You’re hosting a fabulous cocktail party. Congratulations –the hardest part is over! Now it’s onto the fun things like drawing personalized invitations, planning flirty cocktails and creating festive table decorations. You know what to do: create a perfect dance playlist, stock your fridge and bar with lots of ice, mixers and spirits and set mood lighting. I’m sure you’re no entertaining novice (and even if you are, you’re on the right track to being a pro!) but I find it’s always so helpful to receive additional tips and ideas to help your party go as smoothly as possible. Here are some (easy) additions to add to your list:


Even if you are hosting after-dinner drinks, nothing welcomes guests more than leaving out a few nibbles. You don’t have to put out too much, but a decadent cheese platter with local unique cheeses or bowls of artisanal chocolate are always a plus! Food is a universal sign for hospitality so I suggest leaving a few of your favorite treats out for your rambunctious guests!


A signature cocktail is another warm welcome to any evening! (And, not to mention an affordable way to celebrate without breaking a sweat or your wallet.) Prepare pitchers of punch or fruity sangria beforehand, making sure to add ice only at the very last minute (if at all – I suggest only adding ice to the individual glasses), and you won’t be playing mixologist all evening!


The worst thing to do is to leave your party (especially in the freezing cold) to take out your week’s worth of trash. So, whenever I’m hosting, I make sure I take out the trash not only in my kitchen but throughout the home as well. Bathroom wastebaskets should be empty as well as the paper bin under your desk. It not only makes cleanup easier after the party, but your home looks polished and, well, immaculate (even if it isn’t!).


Living in NYC, we become acquainted with our neighbors far quicker than in the suburbs. Whether we politely ask for a cup of milk or regrettably complain about the constant bass coming from upstairs, we are literally connected the community. If you think your party (loud chatter and twirling melodies) may flow out the hall and into your neighbor’s bedroom, I suggest giving them a polite warning about your upcoming event. A platter of freshly baked brownies or a bottle of wine are always warmly welcomed!


Us New Yorkers only have a limited amount of kitchen cabinet space, which means, we only have a finite number of wine tumblers, martini glasses and highballs. So, I like to give each glass an identity, so that it’s thirsty owner can easily locate it. Whether it’s a little charm on the base of the stem, or a fun straw, being able to readily recognize your own cocktail out of all the others, makes the party much more enjoyable. And, less dishes to clean!