I would probably entertain a whole lot more and serve a lot of Watermelon Martinis at those parties if the proper cocktail party format was revived again. Back in the quintessential heyday of cocktail parties (and by that I mean the 1950’s) the expectation was that the cocktail party would be no more than a 2 hour get together. The host would offer a choice of only two or three cocktails and perhaps one or two “smart” snacks to nibble on. At the end of the two hours or say 8PM at the latest, all the guests were expected to leave and fend for dinner 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 commitment to pull it off. No wonder fewer people attempt it. They should. And they should serve drinks like this Watermelon Martini
I think what makes a cocktail party special is the host’s attention to detail when setting out a party aesthetic. The making and serving of cocktails has a whole set of signifiers and rituals. Be sure you put out cocktail napkins, bowls of garnish at the bar, swizzle sticks, and and ice bucket and tongs. Dress well. Play snappy, somewhat bouncy music. Use the best glassware you have available (especially the martini glasses which say cocktail party all by themselves) and make sure they are appropriate for the cocktails you are serving. Or not. (I was recently served a vermouth cocktail in a Bell jar and it worked well! I think I’ll try that the next time I make a Pimm’s Cup!) I also think the best cocktail parties are when there is no occasion other than the cocktail party itself. So don’t wait for an occasion if you want to be seen as chic.
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 a…
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.