lovely charcuterie board as well as fresh fruit and vegetable plates with accompanying dips as your food options.

The main highlight of a cocktail party should be the drinks, so food does not need to be as elaborate as it would be for other types of parties. Appetizers (something to be eaten in one bite) and something to satisfy any sweet tooth should be enough food for this occasion.

Accessories like Fancy Cocktail Napkins

Accessories related to the cocktails will be very important as well, for both pragmatic and aesthetic reasons. When you have coordinating cocktail napkins or wine glass charms, people will take notice and comment on that.

It is also useful to have twice as many glasses as your guest list numbers and signs that explain the drink options or food ingredients will make your life exponentially easier and more enjoyable during the party. No one wants to stand around telling every guest what is in their specialty cocktail or if the crostini is vegetarian. A sign can speak for you!

Non-alcoholic Drinks

Even though it is called a cocktail party, you should have non-alcoholic cocktails (or “mocktails”) as an option for those who do not drink. If, for instance, you were having a party during the winter holiday season, you may want to have eggnog with spirits and one without so that everyone can enjoy this seasonal drink.

Memorable Cocktail Party ‘Wow’ Factor

Every party needs to have one factor that no one will be able to forget. One “wow” factor! For a cocktail party, you could make your wow element a special drink or unique food item that fits the theme. It should simply be something that your guests will have a hard time forgetting (even after they have had a few drinks).

Last Minute Tips

In addition to the elements described above, there are a few tips to keep in mind for a truly successful cocktail party. Because you are serving alcohol, it is important that you keep an eye on your guests. If anyone looks to have had a few too many, be sure to cut that person off, work to sober them up, and hire a cab or get a designated driver to take them home safely. Your other guests will appreciate your diligence.

Also, be sure that any bartender you hire has a license and is qualified to serve drinks. Ask your catering company for recommendations if they do not have a bartender on staff.

Contact Our Addison, IL, Caterers to Discuss Your First Cocktail Party Menu

If you are planning a cocktail party in Addison, IL, and you are looking for a caterer and event planning company, look no further than Corky’s Chicago Catering. We are happy to work with you to plan your event, and we can supply all of the necessary items for the party. From wine glasses to an extra ice bucket, we can arrange to have everything you need.

Contact us today to discuss your party and to get a quote for our catering services in Addison, Illinois. Our team is excited to help you throw a great party.

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