This is the perfect time of day that friends can meet up before dinner to relax with family and friends. The cocktail hour sets the tone for the entire evening. It’s a great time for guest to mix and mingle.

The origin of the cocktail hour is quite eccentric and of course its origin is none other than New Orleans. An apothacary by the name of Peychaud served a mixed brandy drink in a French egg cup. As time passed the drink was named COQUETIER. The French term for egg cup. Peychaud’s guests shortened it to “cocktay” and eventually, it became cocktail.

Let’s not confuse cocktail hour with happy hour. These are two completely different concepts. Happy hour is reduce alcohol prices to seduce guests to stay longer and hence drink more. The cocktail hour is a time for celebration.

The Private Chef will want to create a family signature cocktail that is offered when guests arrive. In our house our signature cocktail is the Jackamore; one part Campari, two parts Grey Goose garnished with a blood orange slice and topped with club soda.

We want to get creative with the cocktail hour menu. I like serving bite sized bits these can be miniature versions of your favorite foods. You will want to surprise your guest with unexpected little gems! we recommend serving small bites like oysters on the half shell, meatballs serve these bites on skewers .button mushrooms bacon wrapped dates. In the summer months lobster rolls are a huge hit as are seared scallops. Don’t pass around more than 6 different small bites and keep them truly bite size.

You will want to dazzle your guest with attractive barware which is a much overlooked component to a successful cocktail hour. Even common drinks presented in beautiful glassware are most memorable. The easiest way to unite the bar set is through accent colors working closely with your principles in bringing vintage baccarat crystal that’s been in the attic for a zillion years into the bar scene.