Margarita and cocktail party appetizers

Cocktail Party Menus

Putting together theses sumptuous cocktail party menus should be a pleasure. Have fun, after all, you're throwing a party!

These "pint-sized" parties are a great way to toast friends and family and enjoy good drinks and great food. Too often hosts choose easy (albeit lame) potato chips and onion dip....resist the temptation! Be all about the food!

It is time to one make one. This will save you time and keep your party jitters to a minimum.  Check out the many choices of pre-made appetizers in your supermarket. Purchase the highest-quality you can afford and pair with your homemade goodies.  For instance, prepare easy Pan Fried Onion Dip with purchased vegetable chips or toasted baguette slices.

Dips, spreads and flavored hummus; smoked salmon; prosciutto, salami and pepperoni; prepackaged fruit, cheese and veggie platters; pre-made salads, toppings and dressings

colorful vegetable tray

More Cocktail Party Tips

Cocktail Party Menus

Sassy Southwestern Cocktail Party
Serve this lively menu with Sangria, Mint Martinis, Mojitos and Mexican Tea Punch

Sweet and Savory Popcorn and Nuts

Green Chile and Cilantro Salsa

Spicy Black Bean Salad
(omit ham if desired)

Southwestern Chicken Legs or Wings
Serve with Herbed Yogurt Dip with fresh oregano instead of basil and lime wedges

Blood or cara cara oranges and radish slices

Purchase pecan cookies, mocha chocolate cookies or brownies

Soirée For 12
Serve this sweet and savory menu with wine cocktails and mixed vodka drinks. Purchase the vegetable and fruit platters or go to easy appetizer recipes for tips on creating your own

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

Vegetable Tray with Ranch Dip or Orange Mayonnaise

Seasonal Fruit Tray with Strawberry Yogurt Dip
Mix strawberry yogurt with a touch of sour cream and honey

Chicken Chili Quesadillas

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms

Crispy Mini Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Flavor-Packed Night
Serve with vodka or gin mixed drinks. Bold red or white wines, beer and cider

Garlic and Pepper Marinated Olives

Roasted Chili Tomato Salsa
Serve with tortilla or pita chips, vegetable crudités and Cheddar cheese slices

Shrimp Cakes
Serve with Aioli, Tarter Sauce or Green Mayonnaise and lemon wedges

Wined Teriyaki Beef Strips
Serve with buttered French bread slices or mini croissants. Pass purchased teriyaki sauce if desired

Melon slices and strawberries, sprinkled with mint leaves

Get Ready for Flavor Cocktail Party Menu
This menu pleases with a variety of flavors and textures

Out of this World Garlic Dip
Serve with crackers, crispy flatbread and celery, carrot and cucumber sticks

Asian Shrimp Cakes
Serve with Easy Mango Salsa

Natchitoches Meat Pies
Cut dough into 3-4" circles for bite-size appetizers

Strawberries with Kirsch and Orange  Zest

Crispy Cookies

Easy Does It Cocktail Party Menu
This easy appetizer buffet comes together with some purchased items and sauces

Seasonal Fruit, Cheese, Vegetable Tray
With Yogurt Dip and Ranch Dressing

Also see Fruit and Cheese Appetizers

Assortment of Crackers, Pita Chips, Crisp Flatbread Crisps

Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms
Or purchase

Purchased Miniature Spring or Egg Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce
Or Purchased Chili Sauce

Moroccan Kebabs with Minted Yogurt Dip

Holiday Soiree

The holidays are a perfect time to show off your bartending skills! French Connection and Mint Martini are good drinks for this menu. Also serve hot cider and Brandied Spice Coffee. Find these and other spirits at Drink and Party Punches

Mixed Nuts - Olives

Marinated Cheese Appetizers
Serve with crackers; crispy flatbread. Add sliced pears, apples or dried figs and apricots

Spinach Dip and Artichoke Dip

Carrot Sticks

Caramelized Onion Pizza

Cold Fillet of Beef with Garlic Red Wine Vinaigrette
Serve with specialty breads, crackers
flavored mustards, horseradish sauces and butters

Barbecued Tandoori Shrimp Salad

Cranberry Cream Spread with Ginger Snaps
Mix whipped cream cheese with dried cranberries, a pinch of sugar and dash vanilla. Spread on cookies or gingerbread

Purchased Gourmet Cookie - Brownie Platter

Last Minute Party Time

Serve easy to make drinks or even ask guests to bring their favorite beverages.

Purchased Dip or Guacamole
Serve with potato, pita or bagel chips. This recipe can be easily cut in half

Serve with crisp crackers and Feta cheese cubes

Sweet and Sassy Shrimp Kabobs

Pork Bites with Sweet Apple Chutney

Here's a simple menu addition

Turkey and Cranberry Muffins
Split your favorite orange mini muffins in half. Place a piece of deli turkey and small dollop of whole cranberry on top. Good additions: Swiss cheese and/or green onions. Prepare 2 muffins per guest, about 1 pound of sliced turkey and 1 can of whole-berry cranberry sauce

Southern Nights

The Cocktails: Mint Juleps, Mojitos, Daiquiris, bourbon based mixed drinks, iced tea and iced coffee based cocktails, cordials and liqueurs, non-alcoholic flavored ice teas and lemonade, hot coffee

Nuts and Olives

Spicy Hot Crab Dip

Assorted Crispy Crackers

Tender-Crisp Vegetable Crudités and Creamy Garlic Dip

Creole Boiled Shrimp On Ice with Horseradish Salsa

Buffalo Wings

Grilled Sweet Onion and Arugula Finger Sandwiches

Lemon Chiffon Cake and Fresh Strawberries

Also consider:

Crab Salad Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Pecan Finger Sandwiches

Mini Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Strawberries and Chantilly Cream

Roll Out the Red Carpet

This menu is very easy elegance. Feature drinks your guests will consider Hollywood trendy and sophisticated. Champagne (definitely), Cosmopolitans, Sex on the Beach, other Vodka Martinis filed with olives, specialty coffees.

Drink and Party Punches

Nuts and Olives

Hot Crab Dip

Assorted Crackers and Chips

Herb-Crusted Beef Roast with Horseradish Sauce

Sliced thinly with Dark Breads and French Bread

Flavored Mustards, Horseradish Sauces and Butters

Raw Vegetables on Ice with Herb Dipping Sauce

Fruit and Cheese Board

Mini Chocolate Cakes

Also consider:

Out of this World Garlic Dip

Shrimp with Salsa Verde

Baby Lamb Chops with Baby Baked Potatoes

Tender-Crisp Vegetables with Creamy Garlic Dressing

International Smorgasbord

For an uncomplicated party theme, decide on your favorite ethnic or national cuisine and design a menu based on its' traditional finger foods and dishes.

The Cocktails: Feature beverages from around the world or at least sound like they are such as, Irish Coffee, Singapore Sling, Manhattan, White Russian, Virgin Island Daiquiris.

Out of this World Garlic Dip

Vegetable Crudités

Pickled vegetables, roasted red peppers, pickles olives, nuts, cheeses, assorted crackers and chips

Melon and Prosciutto

Italian Tomato Bruschetta

Cumin-Scented Moroccan Kebabs with Minted Yogurt Dip

Barbecued Tandoori Shrimp Salad

Sesame Flatbread

Italian Cookies or French Pastries

Also consider:
Purchased Greek Salad or Antipasto from your favorite deli or salad bar

Grilled Sausages with Mustard and Tortillas

Favorite New Orleans Shrimp Salad

Poker Party

This menu suits any kind of card party or board games party. Serious card players like foods that are not messy. Set-up the food table away from the action and provide plenty of napkins and wet wipes.

The Cocktails: Offer traditional mixed drinks such as rum and cola, scotch and soda, gin and tonic and bourbon and water. Bottled beer and brandy are also welcomed. Also ginger ale and other sodas, tea, coffee and mineral water

Spinach Dip in Bread Bowl

Marinated Cheese Skewers

Assorted Crispy Crackers

Orange, Grape and Almond Fruit Salad

Roast Beef and Horseradish Finger Sandwiches

Spicy Popcorn and Nut Mix

Potato chips, pretzels, pickles, olives

Vanilla Wafers and Sugar Cookies

Also consider:

Mini Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce

Ham and Black Bean Salad

Fruit in Wine

A Wine Tasting Party

Do you like it? Would you buy it? That's all you need to know for an informal wine tasting party. Select a few wines you are familiar with that go with your menu (ask your wine merchant for help) Also ask a guest or two to bring a compatible bottle

Also offer cordials and liqueurs, non-alcohol flavored ice teas and lemonade, hot coffee

Nuts and Olives

Ginger Orange Chicken on Curried Toast Canapés
Top with Apple or Mango Chutney

Skewered Shrimp Marinated in Lime-and-Basil Vinaigrette

Tropical Fruit Kebabs

Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Serve with tomato sauce and dinner rolls

Simple Mixed Green Salad

Lemon Sorbet and Crispy Sugar Cookies

Also consider:

Rosemary-Garlic Roast Beef Tri-Tip

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