Photo Credit:  Idea-Listic

Throwing a Classy and Easy Dinner Party: Drinks 

Throwing a dinner party can be a great way to have a good time with people. Many people remember when they got invited over as it is a special event. How can you throw a classy party without spending a fortune or stressing out?

With the help of family, friends, and of course the web, I’ve put together a handy guide to help relieve some stress when throwing a small dinner party.

Should you Serve Alcohol?

It’s up to you to serve alcohol. If you’re really on a budget and the quality of food will be sacrificed, then skip the alcohol. It’s a dinner party. Alcohol is not the main event and can actually stress you out as you plan for others. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Serve

Some people choose not to drink at parties and this can be a good thing. Alcohol does raise the amount of money you have to spend and it can cause more stress as you make sure your guests are having a good time without getting carried away.

Besides soda and water here are a few recipes for some non-alcoholic drinks:

Almond Iced Coffee

Combine 1 cup of strong brewed coffee with 1 cup of skim milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp almond extract and 1 tsp sugar. Pour the mixture into two ice-filled 10-oz glasses and garnish each with a light sprinkling of cinnamon. Serves 8.

Cherry Spritzer

Pour the cherry juice into the old-fashioned glass filled previously with 3 to 5 ice cubes and add the mineral water. Stir before you serve. You can mix the juice and the mineral water in the fifty-fifty percent relation too, but it is faster energy-delivering and even healthier this way. Serves 8.
Blend briefly with half a glassful of crushed ice in a wine goblet. Garnish with fruit, and serve with straws. Serves 8.
Combine the strawberries, pineapple juice, coconut cream and crushed ice in a blender, and blend well at high speed. Pour into a collins glass, garnish with a cherry and pineapple wedge, and serve. Serves 8.

How Many Drinks to Plan for Guests

If you want something easy, have a punch ready for guests as they arrive, both non-alcoholic and alcohol.

To decide how many drinks to plan out, it depends on the type of alcohol you’re serving. If it’s your first party, just go with wine as you learn.

As you get more experienced, you may want to have a few cocktails. The general rule of thumb is 2 drinks per person. You want to have a good time while reducing your stress of set up and clean up.

Some Popular Alcoholic Drinks

You want to try find a cocktail that is easy to make.

Update December 2, 2008: I just finished reading and watching (see for yourself) a post on Get Rich Slowly on some wonderful and affordable wines. J.D. asked Gary Vaynerchuk to offer his expertise. It’s a great resource and I wanted to make sure you knew about it. 

Parting Thoughts

Try and remember to keep the dinner party planning easy, classy,and affordable. The company and host make it memorable.

What do you serve at your dinner party? What works and what doesn’t?

Check out the whole Dinner Party Series

  • Throwing a Classy and Easy Dinner Party: Appetizers
  • Throwing a Classy and Easy Dinner Party: Meals
  • Throwing a Classy and Easy Dinner Party: Desserts
  • Throwing a Classy and Easy Dinner Party: Conversations and Networking