How do you throw an Italian or French cocktail party?!

Question: How do you throw an Italian or French cocktail party?
I'll be turning 21 here in October and wanted to start planning my birthday party. I was thinking of staying at my house and having a French or Italian cocktail party with a signature drink. What would be a good signature drink of the French and the Italian and maybe I'll go from there. I've been to Paris but didn't do much drinking haha. Any ideas for decoration or food choices would be appreciated too! Thanks all!


Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

I would try a Beaujolais as your drink for a two main reasons. The first is that it is close to Beaujolais season (although they are actually released the third Thursday of November. October is close enough to pretend but you will be drinking last seasons crop.) Secondly, as you are just turning 21, you may not have yet developed a taste for wine and Beaujolais is very easy to drink. It is a very light red wine, so watch what foods you pair it with.

However, this wine is bit expensive, so I would only serve this during the main portion of your party. Other wines that are light and would go with the same food are a sweet Sauvignon Blanc or pinot gris (not pinot grigio unless you know you like dry wines). You should be able to get these for less than the Beaujolais.

Another way to go, if you are having a lot of guests and don't want to spend a lot of money would be to serve a glass or two of Beaujolais for each guest and then get a cheap box wine for the rest such as Sunset Blush by Franzi. Then by some glass crafts and put the box wine in them so no one knows you are using a box. You should be able to get cheep crafts at walmart or even a dollar store. Get a couple of crafts and keep filling them when no one is looking and they will think you are still serving out of bottles, especially if you serve the Beaujolais out of crafts as well (however, make sure that if you use the crafts for the less expensive wine first, you wash them before putting the Beaujolais in the crafts to make sure you don't interfere with the Beaujolais taste. Also, make sure the crafts are rinsed very well because soap will interfere with the flavor of wine.)

What ever wine you pick, you can find the foods that pair best with it online. A good site is

Experience,, and Food & Wine Magazine's Wine Guide 2009 by Anthony Giglio.

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