A cocktail party isn’t just any casual get-together. Planning the perfect cocktail party requires a lot of attention. Keeping your guests entertained during the night requires the right cocktail party games.
Depending on how formal you want your event to be, chances are your friends will be a mix of people you know and don’t know. You want to keep the atmosphere as bright and positive as you can. Cocktails can help you do that, but you can’t rely on alcohol and appetizers to get you through any awkward moments.
As the host, you need to attend to everybody. Cocktail party games can help the group gel and break the ice between strangers. Let’s get started.
Kick off your party games by testing guests on what they know of their cocktails. A day before the party, write the names of famous cocktails on strips of paper and put them in a bowl. Players at the party take it in turns to act out the name of the cocktail for everyone to guess. Players can use words in addition to acting. Here are some cocktails to help you start your game:
- Mai Tai
- Bloody Mary
- Moscow Mule
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Pina Colada
- Harvey Wallbanger
No Hands Cocktail
This cocktail party game’s all about teamwork and communication. There’s also the chance things will get spilled, messy or broken, so be prepared. Pair up 2 of your guests and ask one to stand behind the other, with their arms going under the armpits of the guest at the front. The guest at the front puts their hands behind the other player’s back; these are then tied up using tape or a necktie.
Playing against the clock, the pair now make a cocktail, with the arms-tied player shouting out instructions as the arms-free player mixes up the drink. Be prepared for messy and hilarity to follow.
Become A Cocktail
For this cocktail game, you will need Post-It notes, tape and a pen. Choose a cocktail recipe then write down a different ingredient on each note, tape each one to the back of a player. Players must now rearrange themselves in the correct order the cocktail is made. You can also turn this game into a competition by having 2 teams going up against each other. Try and pick a cocktail everyone is familiar with but add in a few twists to make assemblage harder for players.
Cocktail Dress Dress-Up
Stuff a sports bag with as many fancy clothing items as you can find (or can get from thrift stores in advance). These might include an old dress, leggings, bangles, a mini skirt, weird hats, wigs, belts, tops and sunglasses.
Start your music and then when it stops, the person holding the bag must put on one of these random items. Restart the music and resume passing the bag round. Once all the items are used up, ask everyone to vote which person has the Best Cocktail Dress of the game. Guests can touch up how they look before voting.
Tired of drinking the same old cocktail? Then this cocktail party game’s all about unleashing your guests’ imaginations. Create a cocktail-making station lined up with a mix of spirits (vodka, whisky, rum, etc), mixers (soda, fruit juices, etc) and finishing touches (fruit pieces, leaves). Choose 3 to 4 players and have them seated at the station.
Playing against the clock, give everyone up to 5 minutes to create the most creative cocktail they are. When the time is up, having everyone taste the drinks and vote for their favourite.
Drown The Clown
Drown the Clown is a drinking game and you need a pack of playing cards. Deal each guest a card face down, that’s then turned over with everyone else’s on the count of 3.
If your card is the same number as another player’s, point to that person as quickly as you can and shout out ‘clown.’ The last player to say it has to drink the value on the card.
If a player points to the wrong person, they need to drink 2 drinks.
Find out what your guests know about cocktail making by creating a trivia around its different facets. One great example is testing people on cocktail mixing lingo which includes building, muddling, shake and strain. Find out what your guests know of different spirits and liquors, famous cocktail bars around the world, and the names of cocktails.
This is fun way to people to get to know each other. Each person takes turns to create a real-life statement around drinking that starts with ‘I’ve never’.
For example, if you’ve never had drunk champagne, you simply say, ‘I’ve never drunk champagne.’ Anyone around the table who has drunk champagne before has to take a sip of their cocktail. The goal of the party game is to think of a statement where everyone will need drink at the same time.
This cocktail party game’s another way of building bonds between your guests. Partner people up and get them to create a cocktail they think best reflects their buddy. Buddies get to taste the results and people get to share their thoughts of what went into the drink and why.
If you enjoy cocktail games with a competitive edge, here’s another one for you. Write out a variety of cocktail recipes, put them a bowl then split everyone into pairs or small teams. The first player of each must beat their opponents by being the first to mix a cocktail recipe pulled from the bowl. The first person to finish their cocktail successfully is the winner.
Cocktail parties require a high degree of precision and expertise to pull off a memorable night. Adding a few cocktail party games to the mix ensures you’ve got the memorable part sorted out and leave your guests feeling satisfied.