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March 14, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Peas & Queues

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” Little known fact: Charles Dickens was actually talking about flat-warmings. That’s why it’s important to get it right—and a cocktail party is a sure way to do it. Here’s Peas & Queues’ advice on doing it with style.

Get a retro dress or suit. I’m talking about a swinging ‘50s cocktail party. Y’know, like on Mad Men. Not like on Cocktail with those girls wearing black spandex dresses that are really boob tubes. If you’ve got cash, check out Ziggurat or Hunters & Collectors on Cuba Street, or if you’re on a budget, head up to the wonder that is The Costume Cave on Wakefield Street.

Make a cocktail playlist. Your guilty Akon pleasure might be okay on the privacy of your iPod, but at a cocktail party you want something a little more suited to the mood. Try Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Dean Martin for a jazzy vibe, Wanda Jackson and Buddy Holly for a bit more of a rock’n’roll feel, and to knock it into the slightly bizarre, go for Peggy Lee (‘Fever’ and ‘Is That All There Is’ are particularly great tunes).

Get a cocktail recipe book from the library, and put someone in charge. You know the difference between a cocktail and rocket fuel? Someone relatively sober and well-researched manning the bar. Make sure there’s some mixers too—ginger ale, soda, and something lemon-y are useful. Try this one: Between The Sheets—equal parts brandy, white rum and triple sec with lemon juice. Shake it up with ice and pour.

Make sure plenty of snacks. I’m not just saying that because I’m a grown-up and want you all to be safe when drinking. Cocktails can be lethal, because they taste like Raro and it can be tempting to drink them like that. Unless you want vomit down your pretty retro dress, you’ll want to supply at least some chips and dip. You’ll be treated like some sort of hosting deity if you serve up hot sausage rolls around 12.

Keep it classy. Just because you’re dressed up, doesn’t mean it’s the Sevens. Don’t get too drunk: good flat warmings are always worth remembering.

Got a burning question? Write to auntiesharon@salient.org.nz

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