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Dress to impress: Throw a themed cocktail party — from the drinks to the dresses

Themes are a wonderful way to create a fun party atmosphere. Here are a few ideas for a fantastic and memorable cocktail party that will have your friends talking for decades.

women at mardi gras themed party

Around the world

Go completely global by inviting guests to your Around the World party. Request that each guest bring a varied cultural food item. Create an e-vite that allows pending party members to view what each guest is bringing, so there are no duplicates. Feel free to suggest a few countries and ideas, in case a few guests feel uninspired on their own.

Encourage that each guest dress to match their country. If a friend is bringing her favorite Chinese chow mein dish, inspire her fashion by suggesting cherry blossom fabric or her favorite Oriental-styled dress. Have the sushi lover dress to impress in the Harajuku girl look, or the gal with the Italian meatballs in her favorite knock-off D&G sunglasses.

Fabulous ethnic drinks include margaritas, wine, beer for the Irish gals, espresso for the Italianos — and don’t forget the sake for the sushi.

Can’t think of what to put on the menu? Send guests the link to Easy global recipes from around the world.

Jersey Shore

Bring America’s favorite reality TV stars to your family room with a Jersey Shore-themed cocktail party. Invite friends to come dressed as Snookie in their favorite slippers and jammie shorts, while J-Wow lovers can show up in sexy, tight jeans.

Serve Italian sauce, meatballs and shore favorites like hot dogs and funnel cakes. Bring in the beach by decorating your pad as an ultimate beach house. Add a mini pool on the patio for fun hot tub moments.

Great shore drinks for your menu include Sex on the Beach, the GTL cocktail, Staten Island Ferry and plenty of bottles for party shots. Have a Jersey Shore marathon pre-party for more drink and snack menu ideas.

Find out how to make Jersey Shore’s favorite cocktails at Jersey Shore cocktail recipes.

Exotic Carnival

Bring out everybody’s wild side with an exotic South American-themed party. Invite guests to dress as their favorite jungle creature, and provide the food and drinks to match. Ladies who love the feline kind can wear a leopard print dress or skirt, while women who prefer to fly with the birds can come dressed to impress with feathers.

Decorate with tropical flowers, palm trees and bright, bold colors you would see in the Brazilian Carnival.

Serve South American treats such as passion fruit cake and banana pudding for dessert, with scrumptious seared salmon and Brazilian black-eyed peas for the main dish.

If sticking with drinks only for your wild party, try the delicious caipirinha cocktail, a specialty in Brazil. But don’t forget to garnish with tropical fruits like passion fruit, mangos and pineapple. Flowers would look exotically fabulous as well.

Check out Martha Stewart’s video on how to make your own caipirinha cocktails >>

The one-percent party

Throw a hoity-toity bash by inviting friends to be part of the one-percent. Pull out your favorite LBD, cocktail dress or shop second-hand stores for a fru-fru frock that screams that you are at the top of the American food chain. Add costume jewelry (think big rocks and fake diamonds) for the full effect.

Serve duck, or chicken pretending to be duck, fancy hors d’oeuvres (baked brie, toasted cracker, the works) and pretty desserts that only the wealthy would desire.

Add wine, cosmos, martinis (don’t forget the olives), Old-Fashioneds and gimlets for the perfect drink menu. Offer waters in wine glasses with a lemon or cucumber garnish. Urge guests to act pretentious by calling them “dahling” and “dear” as they enter the party.

Find more one-percent party ideas at How to host a fancy party.

More reading

Party in a cup! Festive cocktail flair to add pizzazz to your drinks
Cocktail jewelry: Glamorous ways to label cocktail glasses
Classic cocktails on a stick

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