I would probably entertain a whole lot more if the proper cocktail party format was revived again. Back in the heyday of the quintessential cocktail party (back in the 1950's) the expectation was no more than a 2 hour get together. The host would offer a choice of two or three cocktails and one or two "smart" snacks. At the end of the two hours, say 8PM at the latest, all the guests were expected to leave and fend for themselves. Doesn't that sound civilized? Nowadays, anyone throwing a party is expected to offer a full bar and a full meal to all guests making it a much larger committment to pull it off.
Pimm's Cup!) I also think the best cocktail parties are when there is no occassion other than the cocktail party itself.
One summer several years ago I attempted to revive the format of the aforementioned cocktail party. Along with the usual white wine, and soda water I offered my guests the watermelon martini. It was an unexpected offering and quite the hit. I don't think a single guest had anything anything else and we were shaking these all night long. There are many recipes for a watermelon martini. The following is the one I settled on for the party as it seems to appeal to the widest variety of tastes being more of a watermelon cosmopolitan than martini.
First, make the watermelon juice by putting chopped watermelon (no seeds) into a blender and liquify. Strain contents through a seive into a pitcher.
- 1 part watermelon juice
- 1 part citron vodka
- 1/2 part fresh lime juice1/4 part simple syrup
Put contents into a shaker and have at it. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a piece of watermelon. If lime juice and simple syrup are not available, 1 part sweet and sour will work. Try it out and adjust the proportions to your liking and then make a pitcher for your summer guests!