21 Jul

Simple Tips for Cocktail Hour

Food is one of the most memorable aspects of events according to guests, but catering to different tastes and diets can be a challenge. Here are some guidelines to help select a menu that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Know your guests. The number one rule for planning any menu is to know who will be eating. If a lot of your guests are vegetarian or vegans, you’ll want to include more vegetarian or vegan hors doeuvres than usual. If there are several children in attendance, you will want more kid friendly options. If any guests have food allergies, be sure to let your cater know so you can be sure to have a few items that those guests can enjoy. This s easier to plan for with cocktail hour because you will naturally havesome variety and guest can choose the items they like.

Displays versus Passed: Many caterers, like Kahn’s Catering, will offer bot passed hors d’oeuvres and display within their menus. Sometimes a cocktail hour will include both simply because certain food may work etter as displays, such as carving stations or cheese displays.

Offer a variety. Cocktail hour is the perfect element of your event to add some variety to the cuisine. Many caterers will offer hors d’oeuvres packages that provide you with choices between passed and displayed items. Often, displayed items include specialty stations such as gourmet mac and cheese (our station includes four different ones!).

Menu: We tend to advise our clients to break up their hors d’oeuvres selection between a mix of proteins, seafood and vegetarian options. We recommend offering at least one hot and one cold vegetarian option, or more if you expect may guests enjoying a meat-free diet.

Cold Hors d’oeuvre: BLT cherry tomato

Hot Hors d’oeuvre: Wild mushroom phyllo satchels


Hot versus Cold: Typically we recommend selecting three hot and three cold items for simple balance. However, seasonality and menu can alter yours selections. For example, if hosting a cocktail party outdoors in the summer, select more cold hors d’oeuvres than hot ones.

Chef’s specialty: Always be sure to ask what the caterer specializes in. Some caterers are better are various cuisines than others. More so, this is also a great opportunity to learn what the most popular items are to help your menu become inspired by others.

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