Tips and tricks for hosting an indelible Christmas drinks party.
Once you have decided on the style of Christmas drinks party you want to host; cocktail, black tie with a hint of sparkle, Christmas hats/jumpers, you can then get down to the nitty gritty to ensure your drinks run seamlessly.
1. Set the mood – Firstly through the ultimate playlist. For effect, and more importantly, because we can only listen to them for one month of the year, I can imagine and would advise that you mix some festive favorites into your normal party playlist. Drinks parties can sometimes turn into a shouting match if the music is overpowering so bear that in mind. Use it for a little background ambience only! Next element to consider is lighting. Your guest’s want to be able to see the canapes, drinks and each other… but other than that, to reach that intimate feel, keep to low lighting. If the venue doesn’t have a dimmer switch option that's ok. Buy some lamps, lanterns, candle (warning!) and Christmas carol is up!
2. Drinks galore - Before you hire the venue you'll want to decide on whether you want dry hire or wet hire. If dry hire and you are providing the drinks yourself that's great but just make sure you plan exactly what drinks you want to offer and get the right quantities! You don't want to run out in the first hour. With that make sure you have with you everything you are going to need. If mulled wine is on the menu, as it often is this time of year, make sure you have a mechanism for keeping it warm.
3. Canapes - If you want your drinks to be an elegant affair you are going to want to make sure you have sufficient canapes to feed your guest's so that it doesn't get out of hand too early! Christmas canapes come in all shapes and sizes and are delicious! Most supermarkets have a number of Christmassy offers at this time of year on pigs in blanks, brie and bacon puffs, mince pies and such like. Like the above you want to take into consideration whether you are planning to a hire a dry or wet hire venue. If wet, ask the venue before booking with them what Christmas offers they have on food, if you are doing dry hire make sure the venue can offer you somewhere to heat up the food.
4. Set a clear beginning and end - We've all been there before when all you want it to clear up and go to bed, but those last few guest's aren't shifting. I am not saying that this can be avoided because if people want to stay on and party there isn't much you can do to stop them, however if you make it clear in your invitation that the drinks party starts at (a) and ends at (b) your guest's 'shouldn't' be too affronted when you turn on the lights and turn off the music.