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Steal This Look: The Instant Cocktail Party Kit

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Steal This Look: The Instant Cocktail Party Kit

August 29, 2023

This week we’re revisiting some of the most popular summer stories from the archives. Here’s one:

A few years back, while working on our latest book, Remodelista: The Organized Home: Simple, Stylish Ideas for All Over the House, we became obsessed with kits. Travel kits, tool kits, spice kits, kitchen wrap kits, clothes care kits, cleaning kits. Show me an empty drawer and I’ll show you how to create a neatly organized group of complementary objects that will prevent you from ever asking yourself: “Where did I put that thing again?”

One of our favorite kits for the kitchen is the Instant Cocktail Kit. It’s arguably the most fun to assemble and (not surprisingly) to use. Our theory is this: You’re more likely to throw an impromptu drinks or dinner party when your tabletop elements are kept at the ready in one place.  Here’s a look at what’s inside (feel free to improvise and expand on this list).

photograph from the organized home by matthew williams; styling by ju 14
Above: Photograph from The Organized Home by Matthew Williams; styling by Julie Carlson and Alexa Hotz.

Drinkware

the l&#8\2\17;atelier du vin stainless steel and beech timbale bucket was p 15
Above: The L’Atelier du Vin Stainless Steel and Beech Timbale Bucket was previously available at March in San Francisco. You can now source it via Made In Design UK for £104.
jasper morrison’s glass family goblet is available at hive: \$44 for a s 16
Above: Jasper Morrison’s Glass Family Goblet is available at Hive: $44 for a set of four.
designer deborah ehrlich&#8\2\17;s simple crystal straight champagne glasse 17
Above: Designer Deborah Ehrlich’s Simple Crystal Straight Champagne Glasses are $75 each at March. For more on Deborah, see our post House Call: At Home in the Hudson Valley with Designer Deborah Ehrlich.

The Trays

we used cb\2&#8\2\17;s vienna stainless steel tray, which is no longer avai 18
Above: We used CB2’s Vienna Stainless Steel Tray, which is no longer available; the Blomus Basic 8-Inch Stainless Steel Tray is a good lookalike; $29.99 from 2Modern.
the fog linen work gingham navy check tray is available through clove & cre 19
Above: The Fog Linen Work Gingham Navy Check Tray is available through Clove & Creek; $16 for the small and $32 for the large.
the white enamel trays featured in our book remodelista: the organized hom 20
Above: The white enamel trays featured in our book Remodelista: The Organized Home are by Japanese company Noda Horo. We sourced them from Dover Street Market in New York City, but you can also find them on Amazon. Shown here is the largest of the trio, the 2.4-liter Food Storage Enamel Container for $31.99. For more see our post, In Praise of Trays: 10 Trays in Fiberglass and Enamel.

Candles

from greentree home, the \16 inch square tapers are \$36 for a set of two. 21
Above: From Greentree Home, the 16-Inch Square Tapers are $36 for a set of two.
the greentree home event taper candles are available in six colors; \$30 for \1 22
Above: The Greentree Home Event Taper Candles are available in six colors; $30 for 10.

iittala kivi votive 60mm candleholders in clear glass are \$\18 each at finnish 23
Above: Iittala Kivi Votive 60mm Candleholders in clear glass are $18 each at Finnish Design Shop. Another option is Ikea’s Galej Tealight Holders; $3.99 for a pack of four.
a box of four \18 hour votives made of natural beeswax from the bee man is \$\1 24
Above: A Box of Four 18-Hour Votives made of natural beeswax from the Bee Man is $12.95.

Other Accessories

the libeco fjord washed napkins in ash (shown) are \$\29 at libeco. 25
Above: The Libeco Fjord Washed Napkins in ash (shown) are $29 at Libeco.
a set of four english pewter napkin rings are currently on sale at kaufmann mer 26
Above: A Set of Four English Pewter Napkin Rings are currently on sale at Kaufmann Mercantile for $29.99.
from rth in los angeles, three by six inch silverware holders, shown  27
Above: From RTH in Los Angeles, three-by-six-inch Silverware Holders, shown here in black leather, are $50 each at March.
a decadent sterling silver bottle stopper can be sourced new from sir jacks for 28
Above: A decadent Sterling Silver Bottle Stopper can be sourced new from Sir Jacks for $275. Another option is the JA Campbell Silver Wine Bottle Stopper for £95.
a similar cocktail set to the vintage one seen at top is the vintage sterling a 29
Above: A similar cocktail set to the vintage one seen at top is the Vintage Sterling and Horn Bar Set by John Hasselbring of New York is $895 on 1st Dibs. You can also source something like this through your local flea market and at estate auctions.
For more entertaining ideas, see our posts:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 5, 2017.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a cocktail party kit drawer?

A cocktail party kit drawer is a dedicated storage space or drawer that contains all the necessary items and tools for hosting a successful cocktail party. It usually includes glassware, barware, cocktail napkins, and other entertaining essentials.

What are the essential items in a cocktail party kit drawer?

Some essential items in a cocktail party kit drawer may include: cocktail shaker, jigger or measuring glass, mixing spoon, strainer, muddler, bottle opener, corkscrew, cocktail picks, ice bucket, glassware (martini glasses, wine glasses, etc.), cocktail napkins, and a variety of spirits and mixers.

Why is having a cocktail party kit drawer beneficial?

Having a cocktail party kit drawer provides convenience and ensures that you have everything you need in one organized place when hosting a cocktail party. It saves time and prevents the hassle of searching for various items throughout your kitchen or home.

How can I create a cocktail party kit drawer?

To create a cocktail party kit drawer, start by selecting a designated drawer or storage space in your kitchen or dining area. Gather the essential items such as glassware, barware, cocktail napkins, and tools. Arrange and organize the items neatly within the drawer, using dividers or trays if needed. Labeling or categorizing sections can also be helpful.

Where can I find stylish cocktail party kit drawer essentials?

You can find stylish cocktail party kit drawer essentials at various home and kitchen stores, specialty cocktail supply stores, or online retailers. Some popular options include Williams-Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Sur La Table, and Amazon.

Are there any additional tips for hosting a successful cocktail party?

Yes, here are some additional tips:
1. Plan ahead: Prepare a drink menu, gather recipes, and ensure you have enough supplies.
2. Create a theme or ambiance: Set the mood with decorations, music, and lighting.
3. Offer a variety of drink options including non-alcoholic choices.
4. Prepare some appetizers or small bites to accompany the drinks.
5. Don't forget to have a designated area for guests to dispose of used glasses and napkins.
6. Enjoy and socialize with your guests!

Product summary  Item 7 181Item 8 182

the bee man pure beeswax votive candles
Candles & Holders

18hr Votive

$12.95 USD from The Bee Man
2 fdcfc4f605
Serving Pieces & Trays

Basic Tray

$29.99 USD from 2Modern
greentree home square candles   1 376x282
Candles & Holders

Square Tapers

$26.00 USD from Green Tree Home

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