cocktail party ideas

33+ Dazzling Cocktail Party Ideas To Delight Your Guests

cocktail party ideas

Have you been searching for hosting a glamorous and jazzy cocktail party like The Great Gatsby, old sport?

Well, it’s almost impossible to replicate that decor, the custom cocktails, the props, the jazz music, and the fireworks. But you can still amaze your guests by hosting a party that they would love.

We have got your cover from the party theme to the drinks with our list of amazing and unique cocktail party ideas.

Interesting cocktail party theme ideas

Here are some ideas you can steal to choose the perfect theme for a cocktail party, along with the outfit and decorations

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1. Classic black and white theme

The first movies came as black and white, and people went crazy. That’s the classic example of why black and white always works. So, use that one of your party themes.

2. 90’s cool kids

From FRIENDS to Amitabh Bachan’s Sholay, the ’90s have given us unforgettable movies, shows, and moments you can never forget. So, let’s rekindle that era with a 90’s themed party. Make everything 90’s from food to the outfit to the decorations.

3. Hollywood or Bollywood

Do you prefer Hollywood pop or Bollywood classics? It’s a tough choice, so use a remix of both as your party theme.

4. Tattoos you would never get – So have fake tattoos

This is one thing that might be on every guest’s to-do list. So, make this dream come true (not exactly) by having a ‘get a tattoo’ theme and letting people get tattoos they always wanted but never got.

5. Chaat party

Indians love chaat, and that can be one of your cocktail party themes. Get famous chaat recipes from India and serve them at your party. 

For example, vada pav from Mumbai, Aloo Tikki from North India, or spike up your chaats such as vodka golgappas, 7-layer Dahi chaat, and so on.

6. Potluck

Potluck is also a great cocktail party idea to encourage your guests to bring their favorite food items to the party. It helps diversify the food options and can be a great ice-breaker.

Cocktail party outfit ideas

Give your guests a compelling reason to dress up for your party by giving them interesting and cool outfit party ideas:

Dress like your favorite 90’s character

Cocktail party outfit ideas-90s theme

The ’90s was undoubtedly an unforgettable era, and the outfits were also breathtaking. Be it Amitabh’s bootcut jeans, Clueless’s fancy dresses, or funky hair accessories, let guests unleash their favorite 90’s character at your party.

Pick a color theme

Pick a color and add a twist to it by asking people bringing plus one to wear alternate colors for the top and bottom clothes. Another way to use this theme is to pick one color and ask people to only wear that color with different shades, such as yellow, neon yellow, or pale yellow, white and off-white.

Cocktail party outfit ideas-tie-dye-theme

Cartoon theme

Cocktail party outfit ideas-cartoon-superhero

Awake the inner child by keeping a cartoon-based theme. You can either pick a cartoon and ask everyone to dress like one of the characters or keep it flexible and let people dress up for any character they like.

Cocktail party decoration ideas

Decor your party venue with these cool ideas:

1. Scented candles to create a party vibe

Cocktail-party-decoration-ideas-fairylight-and-candles

If you’re hosting a cocktail party at night, scented candles would be perfect to accompany your party mood. 

2. Don’t forget to lighten up with fairy lights

No get-together is complete without the lighting, and our favorite is different shapes of fairy lights. Lighten up your party with fairy lights that complements the venue and the party theme. 

3. Use props related to the party theme

Based on your party theme, you can have props to let people get pictures in them. One of our favorite props is masks, which can be interesting to let people have conversations with strangers and mingle without showing their faces.

4. Table covers and flower jars

The decoration is never finished until you have aesthetically beautiful flowers all around the venue and have all tables covered with beautiful covers. So, get your shopping hat on and spend some money.

5. Setup a photo booth

Get all the photogenic guests an opportunity to click gram-worthy pictures with a beautiful, themed photo booth.

6. Fun-looking cups & straws

Get ahead of yourself and come up with fun, interesting cups and straw ideas for your party. Afterward, people remember the unique stuff. So, through your shyness down the box and let your ideas flow.

7. Balloons match the party theme

Make your balloons compliment the overall theme of the party. If it’s a Christmas theme party, go for red and green and some white balloons. Get balloons in all shapes and sizes and make your party shine.

Unique ideas for your cocktail party menu

While deciding the food menu, also decide whether you’ll be serving everything on your own or hiring a chef. If it’s a large gathering, hiring a chef is a better idea so that you can pay more attention to guests and mingle.

Come up with an inclusive menu for your party with these cocktail party ideas for food:

1. Add a buffet of miniature food items

A buffet is always a lifesaver, serving everyone despite their food preferences. Also, your guests will get ample options to pick whatever catches their eye or their nose!

2. Keep all the options: veg, non-veg, vegan

Collect your guests’ food references while sending them party invites. Nunify allows you to run an integrated registration or RSVP and add options to collect the recipient’s preferences. It’s a good way to track how many people prefer veg, non0veg, and vegan to sort out the menu for the party.

3. Load up on hors d’oeuvre

Have some snacks and appetizers to make people mingle and enjoy the party. You have ample options such as sandwiches, french fries, cheese puffs, Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini, and Asparagus Wraps.

4. Setup a grazing table

Grazing tables are low maintenance, and everyone seems to love them. They’re like the younger twin of a buffet table and offer an all-around eating experience. Cheese, fruits, and charcuterie boards are the most common items, but you can customize the items depending on your party theme and menu.

5. Have lots of ice and water

Everyone must stay hydrated to ensure you have no water shortage at any time in your party. Besides, everyone loves their alcohol with ice, so they overload our party with ice.

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Refreshing drink themes for a cocktail party

No cocktail party is a party without alochol. So, here are some unique ways to serve cocktails that your guest would love to taste:

1. Wow, your guests with signature cocktails.

Classic cocktails are must have at any party as everyone expects them, and some of the most famous are:

  • Pomegranate cosmopolitan
  • Vodka Gimlet
  • Mint, Cucumber, and Vodka Cocktail

2. Add a mocktail or two.

If you have guests who might not drink, then have some good mocktail options, such as Pink Grapefruit Margaritas or Apple pie cider.

3. Serve cocktails as per the season.

Just like you change your wardrobe collection every season, why not take advantage of the freshest ingredient every season has to offer and amaze your guests by offering seasonal cocktail mixing?

Hosting your cocktail party: Home, outdoor and virtual

Having the right menu matters as it influences the theme and decor of your party. So, here we’ll give you different ideas to host a party at your home, outdoors, or virtually.

Home cocktail party ideas

If you are hosting a party at your sweet, humble abode, we have some interesting ideas for you:

1. Blind tasting

Test your guests’ love for alcohol by organizing a blind-tasting game. Have a set of alcohols and mix them up in the right way and let them identify the name of the alcohol. 

The cool part?

They can only smell a few times while the timer is ticking.

2. Create your Own cocktail.

Have a set of ingredients at your home and ask everyone to make their cocktail. Use a timer to heat the competition.

3. Try your hands at some exciting games.

Board Games are the talk of the hour, and they’re great for letting people talk to each other, enjoy their cocktails, and engage in fun activities. So, bring on your Taboola, Monopoly, Catan, and Cards and unleash the hidden creative beast inside of your guests.

Outdoor cocktail party ideas

Get your party outside with these recommended places to have a blast at your party:

1. Host your party at the family farmhouse

Want to leave a lasting impression on your guest? Host your party at an amazing farmhouse, especially if the gathering is large. As they are spacious, you can make all sorts of arrangements: an open-roof barbeque, a poolside cocktail party, props, etc.

2. Ever thought of a drink-themed party picnic?

Going on a picnic is a staple in every household but let’s make it interesting. Next time you think of a venue for your cocktail party, turn your typical picnic into a cocktail party by inviting your friends or family members.

3. Rooftop lounge and bars

This is the most typical yet preferred venue for hosting a great cocktail party. Depending upon your location, you can explore the most beautiful lounges and bar, which ticks all the right boxes in terms of ambiance, food, party vibes, etc.

4. Barbeque picnic

Want to host a party on a fresh, sunny day? What’s better than a barbecue? Who doesn’t like barbeque when you combine it with interesting and yummy cocktails?

Virtual cocktail party ideas

Have friends or employees lived far away? No worries, you can still make your cocktail party dreams come true with virtual parties using Nunify. 

Here are some amazing suggestions for you:

1. Host Virtual team games

Have a host for the event and divide everyone else into groups of 6-7. Now, it; ‘s time to go wild and ignite your competitive spirits. The host will develop different online games and their respective rules and guidelines. 

Nunify will help you create everything virtually, from scavenger hunts and puzzles to virtual Pictionary. Want more people to participate? Give goodies and rewards to the winning team!

2. Ask people their funniest cocktail-drinking story.

Stories are the best ice-breaker, and hearing other people’s first drinking stories is always fun. So, make everyone glued to their seats with a cocktail glass and let the stories flow.

3. Watch a movie or live show together.

You can also watch a movie or live show together, such as Casablanca, World cup, or Super bowl. The best idea is to watch a movie/show relevant to the season you’re hosting your party. For instance, if you’re hosting a Christmas party, you can’t ignore the Home Alone movie series.

Another way to ensure everyone enjoys the movie is to collect their movie or show preference before the party anonymously and choose a movie preferred by all.

4. DIY – make your cocktail

Make things even more interesting by adding a DIY contest. Let everyone make their cocktail and then talk about what everyone made and how! Let the best drink win!

Host a memorable cocktail party

So, now you have all these amazing ideas, the next step is to plan the party. We would start with selecting the venue first, then move on to the other things later. If you’re planning to host a virtual party, try Nunify. From getting the RSVP to creating an interactive party with its gamified tools, Nunify can be your ally in hosting a great cocktail party.

Frequently asked questions

What do you do at a cocktail party?

A cocktail party is a fun informal event where you get together with your peers and have drinks and snacks. As the name suggests, “cocktail” (alcohol) is the centre of attraction at the party; you have to serve it if you’re the host. A cocktail party offers a great opportunity to interact with your friends and family over drinks.

How do you have a cocktail party at home?

Cocktail party is just like any other celebration. You invite friends over and chat with each other over drinks. Prepare snacks like a cheeseboard or some fries beforehand – you don’t want people drinking on empty stomach. Set some music to lighten the mood and have a good time.

How do you host a perfect cocktail party?

As the host of a cocktail party, you buy drinks, prepare snacks and invite friends over to have a cocktail party at home. Set the mood with good lighting and make sure music is always playing so people can dance and have a good time. Consider a party theme to make things more interesting.


How many guests should you have at a cocktail party?

You should invite 7-10 people for an intimate affair and a good mix of personalities. Although there’s no limit, consider your apartment or house space for a safe cocktail party. When there’s a cocktail involved, you’d hardly have people saying no.


How long should a cocktail party be?

Cocktail parties generally start late in the evening and can go on till 2-3 AM – depending on your friends. There will always be people who’d like to go home early. If you like longer cocktail parties, place them on a weekend. Alternatively you can also have a brunch cocktail party. You can expect guests leaving 4-5 hours into the party but if you have a limit ensure you clearly call it out to your guests in the invite.


What defines a cocktail party?

A cocktail party is defined by good alcohol, stories and memories that you create. The closer the people, the more happening your cocktail party will be. You can record videos to capture glimpses of enjoyment – you may not remember them the next day.

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