8 Ways to Do Cocktails

Date Posted: 14/11/2018 12:43:00 PM
Posted By: Roselen Fernandez

cocktail drink

Whether you've got a fancy dinner party coming up or you're in charge of organising staff drinks, every cocktail party needs cocktails! Instead of just asking for the usual champagne from your caterer or bartender staff at your venue of choice, get a little creative!

Here's 8 ways Laissez-faire Catering has done cocktails at some of our recent events, plus what inspired us and how you can decide on a cocktail for your next event.

1. Simple yet Classy Cocktails

Sometimes you need to look no further than a classic cocktail. Choose something popular or ask your guests before the event what drink they usually buy.

2. Use Fresh and Local Ingredients to Build your Cocktail

If you want to serve something different and delicious, head to your local farmers market and see what's in season. Grab a fruit, a herb and figure out what your cocktail base should be based on those ingredients. 

Here's one we created with mint, pineapple and lime:

3. Cocktail and a Snack!

Got a sweet tooth and want your cocktail to make a statement? Here we've done cranberry juice, a sweet sparkling wine topped with... cotton candy! Guaranteed to surprise and delight.

4. Decorated Cocktail Glasses for the WOW Factor

Don't forget to give some love to the glasses themselves. A little decoration can go a long way. All you need is some sugar and something sweet to dip the glass into. Roll it in the sugar and your glasses are ready for some great wine, champagne or any cocktail you fancy.

5. Offer a Variety of Cocktails

Apart from classic crowd pleasers such as mojitos and margaritas, ask your caterer to create a bespoke menu to satisfy the Cocktail Connoisseurs.

Make sure your caterer has a few options up their sleeve:

6.  Match your Cocktail to your Venue Theme

If there are distinct colours or themes at your venue of choice, ask your caterer to try to match the signature cocktails of the night.

Red carpets, big flower arrangement and romantic lighting could call for a red wine, a red or pink cocktail or a pink champagne with flower garnish.

A summery outdoor event could call for something that pops with colour, like these cocktails we served at Cell Block Theatre recently:

7. Try a Colour Contrast Cocktail

A colour contrast cocktail can also involve two distinct flavours. Our expert cocktail makers are great at separating the layers when building a bespoke cocktail.

Check out this cocktail we served at the Australian Maritime Museum with lime and watermelon flavours and a distinct layering effect:

8. An Icy Cocktail for Summer

More heat means you'll need more ice! Go for a thick and icy cocktail especially if your venue is outdoors or by the water in the warmer months. These will be super refreshing and a bit of fruit doesn't hurt either!

What's Next?

We love making cocktails at our client's events. Look how happy it makes us!

If you need a caterer, event planner or cocktail maker extraordinaire at your next event,   make an enquiry   or give us a call on (02) 9209 4810. We can't wait to hear from you!

Cocktail Party Planning Checklist

Date Posted: 17/09/2018 6:38:57 PM
Posted By: Roselen Fernandez

Everything You Need to Know to Organise Your Next Cocktail Event


Party ready #tonight #events #vip #cater #catering #thevenue #alexandria

A post shared by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on

Somewhere between casual and formal, the cocktail party is the ideal event for a range of occasions and celebrations – corporate events, birthdays, celebrating a personal milestone, post-conference drinks, EOFY cocktail party, or just about any meet and greet event. If you’ve never hosted one before, planning a cocktail party can feel daunting.

We’ve created this checklist to help you get organised and host a fun and memorable evening. Here are the steps for planning a cocktail party from start to finish:

Create Your Guest List

Start by deciding on how large you would like your cocktail party to be and who you would like to attend. Create a guest list complete with contact information.

The Perfect Venue

Next, select the ideal location for your event. Your decision should be based upon the number of guests as well as the atmosphere and mood you would like to create. Some possible locations might include a large room in a pub, restaurant or club, an outdoor beer garden or a rooftop entertaining space, weather permitting. If your home is conducive, it can be the perfect spot to host a cocktail party. If you will be reserving an outside space, be sure to do so in plenty of time for the event.

Decide On a Theme

The event you are celebrating will help define the theme and the atmosphere you will be creating at the venue. Consider color schemes as well as décor, glassware, dishes and perhaps even a dress code related to the theme. Create a music playlist or consider hiring a deejay for the event. Order flowers and plan for the rental of any other required items for your theme.


Create a Drink and Hors d'oeuvres Menu


Now it’s time to decide on the drink menu as well as what canapes or finger food will be served. Do any of your guests have dietary requirements? Will you be creating a signature cocktail for the event? Be sure to offer appealing non-alcoholic options as well for guests who do not drink alcohol.

Send Out Invitations

Create and send out invitations to your guests two to three weeks ahead of the event. Reflect your chosen event theme in the invitation design. Consider sending both snail mail and e-invitations to ensure guests receive your correspondence and can easily RSVP.

Plan the Room Layout

How would you like the venue set up? Envision how guests will circulate around the room and where to place tables and serving areas. If the party will be held at your home, you’ll have plenty of time and opportunity to plan it. If you are renting a space, arrange a time to go there with a measuring tape and color swatches so you can get a feel for the setup and how you might decorate the space.

Make a Supplies List

If you will be hosting the party on your own at home, your list will be much longer than if you have assistance from the venue. Obviously, a party hosted at your home or in a rented space without catering will require supplies for all the cocktails and food items. You will also have to buy or rent decorations and related items; however, a rented venue may also allow you to use your own decorations. Check with the venue for specifics and any restrictions.

When entertaining at home, here is a possible list to get you started:

  • Liquor
  • Juices/mixers
  • Food items
  • Glassware
  • Dishes
  • Silverware
  • Bar supplies
  • Serving trays
  • Decorations

Consider Hiring a Bartender or Two

Why not leave drink service to the professionals? Experienced bartenders will delight your guests and allow you to relax and enjoy the evening as well.

Other Considerations

It’s all in the details. Will your party include a coat check? Designated smoking area? Reception area where guests are greeted and checked in? Consider lighting effects in the entertaining space and if you will be using candles (simulated candles can help ensure safety.) Double-check your shopping list to ensure you won’t forget any key details like garnishes for your specialty drinks and sauces or accents for your canapes or finger foods.


Don’t forget to have fun! 

Planning a cocktail party can be time consuming, but strive to enjoy the process as well as when your guests start to arrive. Having carefully planned every detail, you should be ready to relax, mingle and have a great time.

For an even more seamless event, consider leaving the planning and catering to an experienced professional. This checklist is a great starting point. However, if you need help along the way, Laissez-faire Catering can cater to all your event needs. Call us today! Tell us about your event and we'll give you a quote so we can get started creating a truly memorable event.

Rising in Popularity: Cocktail Events

Date Posted: 17/11/2015 1:53:00 PM
Posted By: Tara Connolly

Cocktail Events are Here to Stay

Cocktails n straw 

The event and catering industry is hearing an interesting request from clients: we need something swanky yet casual. And what swankier option is there than a cocktail event? Guests are getting harder to please and impress; event organisers and caterers are constantly thinking up new ideas to keep events fresh and exciting. One very popular idea is cocktail and hors d'oeuvres events.

Cocktail events can cater to almost any event - weddings, corporate, birthdays or any other kind of celebratory party. The benefits of a cocktail party include:

  1. It’s relatively inexpensive.
  2. It’s simple but looks sophisticated.
  3. It takes little work compared to buffets.
  4. It’s different from the norm, so guests can enjoy something new and exciting.

The trend towards less formal parties

Cocktail parties give guests an excuse to dress up, eat a little, drink and socialise. This type of setting allows guests to mingle around and get conversational, laugh and really enjoy the event, whether it be a wedding or a corporate event.

Since cocktail events are generally less formal than full dining events, there is less pressure when it comes to preparation. Compared to buffets and formal dinners, cocktail events allow guests to take a variety of small portions of food of their choosing. Hors d'oeuvres and the drinks are the focus of the servings.

For most organisers, choosing this type of settings allows them a lot of flexibility in planning. Cocktail parties are generally shorter than other events and they require little entertainment, just tasteful music in the background will do. If the event is for a product, person or service, a few words from guest speakers can jumpstart things. 

Corporate events are also veering towards this trend. Businesses can be talked about over a glass of wine or a good cocktail. When it comes to weddings, your guests won’t have to worry about being assigned seats next to strangers. Guests will most likely stand for the duration of the event, however, you should provide casual seating like lounges so your guests don’t get tired or uncomfortable.

If you need another reason why cocktail events are becoming more popular than other event settings, just look at the artfully designed platters! Certainly the bite sized morsels, in variety, can be more inviting than a pre-selected two course dinner.

Cocktails and Venues

Cocktail events require only a small venue (depending on number of guests). Venues for cocktail events are efficient with floor space and offer maximum room capacity. Since cocktail events usually run for only two hours, most guests can stand for the entirety without issues. As mentioned above, venues should be able to provide a few bar stools, couches, armchairs or regular seats that can seat a third of your guests.

Venues that host this kind of event range from gardens    to private homes. You can opt for elegant halls to build up the atmosphere or choose open plan banquet halls decorated to your taste.

 ATP Atrium Cocktail Party

Drinks and menus

Guests usually find food and drink servings to be satisfying if:

  • The menu offers variety
  • It’s appealing to the senses (visual first, then olfactory and taste)
  • It’s unique and seems like a new or bold idea
  • It’s well presented.

 Now, despite the fact that cocktail events only serve bite-sized menus, there should always be enough to go around. No one should leave an event feeling hungry, so don’t skimp on food!

The idea of food stations with substantial food choices, including those that are heavier in the stomach, is always recommended. As for the drinks, make sure you have a nice variety that will pair well with the food you are serving.

Make sure your bar includes the basics like whiskey, gin, rum and tequila as well as a selection of cocktail ingredients. When your guest list is finalised you can decide how much alcohol you will need on site. Select some flavourful bottles of wine and a wide selection of beers. Make sure you have plenty of the basic mixers like orange and grapefruit juice, tonic water, and some soft drink.

Let’s not forget the main benefit of a cocktail party; it gives guests an excuse to dance the night away and have a great time at your event! Enjoy!


We can not wait till summer #sesionmoments #sesiontequila #events #laissez_faire_catering #delicious #catering #privateparty #viplifeevents

A photo posted by Laissez-faire Catering (@laissez_faire_catering) on


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