Repeat after us: thou shalt not serve soggy mini pies
A great cocktail party nearly always includes the following essentials: sparkling drinks, scintillating conversation, stylish décor and snack-sized finger food that tastes as superb as it looks. Oh, and a swinging playlist and plenty of paper towels on hand to mop up any spills.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re hosting, so make at least one part of the process easier by using a cocktail party catering service. Forget about the days of tiny wieners and cheese cubes — today, the best party catering companies serve everything from pork gyoza to chia balls. Whether your event is going to be elaborate and extravagant or low-key and laidback, you can design the perfect canapé menu by following these cocktail party commandments.
At Devour It Catering, we can tailor a cocktail party menu package just for you. Reach out to us and we’ll take care of everything.
1. Thou shalt consider the weather
There’s no denying that some foods are better suited to particular climates than others, which stands to reason why you should think about the weather when it comes to catering. Barbeque catering is an excellent option for summer cocktail parties where the weather is balmy and no one is in any rush to sit down to a formal meal. You can book catering staff and a state-of-the-art barbeque to rustle up BBQ canapés such as baby beef burgers in brioche rolls with cheese, mustard and pickle, and Mexican-style mini corn on the cob with parmesan and chilli.
If you suspect your guests may be hungry for heartier fare, you can opt for a buffet menu or burger station, or a traditional Aussie sausage sizzle with regular or gourmet snags. When the temperature drops in winter, consider a three-course spread featuring slow-roasted Moroccan lamb shoulder with Chermoula and minted yoghurt, or vegetable lasagne with rich layers of zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin, and ricotta.
2. Thou shalt consider the occasion
If you’re having a cocktail party in the morning or early afternoon, it’s likely you’ll want an easy-to-eat canapé-style selection that’s not too heavy or filling. Individual serving foods that can easily be eaten with one hand are perfect for breakfast and lunch dos.
Think breaky rolls and healthy muffins, or morning tea packages complete with freshly baked scones. A get-together with the girls might call for an elegant high tea, while a spring racing shindig is best complemented by salads bursting with superfoods alongside pressed Italian sandwich fingers. If the occasion is more kid-friendly than cocktail-focused, you might want to find a catering company that will include disposable plates, napkins and serving trays in the price.
3. Thou shalt consider thy guests’ food intolerances
There’s no point even trying to be the perfect host if you haven’t thought about your guests’ dietary needs. A successful party needs tasty food that everyone can eat — including those who may be intolerant or allergic to certain ingredients, or follow a vegan or plant-based diet.
Ask guests to advise you of any food intolerances or dietary requirements when you send out your invitations. Any cocktail party catering company worth its sea salt will have a decent range of gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly, and vegan food, and will be happy to help you work out a crowd-pleasing finger food package.
4. Thou shalt have enough liquor on hand
There’s no quicker way to kill the party mood than to run out of drinks within an hour. Plan ahead and make sure you’ve organised enough alcohol to keep your guests happy. At Devour It Catering, we can help you estimate the amount of beverages your party requires so you don’t have to worry about not having enough beer, wine or champagne.
We can even supply glassware, ice tubs and a trestle table with a crisp white tablecloth so you can run your own bar. We’ll also arrange experienced waitstaff to stock your fridge and serve your drinks if required.
5. Thou shalt be considerate of guests who don’t drink
Alcohol isn’t the only thing you need to have on hand at a cocktail party; don’t forget about mineral water, soft drinks, fresh juice, tea and coffee. It’s nice to have a few options available so that guests aren’t tempted to shoot from one cocktail to ten in the blink of an eye. Hiring someone to help out will allow you to enjoy your party instead of pouring drinks and plunging coffee all night long!
6. Thou shalt choose local cocktail party caterers
If you’re based in Melbourne, choose a local cocktail party catering service. Why? Because the closer to home your food is produced, the fresher it will be and the quicker it will get to you on the day of the party. If cost is a concern, remember that distance is a crucial factor for catering companies when calculating quotes.
Local companies will also have online reviews that are more relevant to you, and they’ll be more likely to use the flavours and ingredients your city is known for. If you have a cocktail party theme, then the food can also be adapted to match. But, the most important thing is that the food is fresh and delivered within a timeframe that you can rely on.
7. Thou shalt stay within budget
It’s easy to go out of budget when throwing any kind of party. With cocktail parties, it’s even easier because of that all-too-human urge to go overboard with the fancy canapés and fun drinks. When choosing a cocktail party caterer, find one who will work flexibly with you on the menu and give you a realistic estimate of costs right from the get-go.
There will always be a gap between your dream party and your real-life party, but the right catering company will help you achieve something close to your dream at a reasonable cost. At Devour It Catering, we understand that you want an event that will make you stand out from the crowd. We also understand how to make this happen without charging you an arm and a leg.
8. Thou shalt have the right glasses and tableware
Food and drinks are often at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to party planning, but many overlook the vessels used to serve them. Don’t get caught out when it comes to having enough cutlery, glasses, plates, cups, tables or linen.
Many cocktail catering companies hire out all of the above as well as other equipment including heaters, centrepieces, marquees, barbeques, ice tubs, and chafing dishes. Generally, you won’t need to return the glasses and plates clean, saving you time and stress in the kitchen. Remember, it’s okay not to have everything matching, provided you have enough of everything to go around.
9. Thou shalt serve classic nibbles
As much as everyone likes fancy fare, there’s still always a lot of appreciation for a classic canapé package featuring the greatest hits of Australian finger food. From curry puffs to spring rolls, a cocktail party sometimes only needs a round of mini quiches and cheesy arancini to knock your guests’ socks off.
Suitable for every occasion, Devour It Catering offers classic canapé packages ranging from classic to premium to deluxe and serving numbers from 6+. We even have a gluten-free canapé package and a vegan canapé package to ensure that everyone’s happy.
10. Thou shalt relax
Cocktail parties are meant to be fun. Just because you’re the host, it doesn’t mean you should be running around like a headless chicken trying to make sure everyone’s mingling and having a good time.
Take the pressure off by hiring a good cocktail party catering service and reminding yourself that your guests are there to see you — as well as eat food and drink cocktails! A good cocktail party looks effortless, but it only feels effortless if the host resolves to have as much fun as the guests.
No matter what sort of party you’re hosting, we can help you make it a sparkling success. Send us a message and tell us what you’re planning — we’ll let you know how we can help.