Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to Organise Cocktail Party – Most Important Tip


Memoirs of my “extra-curricular” Navy Life
A Spoof

A Naval Officer is supposed to be a “Jack of all Trades but Master on One”

So  in addition to your professional “tradecraft” (your primary duty in which you are supposed to be a “Master”)  in the Navy – you are given a lot of “Bum Jobs” (euphemistically called “secondary duties”) – which you are supposed to perform to the best of your ability.

One of the “Bum Jobs” I enjoyed was organizing parties.

I was asked to this quite often  even when I was not the Mess Secretary. 

This indicated that I was good at organizing parties.

There are many “tips” for organizing good parties – food, drinks, snacks, décor, games, music, dancing, prizes, gifts, various arrangements for service etc – and I am sure you know most of them.

But – I will give you just one “tip”  the most important “tip” – which you probably don’t know.

Well  I used this “technique” with great success in official cocktail parties  but I am sure you can use it in various types of cocktail parties as well.


This “mantra” is breathtaking in its simplicity:


I will repeat the “mantra” once more: 

Let Booze Flow Freely but Restrict Water/Soda 

I used to instruct the stewards to pour generous “Patiala Pegs” (three fingers of Whisky or Rum – which filled almost half the Whisky Tumbler).

All glasses were to be topped up with water or soda (a 50/50 Whisky-Soda or Rum-Water Combination)

Whisky and Soda were served separately only to the “VIP” – but even he was given a stiff “three finger peg” – and – the moment he picked up his glass  the Soda was quickly taken out of sight.

The stewards were given strict instructions to make alcohol easily available in plenty – but to keep water and soda scarce.

Now  like it happens in all “Fauji” Military Parties – all officers would crowd around the “VIP” or senior officers  vying for their attention.

The moment an officer sipped his drink  he would find it quite stiff – a bit too strong for his palate.

I made sure that water or soda was not available – the stewards would keep circulating with stiff “three finger peg” filled glasses of Whisky/Rum – but they were under strict instructions not to serve water/soda.

Now the officers had to choose from one of the two options:

1. Either they could leave the coveted inner circle by excusing themselves from the “VIP” – and they would walk all the way to the bar to get soda or water 

(Most “careerist” officers would hesitate to do this – since they would imagine that “excusing” themselves from the “VIP” may not be appreciated by the Senior Officer)

2. Or – they could continue to be in close company with the “VIP” – and keep sipping their drink 

After some time  their palate and tongue would get used to the strong drink

(Most officers would fall in this category)

Even for the “VIP” – he would be “encouraged” to sip his stiff drink – rather than making soda available easily.

The primary aim of a military cocktail party is to get the “VIP” quite drunk  or at least “high”  since – having the “VIP” in high spirits augurs well for the ship or unit. 

The pinnacle of success of a military cocktail party is achieved – if the “VIP” gets so drunk that he can hardly stand – and he has to helped out at the end the party.

Alcohol would flow freely – but – Water would be scarce.

Snacks and “small eats” would be kept out of sight – till everyone had imbibed enough alcohol and was in high spirits.

Within an hour  spirits would be high  and the party would be swinging.

Within two hours – most officers would have imbibed enough alcohol to achieve an abundant state of inebriation.

At the end of the party  three hours later  there would be atmosphere of drunken revelry and bonhomie.

Next morning  nursing their hangovers  everyone would “remember” what an enjoyable party it was – and I would be flooded with appreciation. 

“Memorable” parties are those in which you get so drunk – that you don’t remember anything next morning. 

Also – with everyone drunk – there would always be some hilarious antics by someone in his inebriated drunken state – which would be the talking point for the next few days. 

I remember a party where an officer got so drunk and emotional that he prostrated himself before the “VIP” at the end of the party 

(The “VIP” was also in “high spirits” – swaying from side to side – as he staggered towards his staff car) 

Next morning – everyone said that it was a most memorable cocktail party.


Those days  in the Navy – officers drank as per the colour of the sky  so at evening cocktail parties – Whisky and Rum was served – and “pansy cocktails” and “ladies drinks” were kept out of these all-male hard drinking affairs.

It has been my experience that this “mantra” Let alcohol flow freely but keep water scarce – works well for all cocktail parties. 

Pour Three Finger Patiala Pegs of Rum/Whisky and top them up with water/soda – and then – disappear the water/soda and let Rum/Whisky flow freely. 

Once the first stiff peg is down – your guests will get used to strong pegs – and start downing them fast – their spirits will be high pretty soon – and the party will be a grand success with everyone “enjoying” themselves in alcoholic trance. 

Also – with everyone in “happy” states of drunkenness – you don’t have to bother too much about the food – since – at the end of the hard drinking bout – with their “gustatory abilities dulled with alcohol – your guests won’t discern the taste of food very much. 

The “proof of the pudding” of the success of the party is – if your guests get so drunk – that they don’t remember anything next morning – what they ate – how the party ended  how they got home – they should remember nothing – and they should wake up with a heavy hangover. 

Such guys will always say that the party was a “success”. 

So – Let the Booze Flow Freely but keep the water scarce...

Dear Reader: 

Next time you host a cocktail party – try it – and let us know if it worked for you. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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COCKTAIL PARTY SUCCESS MANTRA posted earlier in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/cocktail-party-success-mantra.html

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