Cocktail Party Etiquette and Expectations for Beginners

alcohol cocktail party

Many of us haven’t been to many cocktail parties in our life. When you get an invitation, you may have a number of questions about how to behave. Don’t fret. Here is some basic cocktail party etiquette and expectations for beginners.

Learn Popular Cocktails

Most cocktail parties have a bar with a number of different cocktail options for guests. You don’t want to get stuck with something you don’t like, so learn some basic cocktails to order. For example, good rye whiskey cocktails include the classic Manhattan and the Waldorf. Vodka cocktails include the vodka tonic and Moscow Mule. Some parties have a signature cocktail. If you see this, you should take the time to try it and compliment the host on how great it tastes.

When to Come and When to Go

Some people think that it’s okay to be “fashionably late” to a cocktail event. Being the first one there can be a little awkward at times. However, there may be activities, such as speeches, that happen at specific times. It’s extremely rude to miss these moments. Don’t be more than a half-hour or an hour later than the invitation requests. Leaving is also another problem. You want to enjoy yourself and stay till the end, but you don’t want to overstay your welcome. Even if the host insists on you staying, it’s good to leave when you start to notice other people trickling out. Most parties will go to about midnight, but follow the timing of the crowd.

Don’t Over Drink

You will embarrass yourself if you have a couple of too many cocktails. Instead, you should be very mindful of how much you drink. Assume that the cocktails are stronger than they appear and will sneak up on you later. You should also eat the food provided to have something in your stomach. Ideally, you should set a limit for drinks and stick to it. You’ll be able to look at everybody in the face the next day when they are talking about the people who drank too much.

Keep Conversation Positive

You simply must mingle and talk with other people at the party. However, when people come together at a party, they tend to talk about other people at the party. The conversation isn’t always great. Other guests may gossip, but it’s better to steer clear of such chatter. You don’t want to make anyone angry, so do your best not to speak negatively about the others. After all, they are all invited guests of the host. Everyone deserves respect. If you don’t like someone, you should keep those opinions to yourself.

Limit Phone Use

Ideally, you should turn your phone off when you arrive to the party. It’s rude to constantly be looking at texts or emails on your phone. It’s even worse to be talking on the phone the whole night. If you are expecting a call or you get a call from your babysitter, you should excuse yourself, take the call out of earshot, and make the call brief.

Going to a cocktail party is fun. It’s also a great way to mingle and meet new people. Here are some tips to help you stay polite throughout the night.