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The Rise of Cocktail Culture

Still think cocktail parties are for the Don and Betty Drapers of the world? Think again. Cocktail parties are all the rage with more and more people choosing to take entertaining at home to the next level. Let’s take a closer look at the trend, along with tips for pulling off the perfect cocktail party of your own.

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Keep spirits high with elegant edibles.

The Allure of the Cocktails

Of all the words in the English language, the word “cocktail” is perhaps among the most evocative. Why? Because mere mention of it brings to mind the essence of swank and sophistication with just a hint of scandal.

And while many people think of cocktails as an American invention, the truth is that the name of the hard liquor mixed-with-anything concoction dates as least as far back as 1798 when it was first mentioned in The London Telegraph. (Of course, the concoction itself has been around far longer.) Its first mention in the U.S. may have been in the Vermont publication, The Farmer’s Cabinet, which in 1803 declared the drink to be “excellent for the head.”

While historians have some idea of when cocktails got their name, the derivation is murkier. Some believe it derives from the French word coquetier (“eggcup”) because an 18th-century apothecary in New Orleans served up brand and bitters in eggcups. Others maintain that the name derives from the English term “cock tailings,” which used to refer to the mixing of the contents of near-empty liquor barrels — i.e., the dregs — into one single drink. A final group maintains that the word “cock tail” was borrowed from the horse racing world in reference to the “cock tails” of non-thoroughbred horses.

Cocktail Parties 101

Regardless of how and when cocktails originated, the fact remains that they’re more popular than ever today. In fact, cocktail parties were included on the Huffington Post’s roundup of “Top Entertaining Trends for 2016” with celebrity party planner Bryan Rafanelli declaring, “As our society continues to enjoy cocktail parties more than seated dinners, the intimate cocktail supper that doesn’t require guests to stay at a table but provides abundant food and drinks will be a hot trend. ”

Gourmet foods online

Foodie-friendly fare: Pot-stickers from Ming Tsai.

Planning to get in on the trend by hosting a cocktail part of your own? While these beloved elixirs may be the theme, no cocktail party is complete without food. And with foodie culture continuing its ascent, having the right food matters more than ever.

Now, factor in that the ever-elusive key to any successful party is ensuring that the host has as much fun as the guests, and the challenge grows. How can you keep things easy, stress-free, and delicious — particularly if you’ll be playing bartender during the fete? The answer is surprisingly simple: by ordering gourmet foods online. Not only will your guests be delighted, but you’ll actually get to enjoy the festivities knowing that partygoers are noshing on phenomenal fare culled from the country’s very best restaurants.

The best thing about today’s cocktail parties? There are no hard and fast rules. From black tie bashes featuring lobster and steak to more casual, ethnic-inspired soirees, there are endless ways to embrace your own inner party planner when putting together your next event. Shop foods and more to get started today.