Summer is the time for parties, usually barbecues. Yet if you want to have a bit of Mad Men fun why not throw a warm weather cocktail party. These were big back in the day when it was exciting to have mixed drinks and nibble with a bit if gossip or flirtation thrown in. They can still be entertaining with the right drinks and hors oeuvres.
A cocktail party should have a wide variety of liquor along with different kinds of juices, sodas and seltzers. If you want something a bit more elegant then add champagne. You can make fruity mimosas (orange juice and champagne) or just have plain , chilled bubbly. For a more tropical treat add some pineapple and apricot juice. Mid Century cocktails such as the daiquiri - a fave of Ernie Hemingway is made with lime juice, sugar and rum. Rum can be used in another 1950's classic rum and Coke. For true traditionalists whip up the Old Fashioned which is whiskey, simple syrup and bitters. Of course the Cosmopolitan is hot thanks to Sex and The City fans. This are always a big crowd pleaser as are Margaritas and Bloody Mary's too.
Finger food is the perfect fare for a party of this type. Think little bites such as mini quiches or tiny crab cakes with different dipping sauces. Another easy but elegant hor d' oeuvre is crostini served with either tomatoes or roasted peppers. This is so easy to make. Take a loaf of either crusty French or Italian bread , slice wafer thin and top with the veggies. You can also layer carpaccio on them as well. Also have a variety of olives, black , green and the tart Greek kalamata ones. Cups full of sea salted almonds, peanuts and cashews along with walnuts are also fun nibbles that go well with a wide variety of drinks. Mini quiches and even mini baked macs with bacon are other cocktail party treats.Finish off with a dessert of meringues, petit fours or small fruit or nut tarts and a strong coffee for the ride home.
Summer means parties. Why not have a return to elegance with a cocktail party? It's a step up from the usual barbecue and a bit more fun for all.