A Guide To Great Cocktail Party Drinks

Everybody loves the idea of throwing an old fashioned upscale cocktail party. The problem is that many people have the basic idea down, but they don’t know where to go from there.

So you’ve got your guest list set, and your apartment decorations all lined up, but what drinks will you serve? After all what is a cocktail party without a couple of great adult beverages to set the mood just right?

If you want to throw a great cocktail party without hiring an independent bartender to come in and serve your guests I have compiled a list of just three of my favorite (and so easy to whip up!) cocktail party drinks.


This is your basic cocktail party drink. The common formula for a screwdriver is 6 oz. of orange juice with 1-2 oz. of vodka depending on how strong you wish the drink to be. For a cocktail party I would create this drink as a punch style self serve drink.

Prepare the setting for the drink as follows: A punch bowl filled with the screwdriver punch setup beside a bin of ice cubes and a bunch of highball glasses that are pre-prepared with several ice cubes and an orange wedge garnish awaiting your guests to fill the glasses as needed.

To make this punch the recipe would be one and a half gallons of orange juice to 750 ml. of vodka to which you can then make more by doubling this ratio. Feel free to add fruit to the drink in the punch bowl. For an average party any vodka will do really with Smirnoff being the recommendation, and for a more high end get-together Grey Goose would do nicely (with the bottle on display as an added touch).

Tequila Sunrise

This is another great drink for a cocktail party, but it requires each drink being poured individually so it will be slightly more work intensive, but goes well as a secondary drink or a drink for the later staying guests at the party.

Again in a highball glass with several ice cubes pour in 1.5 oz. tequila then top with 6 oz. of orange juice stirring gently afterward. To get the sunrise effect for the drink pour a quick several drops of grenadine around the edge of the glass and let it set for just a minute or two.

The red grenadine will rise up through the orange juice and tequila slowly looking much like its namesake a sunrise. Any grenadine will do and for an average party as well as a simple Jos© Cuervo tequila and for a high end tequila Patron is the brand to use (with the bottle on display of course).

Sex On The Beach

This drink is a great one for a party with a little more of an adult theme because of the name and the slightly higher alcohol content. This one can be put together drink by drink or as a punch style serving. The basic recipe for this drink is 1-2 oz. of vodka and ½ oz. peach schnapps mixed well with 2 oz orange juice and 2 oz. cranberry juice served with ice in a highball glass.

For a punch style serving I would prepare the setting for the drink in much the same way as the Screwdriver drink, however, with more and varied fruits for accompaniment. For a punch style drink the ratio would be 750 ml. vodka, 12 oz. peach schnapps with 1 gallon each orange and cranberry juice. Much like the Screwdriver above for an average cocktail party Smirnoff vodka would be great and for a more upscale party Grey Goose is the recommendation (with the bottle on display to add effect).