A Lazy Hostess’ Guide to Throwing the Easiest Holiday Party Ever

Because you don’t have to lose your mind or raise your blood pressure to throw a memorable bash.

how-to-host-a-cocktail-partyphoto credit: shutterstock

Invite Your Pals To A Cocktail Party

Not sure who should make the guest list? Think groups of friends. “Invite friends and neighbours or friends you haven’t seen all year and need to pay back,” says Trish Magwood, a cookbook author and senior vice-president of food experience at the on-demand Toronto food company Feast. “You want to do an all-under-one-roof hit.” You can even mix your worlds a bit here (that is, invite your university buds along with your single gal pals and maybe even the neighbours).

Think DIY

Make your life easy and think self-serve, suggests Debra Lykkemark, founder and CEO of Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events in Vancouver. “If you have a signature drink, make something that you can premix in a jug, like a Crantini,” she suggests. “Don’t make a premix drink with sparkling wine or soda because it will go flat. Instead, offer white and red wines, beers and a few soft drinks.” And self-serve DIY drink stations also doesn’t keep guests waiting for refills and encourages the mingling you’re probably hoping for. Plus, guests can customize their drink to their preference.

Magwood also suggests thinking locally when it comes to serving drinks. “We have so many great local drinks and choices, and it’s fun to find some things that might come from our own backyard,” she says. “There are great Canadian ice wines if you’re having a dessert party and lots of sparkling local wines that can set a festive tone.”

Stick To A Schedule

How do you ensure that guests stick to suggested party times? You could be cheeky with your invitation, says Magwood. “You could set it up as ‘short and sharp’ from 6 to 8 p.m. In other words: Get out of my house at 8 p.m. because I’m not feeding you dinner. We’re always really clear about that,” she says. “You might make a suggestion to move on and meet somewhere afterward. That won’t leave you with hungry guests who are expecting dinner.”