How to have a successful Retro Cocktail Party

I had hosted a retro Mad Men cocktail party with food, drink, music and dress from 1960. It was a hit for everyone who attended and one of the highlights was a woman who came dressed as pregnant housewife, with a cigarette holder and a cocktail in her hand! Regardless of what era or style you choose, themed parties always have a better feel, for not only the person hosting it but also the guests.

The first thing to start out with is a menu of light H’ors doeurves and RetroCocktailPartycocktails that will not stress you out to prepare. Some suggestions are deviled eggs, turkey or chicken empanadas, Swedish or Italian meatballs with dipping sauces, bowls of nuts, sliced cheeses and don’t forget desserts such as Harvey Wallbanger cake or your favorite cookies.

Next is the cocktail menu, this is not hard and I have an extensive list of drinks from my website to use.  If Christmas time the traditional drink would be a Tom and Jerry that’s made with egg whites, sugar and the yolks a shot of rum and brandy topped off with hot water. This is an easy drink to make and since it’s like a punch it can be served with a ladle in small punch cups. Another drink that will add to the Christmas aroma is the Cinnamon Warmer which is made with fresh pressed apple cider, calvados, apple brandy or Apple Jack, fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger, honey, cloves and one cinnamon stick, and sits on large pot on the stove under a low flame. One more favorite that will be a hit is a Brandy Alexander with brandy, brown creme de cacao, heavy cream and fresh grated nutmeg and it’s like dessert. For other seasons, punches and cocktails.

Now for the music, you can use some free resources such as Pandora and create your own artists but it tends to start moving in different directions at times. Napster is a great and you can make your own play lists unless you already have an mp3 player with you own play lists. Some music suggestions would be the Rat Pack, Ultra Lounge or depending on the theme, choose the decade.

Now the final thing, the clothing guide! Don’t make it mandatory but the more guests that participate in dressing up in period style, will create a fun atmosphere. If for instance, the era you are going for is the 1950s there’s a lot of clothing and style guides such as Everyday Fashions of the 1950s that are from old Sears and Roebucks catalogs. The last place to check is you’re local thrift or vintage stores and depending on the area and condition of the clothes can vary in price.

I hope these suggestions help make you’re  party a success and a real treat for everyone.

God bless and Cheers,

John Apodaca