Cocktail Ideas for Dinner Parties
Many factors go into creating the perfect dinner party, but for me, the one thing that can easily separate your party from the rest and make it THE dinner party of the year is the cocktail options. Yes, creating the perfect cocktail menu does come easy to some, but it’s stressful for many, and with hundreds of options out there, it can feel overwhelming. Well, don’t stress because we have you covered. Let’s dive into five exciting and delicious cocktails, perfect for your next dinner soiree.
Serve The Perfect Cocktail At Your Next Dinner Party
1. The Manhattan
Let’s start big with this classic whiskey and vermouth cocktail. There are many variations, but I prefer Bourbon whiskey in my Manhattan because it makes the most approachable and delectable Manhattan. Simply take two parts bourbon whiskey, one part sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters, mix with a cocktail spoon, and strain into a chilled martini glass. If you want to knock your guests’ socks off, top it off with a Luxardo cherry. As for pairing, I suggest that a great Manhattan becomes even better paired with a solid cheese plate.
2. Aperol Spritz
Moving on to the perfect aperitif cocktail, the Aperol Spritz. This simple drink features an orange bitter flavored liqueur called Aperol, which is slightly less bitter than Campari and ideal for pre-dinner appetizers. To make, combine two parts Aperol, three parts chilled Prosecco, and one part soda water over ice in a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange slice.
3. The Aviation
This is another classic cocktail that doesn’t get enough street cred. Many people shy away from it because of its leading spirit, gin. I don’t understand why people are so afraid to embrace gin. It brings a bright and herbal taste that pairs well with lots of different food when used correctly. For this cocktail, combine two parts gin, ½ part Creme de Violette, ¼ part Maraschino, ¼ part fresh lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake it vigorously and pour it into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon rind.
This cocktail, initially created in France in the 1930s, was meant to be served in a punchbowl, so it’s perfect to batch beforehand so that you can spend more time with your guests and less time mixing drinks. Take this recipe, multiply it by the number of people you’re serving, and keep it in the fridge until it’s time to serve. Combine 1 part Brandy, ½ part Green Chartreuse, ½ part fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp simple syrup, and one dash bitters.
5. Espresso Martini
What better way to end the perfect dinner party than with the perfect dessert cocktail - the espresso martini can be made in many different ways, but this way is my absolute favorite. First, you want to make sure you have chilled espresso on hand, so make it early and leave it in the fridge for when it’s time to shake up your martini. Take 1 part espresso, 1 part vodka, 1 part Kahlua, and 1 part Bailey, shake vigorously, and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with espresso beans.
Although the options can feel endless when selecting cocktails for your dinner party, these ideas are a great starting point. You don’t have to make all of them at one party. Choose a few that work best with the food you’re serving, and make sure to offer wine and beer as well for those guests who don’t like to drink spirits.
Author: Kate Kennedy