Autumn is all about hunkering down at home. But why do it alone? Have a party. Nights are only getting longer, after all, so you have the time. Whether hosting an intimate cocktail hour, dinner party or all-out rager, the basic rules remain the same. Here, some tips for throwing that shindig.
FOR STARTERS To make your company comfortable as soon as they walk through the door, a round of cocktails usually helps. For fall/ winter, make sure to have some good whiskey on hand, along with your standard vodka and gin. My current cocktail of choice is the sharply flavored Negroni.
1 oz gin (Tanqueray, preferably)
1 oz Campari
1 oz vermouth rosso (sweet)
- Stir over ice in a whiskey glass (AKA lowball or tumbler).
- Add an orange twist. (Just the peel, not a clumsy wedge.)
SECOND ROUNDS As the crowd loosens up, let them feel that tu casa es su casa. A wide ice bucket filled with bottles of white wine and different kinds of beer is key. Your friends will bring bottles to add, but it is best to have something on hand in abundance. Metal and mirrored surfaces add a refined feel to the wet bar area; recently, I found some great steel trays on which to put the bottles of hard stuff. Solid, heavy whiskey glasses and good stemware are the backbone to the bachelor bar. Forget about martini glasses; they will not last the night.
THE FOOD Keep the eats plentiful but not heavy—no one wants a Thanksgiving food coma on a Friday night. Also keep the menu simple (for your sake), and get some of it out on the table before guests arrive. If I were to find myself at a cocktail party at this very moment, I would want to see the following: Cheeses (hard and soft, but not orange), olives, prosciutto, thinly sliced crusty bread, non-garlicky dip, maybe some truffle honey, flatbread pizzas, grapes. Random? Maybe. Delicious? Yes.
THE MOOD No matter how many people are coming, try to create a feeling of intimacy; parties work best in rooms slightly too small for the crowd. Light candles (nothing scented) on side tables and in bathrooms. Keep the playlist chill, especially at the beginning of the party. Fresh flowers are a nice touch (keep vases simple). And stock the loo with fresh hand towels. Lastly, change your shirt. You’ve been preparing all day, now it is time to host. A cashmere V-neck or a shirt-and-tie combo are easy and always look great with dark jeans.
More guidance for you gents:
*Speaking of bachelor pad ideas: The five things you should have in your apartment.
*The menswear trends that should be in your closet.
*The What To Pack List: Keep handy for your next warm weather escape.