Entertaining, Home, Living a Beautiful Life

A Cocktail Hour at Home

We’ve attempted to take life a little slower this summer. Doing so has taken a lot of hard work to set up new patterns to the day–limiting unproductive distractions, working on projects at set times, and disconnecting in the evenings. I’ve found that treating the relaxing portions of the day as special has has helped turn a one-off occasion into something habitual. One of the rituals we’ve brought back is an evening cocktail hour. Alcohol isn’t strictly required–we often have mocktails. The ritual is the important part!

There’s nothing more wonderful than being able to carve out some set leisure time every day. Here are a few things we do to make this hour relaxing and elegant.

Prepare hors d’oeuvres early in the day

Something I deeply miss about Europe is the mid-afternoon break for tea or coffee! Having something to eat in before the evening is a great way to prevent me from over-eating in the evening, which always leads to interrupted sleep and a not-very-restful night! Serving hors d’oeuvres with our cocktails is a nice way to have a few bites to eat without spoiling our appetite for dinner. They don’t have to be fancy–I like preparing crudités or canapés early in the day–but if you serve them on a silver tray, it’s a chic and special way to make this hour a memorable one!

Come up with a special drink

Don’t just pour a glass of wine, make a Kir Royale. Don’t just drink a gin & tonic, make a gin rickey. Ignore the ordinary recipes you’d use on a daily basis and choose something different–it elevates the everyday and adds something special to the evening!

Choose a set time for each cocktail hour

The most important part of the ritual is just that–it’s a ritual. Pick a set time and place every day (or every week) and ensure you and whoever is joining you is available. It’s a nice way to connect with the important people in your life!

Put down the iPhone!

This is said to the tune of “Put Down the Duckie“–you’ve just GOT to leave the phone alone!! Take time to be present, to enjoy each other’s company, and exist in the moment.

Use our favorite things

In the past, I’ve shared my favorite tips for entertaining at home, including my favorite linens, glassware, and accessories. I love being able to use my favorite things, even if it’s just for me and my husband!

Do you host a regular at-home cocktail hour, and if so, please share your favorite recipes!

Other posts you may find helpful:

Summer cocktail recipes: The Juice of a Few Flowers, the Southside, and Dark ‘n Stormy popsicles

Winter cocktail recipe: the Bull Shot

How to build a home bar

What I use and love when entertaining

How to host a summer dinner party

What to remember when hosting a dinner party

How to host a whiskey-tasting party

Entertaining tips for the holidays

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