How to Host a Mid-Century Cocktail Party
Not so long ago, American homes were the epi-center of one's social life. The fifties + sixties "housewife" was the star of her home and the kitchen her stage. Entertaining guests was NOT a last minute get together, but rather a well thought, planned affair where even the tiniest detail was as important as the guest list.
The menu was planned far in advance and often practiced on the family until savory perfection was achieved. More important than what dishes were on the menu was the manner in which they were served.
Mid-century homes were equipped with every item necessary to prep, cook, and most importantly, present food. Every item from dessert plates to dinner plates matched, allowing cohesion across all serving dishes.
Cocktails, typically two recipes, were chosen to complement the food. The host often mixed drinks for guests, or had a friend willing to stand in as bartender. It was common for guests to serve themselves ONLY later in the evening when the gathering was far more relaxed. A gracious host maintained a well stocked bar complete with an ice bucket and recipe cards to assist guests.
Serving drinks in just "any old glass" would not suffice. Mid-century homes were well stocked with all manner and sizes of glasses. Glassware was available in the appropriate sizes, proper buckets/bowls were available for ice, and cocktail shakers were available for mixing perfect drinks.
To keep guests up, moving around, and socializing, cocktails were often served in smaller glassware. Smaller size equals quick emptying and necessary refilling. A hostess worst nightmare included guests SITTING around, not mingling and silence.
Good Old Days
Entertaining guests in your home does NOT have to be a forgotten part of the social scene. Vintage books, magazines, and stories from the Greatest Generation are readily available to assist anyone with a desire. MCM barware, recipes, and furniture are easily found on the internet.
RetroReclaimations.com has EVERYTHING you need to serve guests in authentic mid-century fashion and if we do not have what you are looking for, we know someone that does...
- Jennifer Benson