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Great Cocktail Party Themes: 19 Ideas

Updated on: Apr 20, 2023

Great Cocktail Party Themes: 19 Ideas

Cocktail parties work in nearly any venue. When hosting a night out in the city, food is one of the most important aspects to consider for your mixer. Be sure to have many appetizers available for guests that will leave them drooling. Lost for ideas? Here are some of the best party theme ideas as well as a cocktail party appetizer and drink ideas to make your event great. This also includes a variety of food themes and drink-related cocktail party ideas that can be incorporated into party favors.

Cocktail Party Themes

Possibilities are endless when it comes to cocktail parties but it can take a lot of work before the party becomes perfect. Below you will find different ways to spice up your party theme and decide if you want it to be a crazy house party or form it into various indoor formal and cool parties. If you are more focused on dress-up party themes for adults or dinner party themes or even at-home birthday party ideas then all of these cocktail dinner themes will still help.

1. Pick Popular Themes

Of course, all of your friends may be thinking about just coming over for a few cocktails and appetizers but a way to blow them away is to choose from these creative themes from various time periods or hobbies to make popular interesting parties. You can even encourage your friends to dress up for the theme or let them know there will be a dress code!

  • Black and White Everything
  • Roaring 20s
  • Funky 70s Disco
  • Music Theme Party
  • Under the Sea
  • Classy Night Theme
  • Gold and Silver
  • Luau
  • Red and Black Themed Party

2. Choose Similar Party Invitations

Along with your theme, you will want to choose invitations to send that go along with the theme you chose. Decide what information you want on it such as important party details with funny and witty wording. Finally, give your guests time to RSVP by giving 3 - 4 weeks in advance to send out invitations.

3. Party Decorations

Cocktail parties bring together friends and family, men and women, for lots of socializing and should reflect a fun but sophisticated vibe. Your theme should help decide on colors for everything such as flowers and table covers. The decor is very important. Candles are a great way to add some depth to the decorations through every room of the party, even the bathroom! If you have a bar available, decorate it as well. The goal is to create a party with a great ambiance.

4. Party Menu

Finger foods and colorful beverages are essential for a great cocktail party. Below are some fantastic ideas for various beverages with alcohol and appetizers to have with your party. Platters are a great way to display all sorts of foods, as well as adding levels to your display to give some platters height so everything is not all at the same level.

Beverages and Appetizers

5. Cocktails A’ Flowin’

Since it is a cocktail party, drinking is a major part of the fun. Make sure you have plenty of cocktails and alcoholic beverages such as lemon drop martinis, sweet and sour cocktails, and much more. Create a signature mixed drink or a punch and also have staple items on hand to make other items.

6. Shrimp Cocktail 

This is a perfect and easy appetizer idea for your cocktail party. You have the option of buying the pre-made platter or you can cook your own shrimp and use your own platter and delicious cocktail sauce. This appetizer can be served at any occasion, especially during the summer!

7. Mini Quiches 

Give your guests something to look forward to by making mini quiche in individual mini quiche pans! Quiches are very unique and simple to make but if you’re on a time constraint you can buy frozen quiches in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. Just bake them up before the party starts.

8. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are usually a fan favorite food for your cocktail party. This simple appetizer is so simple to make and you can choose to get creative with the ingredients or toppings. Serve them on a deviled egg platter alongside other kinds like smoked salmon and dill, crabmeat and breadcrumbs and avocado bacon ranch deviled eggs.

9. Mini-Meatballs

Mini-meatballs are perfect for a mixed drink party appetizer. You can purchase one large bag of already cooked frozen meatballs from your grocery store and choose your own sauce. Or you can make your own and serve them up on a serving platter. Some suggestions are marinara, barbecue sauce, pineapple, and soy sauce glaze.

10. Arugula Flatbread

Frozen pizza dough makes this appetizer that much easier! Just top the flatbread with olive oil and whatever toppings of your choice such as tomatoes, olives, deli meats or artichokes. Bake in the oven and while it’s cooling, top off the flatbreads with fresh arugula tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

Cocktail Party Favors

Cocktail parties mean good friends and good drinks, but when the party’s over how will you make sure your guests remember the great time they had? Hand out cocktail party favors at the end of your party! Here are some cocktail party favor ideas that will give your guests something more solid than memories to hold on to.

11. Fortune Cookies

Cookies are a perfectly sweet way to finish off the night, but fortune cookies are like presents with a satisfyingly crunchy wrapper. You can find them at your local grocery store and dress them up in fancy boxes or a simple bag-and-ribbon ensemble for a lovely and elegant favor your guests are sure to love. You can even order ones with custom messages! 

12. Wine Bottle Stoppers

If you’re looking for a more cocktail-themed favor, why not treat your guests to a unique bottle stopper? There are so many different ones to choose from, you are sure to find one that fits the theme of your cocktail party. If you’re having a luau-themed cocktail party, for example, a starfish-themed stopper. This favor will surely have your guests leaving with a smile on their faces. 

13. Gourmet

Gourmet party bags make really elegant party favors. You can buy miniature bottles of pantry staples such as balsamic vinegar, or you can make your own by mixing up a nice spice rub for your guests’ next barbecue. You can also opt for a more permanent favor and supply your guests with small kitchen accessories like an ice cream scoop or pepper grinder.

14. Cocktail Glasses

You are going to need cocktail glasses for your cocktail party so why not make them into a cute party favor? You can buy your personalized cocktail glasses with your guests’ initials, or, if you’re feeling creative, personalize them with acrylic paint. Personalized cocktail glasses can be used by your guests during your party and then be taken home after. 

15. Cocktail Package Mix

Give out margarita powdered mixers of drinks you served at your party as giveaways. These small packets can be easily transformed into a blended drink by adding the packet of mix, liquid (juice or alcohol) and ice into a blender.

16. Votive Candles 

Votive candles are an inexpensive giveaway tip if you’re looking for an easier and more budget-friendly option. Give a few out in each bag so that guests can recreate the same setting they experienced at your party. 

17. Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail shakers can be vessels for carrying other small favors or treats in them. It adds a modern twist on the traditional goodie bag and serves an additional purpose… making drinks! 

18. Dinner Mints

Dinner mints are a perfect favor to give out. To make the gift even more meaningful, try placing the mints into a small mason jar with a personal note on the top.

19. Finger Bottle Opener

Looking for something unique that your guests will use all the time? Hand out finger bottle openers as party favors. These favors go along with any theme for your cocktail party. In addition, you can hand out beer bottles, martini glasses and wine bottle-shaped openers for a simple but still fun idea for bottle openers. 


There are many fun ideas you can work into cocktail party themes. Especially ideas involving tasty food, beverages and party favors. Several of the ideas mentioned in this article can be easily obtained and easy to work with. Hopefully, you found these suggestions helpful and inspired you to throw an awesome cocktail party.

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Written by Tammy Tu, Chris Dest; Contributors: Kerri Sullivan, Vanessa Marsocci and Amber Phipps

Amber Phipps

Ohio University

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Kerri Sullivan

Chestnut Hill College

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