The Home Cocktail Party & Beyond
Organising a home cocktail party has never been more popular, as more and more people opt to swerve town and socialise at home at the weekends. On the back of this, specialist services have sprung up across the country offering everything from the supply of professional cocktail waiters & the option to hire a cocktail bartender to mobile cocktail bar hire and full-on themed cocktail party nights. As well as catering for a home cocktail party, many such companies have also branched out into the corporate world, running cocktail master classes which offer some sort of cocktail creation experience, often designed to promote team work and creative thinking. These type of activities appeal to companies who want to try something fresh and innovative to get their employees working and thinking better together – plus they are usually more fun.
The most popular occasion to hire a cocktail bartender or mobile cocktail bar still tends to be birthday parties and the average customer profile tends to be female, 25 -40 yrs, although there has been an increase in guys organising their own home cocktail party in recent years (the difference being the type of cocktails they select, with drinks like the Manhattan, the Old Fashioned and the Caipirinha being more popular with the male customers). After birthday parties; hen parties, engagement parties, divorce parties and pre-club get-togethers are all popular reasons to hire a cocktail bartender for a night of expertly made cocktails. Some cocktail services have started to team up with other complimentary services such as: pamper sessions (hair and make-up), buffets, photo sessions, quiz nights and even naked butlers; where the cocktail company will prepare the drinks which are then served to guests by a bunch of “beefcakes” wearing nothing more than a thong and armed with a tray!
Most cocktail service companies will offer a range of cocktails for a home cocktail party, usually both alcoholic and non-alcoholic (mocktails) with the most well-known, such as the Mojito, Cosmopolitan and Sex on the Beach still proving consistently popular. Some companies offer premium cocktails, usually containing Champagne or premium spirits. Although the classic and well known cocktails make up the majority of the menus, many companies will throw in some specialty cocktails to give their customers something unique & different – plus if their specialty cocktail prove a hit the customer will want to come back for more. Another thing that has proved increasingly popular for a home cocktail party has been a themed experience, such as the Roaring Twenties or Miami Vice-style Eighties Parties where the house or venue can be transformed to fit with the era and the cocktails and the music tie in with the theme.
One of the most successful and well respected of these type of companies is The Cocktail Service, who are based in London, but cover the length and breadth of the UK. We caught up with Company Director Nick Ford to ask him a few questions:
Cocktail culture is exploding in the UK! This combined with our customers realising the high quality, but hassle free nature of the in-house service that we offer is seeing our team organising more and more Cocktail Parties at Home. We have a fantastic range of mobile bars that can be assembled in someone’s living room in minutes.
Describe your typical customer for private parties? Is it predominantly female or are males getting increasingly involved in cocktail culture?
Our customers are still predominantly female, although we have seen a marked increase in men arranging private parties over the last year. We cover the length and breadth of the UK, so our customers come from all backgrounds and walks of life. One of our key aims is to make cocktail parties bespoke, but still an affordable luxury.
Which cocktails prove consistently popular and which cocktails have seen a particular surge in popularity of late?
People will always love the classics! However, we are focusing heavily on British products in our Spring & Summer Cocktail Menu. Cocktails such as the ‘Herb Garden’, the ‘Apple & Vanilla Mojito’ and the ‘Mint & Honey Daiquiri’ are going down a storm.
How do you select your bar and waiter staff and how do you train them to mix cocktails?
We have a great team of staff on our books. All have gone through an interview process and our in-house training. Cocktail Mixologists have to have a minimum of two years’ experience in the trade. Our staff represents the company at events, so they really are the most important element of the services we provide.
Yes without a shadow of a doubt. We like to think we offer a great service at a sensible price and people really enjoy that ‘wow factor’ while still entertaining in their own home.
Do you think cocktail master classes work well as team building sessions for companies?
We run a great deal of Cocktail Masterclasses both for private and corporate clients in their home or office. It’s a great team building tool that sees a company’s staff learn a little of the history of cocktails, get taught how to make some of the classics and compete to find the best Mixologist amongst them…..all while having a couple of cocktails!
For more information about The Cocktail Service you will find them at www.thecocktailservice.com