Hosting a party is a bit like getting ready for a big match. One must prepare, one must get plenty of sleep, and one must surf along on a buzz of nerves for at least a week before the event itself.
And as every true hostess knows, this preparation must not be taken lightly. Elegant and grown-up parties are not thrown off-the-cuff after a night in the pub, nor are they feasible without some damn good drinks, games and decorations. All of which require forethought – and military precision.
Now that you’ve graduated from the kind of parties where the DJ is your mate with a laptop and the smartest thing anyone’s wearing is a new pair of trainers, you’re going to want to serve your guests drinks that set the tone. We’ve sought the help of CÎROC's fine new French Vanilla Vodka: not only is it incredibly tasty but it is the drink to have for any celebratory occasion.
So drum roll, please…. here’s how to take your party game to the next level. Ditch the red cups and welcome in a world of tasteful partying. Game, set and match.
Whether you’re hosting a super swish soirée or an all-night knees-up, the first thing to get right is the drinks you’re going to be serving. Some nights simply call for something a notch (or five) up from your standard prosecco…
Enter: the CÎROC Star Martini (2.85 units of alcohol per serve). This showstopper is basically two drinks in one, and who doesn’t like the sound of that? Combining a shot of champagne with a fruity martini – think passionfruit syrup, a rhubarb apéritif and 35ml of CÎROC French Vanilla – this is the drink to serve when you really want to show your guests a good time.
And better still, you don’t need a mixologist to teach you how to make it. You just need the right ingredients and a cool-as-ice cocktail mixer (an essential part of any modern woman’s kitchen arsenal). Then just make sure you have something equally as tasteful to drink out of.
It’s actually fairly easy (and affordable) to get your hands on a decent set of fancy martini glasses nowadays. And for the champagne shot you’ll just need some sexy little shot glasses (every good host has at least 10 in their repertoire, naturally). Keep some plastic cups aside for that clumsy friend of yours who will no doubt break at least two glasses before the night is done. And last but not least, you’re going to need a drinks trolley. This, let it be known, is a non-negotiable – it adds flair and ease to any gathering. Plus, they last forever (provided you keep that clumsy friend away). So they’re an investment, right?
Now you’ve got the drinks covered, the next thing to think about is: the decorations. Once again, preparation is key. The more time you have to think about how to set the tone for your shindig, the better it will be. And contrary to what some people may think, the real secret to turning your sitting room/ kitchen/garden into a party space is not just to throw money at it. No, it’s to pick a colour theme and some styling references, and stick to them. That way, you won’t start drowning in a Pinterest-induced sea of options and what-ifs. Hopefully.
A simple colour theme is great, and it also allows you to have fun with bolder pops of colour here and there. Think blue tones with accents of gold and bright primary colours. Small gestures add up to great overall effect without shouting too loudly. Think twinkling disco balls brightening up dark corners and sequinned pillows. Think a string of kitsch decorations giving new life to your favourite pieces of furniture and decorating your house plants. Think balloons against a backdrop of chic wall streamers. The devil is always in the detail.
And on that note: lighting. Nothing lowers the tone of a party quite like the unforgiving glare of a 60W strip light. So hook yourself up with some subtler illuminations. Candles, festoon lights or simply some well-placed lamps are your best friend when it comes to getting a room party-prepped.
And last but not least: the games. You’re probably bored to death by Cards Against Humanity, and Bridge is sooo 2016. So what else is left? Why, a big gold piñata, that’s what. Forget the multicoloured monstrosity of your childhood (fun as it was) and meet Piñata 2.0. Fun enough to keep the crowds entertained, while also providing a fantastic decoration pre-hitting, it’s the hugely sociable, active merriment that will make your party one to remember.