Beyond the obvious—cocktails are delicious—the cocktail party deserves a much-needed comeback. And no, not because we can’t accept that Mad Men is over and we’re just gonna live in boozy denial for the next several years. Cocktail parties are actually fun—the civilized (dare we say “adult”) way to drink with friends without having to worry about the state of the public bathroom or rationalize paying $14 for another drink.
But if you need any more convincing, we’ve got a few solid reasons you should be doing more liquid socializing from the comforts of your own home.*
*Considering you’ll be inviting people over to drink at your place, you’ll want to provide for safe transportation options. Uber, designated driver, cab, sleepover, what have you. Plan in advance so people can tipple as they please.
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The Economy is Terrible
Whatever “good news” we keep hearing about the unemployment rate, it’s hard to not notice the economy still pretty much sucks. And whether you’re sacked with student loan debt, a hefty mortgage, or a $1,500 a day Faberge egg habit, it’s unlikely you’ve got enough cash lying around to spend on a fabulous night out. Solution: fabulous night in, complete with cocktails, friends, and, eventually, friends who might just be drunk enough to lend you some money.
Making a Cocktail Alone Costs A Ton of Money
You want to make a Manhattan at home? Great. Unless you already have a stocked bar, you’ll just have to go out and buy a bottle of rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and some bitters. OR you could have a cocktail party in which friends will bring ingredients one by one. Nobody pays too much, and everybody gets a cocktail (or three).
Everybody Brings a Bottle, You’ve Got a Full Bar
Speaking of everybody brings a bottle, if you’re the host of the cocktail party, and assuming you and yours didn’t down the entire contents of multiple bottles of liquor, you’ll end up with a full bar by the end of the night. Which is to say, hosting a cocktail party is an entirely selfish (and ingenious) act.
It’s Depressing Making a Cocktail for Yourself
Halfway through stirring (stirring) that gin martini, you look around at the emptiness of your living room and notice you forgot to turn on music, set any kind of mood lighting, or put on pants. You know why Cheers wasn’t really depressing? Because even though all the characters spent every single day of their lives in a bar, they were together.
Was Prom the Last Time We Got to Dress Up? Seriously?
If you think about it, 18 is hardly the age to let young people make choices about dressing up fancy. But unless you’ve got a red carpet or a wedding in your near future, the days of fancy dress up are pretty much behind you. Unless, of course, you defy all and host a cocktail party. An easy and ready excuse to get classy (they named a dress after the thing). The rest of our waking lives are full of business casual and corduroy. Throw a cocktail party, chuck on a tuxedo or some taffeta, and own it.
You Can Finally Use those Weird Glasses from your Wedding Registry
Or the glasses you forgot to give to your friend when she got married. For some reason, anyone getting married assumes they’ll need a variety of elaborate glassware, and being the good friends we are, we indulge that fantasy, buying stemless wine glasses, double-stemmed wine glasses (that’s a thing, right?) and whatever variant of cocktail glass they consider a marital must. Rather than letting those babies sit neglected in the cabinets, fill them with liquor and mixers, and wax nostalgic about the days before everyone had a registry except for you.
FaceTime Creates False Intimacy
Sure, it’s useful if you’re on a business trip, or just want your friend/partner to know you’re lookin’ damn good that day. But it ain’t no way to connect. Cocktail parties force us to put the phones down (please, put the goddam phone down) and discuss the most recent episode of Transparent in person, with dignity, and hopefully a Negroni.
You Will Not Have to Shout-Talk Over T Swift Karaoke
Getting a cocktail at a bar is a fine and decent thing. But there tends to be a divide between hyper-classy, church-quiet cocktail “dens” and bars that feel like you’re actually drinking inside a stereo speaker—and a bunch of drunk strangers have the microphone. Having a cocktail party in the comfort of your own home means control over the playlist and volume. So you can talk about how much you hate karaoke in peace.