It has been said, if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing it well. It has also been said, “to alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all life’s problems.” Sounds like someone should throw a cocktail party – better yet, an effortless cocktail party. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the host of an event for friends and family that gives everyone a chance to unwind after a stressful day, week, or adulthood? Remember, we’re talking about a cocktail party, not a kegger. While the evening should and can be effortless, it will be that way due to some pre-planning on your part. All these tips will not only make your evening go well but give you as host the peace of mind to enjoy yourself alongside your guests, rather than feeling the need to orchestrate each part of the event. Put these tips into play and let the evening evolve organically.

So, what is the first thing to think of when you think “effortless cocktail party”? Food is what we are looking for. A cocktail party without food either quickly devolves into the same kind of nights you used to have in your dorm room – sloppy and everyone ordering pizza at the eleventh hour – or frankly just boring because drinking for drinking’s sake is, as we’ve learned, boring. It’s easy to learn how to craft an irresistible charcuterie board, so let’s run with that. First, hop on over to Weston Table and select an assortment of serving platters and trays that will not only make your nosh portable but beautiful. You are encouraged to prepare meat and cheese boards in advance of your party, so there’s less fuss for you to deal with after your guests arrive. Simply pull out additional boards as needed as existing ones get depleted. Plan them out as you would a simplified menu starting with appetizers such as shrimp and seafood cocktail, followed by meat and cheese boards in place of entrees, and ending with a chocolate charcuterie to wrap up the event.

Let’s carry this idea of planning out the evening’s food to the cocktails that you’ll make available to your guests. Having a set menu of cocktails will also help keep the night effortless since you won’t be put in a position to make every Harvey Walbanger or Long Island Ice Tea requested and can limit your shopping needs at the package store. Start off with something light and fruity such as a paloma or mojito – which are rather effortless when made in large batches. Make it even easier on yourself by ordering the necessary mixers ahead of time from El Guapo, a very cool, award-winning New Orleans company that has excellent cocktail components. Take a look at their other offerings to come up with your own special “entree cocktail”. Then let everyone get the hint that the event is wrapping up when you bring out the last course espresso martini – again, rather effortless when made in quantity. Reining in the cocktails you have available for your party will really streamline both your preparation and your event itself, giving you the effortless evening you want.

If you have the means, then host your party outdoors. Several factors tilt the needle towards an al fresco location rather than inside your home or apartment. First, you don’t have to dust the outdoors. You may need to trim the lawn or water the plants or sweep the deck beforehand but in general, if things are a bit unkempt outdoors, they are natural and earthy. Second, spills and drops are much less jarring outdoors. You can’t clean a sticky floor indoors with a hose, right? Yet there is a significant drawback: mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor event – so do away with them in style (and without the stinky candles that we all should just admit don’t do diddly). TikiBrand gives us a solution from science, and makes your outdoor space sparkly and pretty to boot. Their Bitefighter LED String Lights are 36 feet of bug repellant in the clever guise of string lights that you probably would have bought for this occasion anyway. After all, this stealthy bugless solution equates with effortlessness.

Hopefully you’re now closer to being an effortless host. Maybe you also want an effortless time being a DJ for the party. To keep it effortless, you’ll need a playlist. If you want to curate it yourself ahead of time, please do. That personal touch that you add to the mix will certainly be appreciated by your guests. If you’re like many more of us who would be hard-pressed to cobble together a several hours-long playlist we suggest you keep it effortless by leveraging those available from one or several online streaming companies that are competing for your attention. However, you know full well that using your mobile phone speakers aren’t going to cut through the lively conversation your guests will undoubtedly be having. Make the broadcast of your party soundtrack effortless by getting yourself the smartest speaker you can find. The SONOS Roam not only does what a speaker should do but reaches effortless with its being waterproof and drop resistant. Perfect for that outdoor setting.

You’ve got some tools in your toolkit now to make your event an organic success. So open your door, or backyard gate, to friends, family and colleagues who would benefit from being in each other’s company, and yours. Enjoy yourself and whatever happens to make your event memorable and the temporary solution to life’s problems.