“Have you ever considered how much ridiculous pomposity surrounds the word “entertaining?
And the idea that you must do this and you must do that?”
— Dorothy Draper in Entertaining Is Fun
All you really need for a good party is…
A hostess who expects to have a good time.
Your party begins with you. Nothing is worse than coming to a person’s home and finding the host frazzled and slaving over a hot stove trying to finish a meal. Short on time or can’t cook? No one will ever complain about a cheese and charcuterie plate.
Some clever touches which give your home a party feeling.
Good music is a must, of course, but mastering a signature party punch is easy and always festive. Sangria is quick and always a crowd pleaser: combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 bottles dry red wine, 6 tablespoons of brandy or triple sec, add some apples, oranges and strawberries — and voila!
Some element of unexpectedness.
It’s easy to add a little whimsy to a party with the array of clever cocktail napkins, wine charms or temporary tattoos as party favors, but take it one step further by incorporating a theme. Costume parties when it isn’t Halloween are always a hit, but if you don’t want to make your guests go hunting for the perfect outfit at your local vintage store, you can create the theme your food and drinks. Appetizers like pigs in a blanket, a cheese fondu, or a gin and tonic Jello mold, along with cocktails like a vodka gimlet or sloe gin fizz are retro favorites that are always sure to please.