The following article has been sponsored by Crust
It’s easy to be a partygoer: throw on whatever is least in need of laundering, grab a bottle of booze along the way, show up, eat, drink, mingle, dance, test your newest pickup lines, thank the host, head home. The hardest decision you have to make is “red or white?”
But being a host? That’s a whole different animal. If you want to be the Prince of Parties you need to step up your game – so we’ve teamed up with the experts at Crust Gourmet Pizza Bar to bring you a crash course in entertaining at your pad.
Let’s put on the mood music, pop the cork, and get down to business.
Set The Guest List
The first thing every ballin’ bash needs is a guest list. Inviting all 1500 of your Facebook friends won’t cut it.
For starters, pick a number you’re comfortable with. Don’t invite 20 people if you think you can only manage 10. Four to six is a good range to aim for if you’re new to entertaining. Shoot for a mix of introverts and extroverts and you have the recipe for an engaging guest list. Also aim to include a mix of old friends and new ones. Think 60-70 percent established, 30-40 percent new blood.
And remember: if someone is part of a couple, you have to invite the other half. Yes, even if you find them as interesting as a used dryer sheet.
Prep To Perfection
Here’s where you start to break into stress sweats. Your ever-expanding to-do list may tempt you to throw in the towel and fake a contagious disease to get out of your party plans. Don’t do it. Unless you’re Martha Stewart, no one is expecting perfection.
Cleaning is non-negotiable. Your bachelor pad should look nothing like a bachelor pad. Scrub, dust, and disinfect like a girlfriend’s mum is coming by for the first time.
Shop for supplies early – not only does it relieve some of the pressure, it also gives you time to go back if you forget something. Plan a menu that allows you to cook some dishes a day or two early. Don’t force yourself to cook at all if you don’t want to. Many a memorable party was founded on ordering pizza.
Get yourself ready in the most efficient order. You can shower, shave, and select your party threads early, but save a few things for later in the day. Also, wear something that can take a beating while you work and change into the main event outfit at the eleventh hour.
Learn Your Liquor Lessons
Nothing starts a party faster than a bit of the hard stuff. Get a beverage in your guests’ hands within minutes of them walking through the door. If they’re a low key beer crowd, don’t serve them Champagne. If you want to get fancy, make a big-batch drink like a punch. If your home bar isn’t already well stocked, stick to a theme to keep things simple.
There are two people the booze rules don’t apply to. Number one: people who don’t drink. Make sure they also feel welcome in your home by providing non-alcoholic options. Number two: you. It’s ok to sip, but don’t get sloshed. A wasted host is a host who won’t be hosting again.
Once the social lubricants are taking their effect, you’ll need the final key ingredient: food.
Equip The Edibles
Are you Anthony Bourdain? Wylie Dufresne? Eric Ripert? Are there Michelin stars to your name? Then cool it with the cooking. Feeding people is a must to absorb the alcohol, but torturing yourself with a 10-course tasting menu is overkill.
Pick one dish to be the focal point and plan the rest around it to ensure the flavours are complementary. Give yourself more time in the kitchen than you think you need (you’ll need it) and clean as you cook so you’re left with as little mess as possible.
For the ultimate easy meal option, forgo cooking altogether. Pick up something pre-prepared or call the crack team at Crust. Gourmet pies like Truffle Beef Rossini, Biltong Spiced Lamb, and Harissa Hummus Chicken cut your hassle in half and please even picky palates.
Be The Host With The Most
You’ve almost claimed your spot as your social circle’s premiere party host. What’s left? The only factor unaccounted for is you.
You set the tone for the occasion. If you’re not having fun, your guests aren’t either. It’s your job to get the night rolling, and most importantly, rolling in the right direction. Make introductions. Start conversations. Be present. Crack jokes.
Above all, enjoy yourself. A successful party is one you feel proud of when the dishes are dirty, the glasses are drained, and the guests have all gone home.