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Throw a glamorous cocktail party with these theme ideas

By Rosalind Scutt
Friday, October 28, 2011
Cube libre
Cube libre
Host a Cuba Libre party to celebrate life, freedom, art and passion.
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Want to throw an amazing cocktail party without spending lots of time and money? Then read on.

Unleash your creative side and throw the perfect themed cocktail, from the invitations, decorations and the food and drinks you serve.

Forget another boring Sex and the City themed cocktail party. Stay true to the humble origins of the cocktail, and transport your guests to more glamorous era with these four cocktail theme parties.

1. Moulin Rogue

Paris is romanticised as a city that saw more than its share of impoverished artists and misery of the masses. It has hosted some of the world's most renowned thinkers, inventers, poets and writers (many of whom loved to drink!)

Decor: Think Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge for an exemplary lead. Go for dark spaces with cosy cushioned areas and lots of candles planted in jars. Drape some feather boas around the place for a sense of seduction. Throw black velvet over your couches and ensure olive bowls and cheese boards litter the space.

Music: Your playlist should feature such moody performers as Edit Piaf and Josette Daydé. If you have an old record player, use it (or, for an unforgettable prop, hire a gramophone).

Drinks: Champagne cocktails or anything using absinth.

2. Underground and unemployed: Pink Slip Slammer party

Depending who you talk to we're in a depression right now, so why not party like it's 1929! Encourage pals to bring copious business cards so they can network with other guests (whomever exchanges the most cards by the end of the night wins a bottle of booze).

Decor: Turn your pad into a modern speakeasy with low light and blockout on the windows. Have the women wear cocktail dresses of the flapper era while men should don black suits with white ties. For a prohibition twist, fill your bathtub with ice and turn that into your bar.

Music: Play all the moody jazz icons like Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Drinks: Fruity pink cocktails all round (try a Pink Slip Slammer made with vodka, pink grapefruit juice, and a splash of simple syrup, topped with a raspberry).

3. Cuba Libre!

When we think of Cuba we think of a deeply spirited, divided and colourful nation of people and a government prepared to stand up to the overwhelming might of a fearsome big brother (being the west). Host a Cuba Libre party to celebrate life, freedom, art and passion.

Decor: Go for an honest, rustic vibe. Theme your party using faded coffee sacks with random splashes of colour (red cushions for example). You'll need loads of candles and large trays of cigars will make apt centre pieces on tables.

Music: Your play list should include loads of Spanish style guitar music, all the best from the Gypsy Kings and Santana and plenty of old school jazz.

Drinks: This is a perfect backdrop for the ever popular mojito, the traditional (and easy to make) Cuba Libre, and don't forget the tropical Papa Hemingway.

4. Vintage Hollywood

Hollywood has done a lot to promote the allure of cocktail hour. Think James Bond's martini (shaken not stirred), and Humphrey Bogart's memorable words to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca: "Here's looking at you, kid," (as he fixes her a Champagne cocktail made of dry Champagne, brandy, a sugar cube and bitters).

Decor: Flat-out glamour is your only option! Encourage guests to wear outrageous vintage cocktail attire complete with faux furs, top hats, white tuxedos and gloves. Hire a butler and announce guest upon arrival.

Drinks: Anything goes but especially in keeping are Champagne cocktails, martinis and whisky sour.

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