Photography by Joshua Scott
A cocktail party, done well, is the acme of civilized society. The ingredients, after all, are timeless: the right mix of people, drinks, music, and conversation.
Firstly, there is no such thing as too many guests. It’s much better for them to be cozy than to rattle around your empty apartment like marbles. Invite a diverse group of friends and acquaintances, and a number of single friends you think might pair up.
Secondly, having something sparkling to drink and an uncomplicated cocktail will save you from endlessly shaking and mixing.
Make sure to prepare the music in advance; it should float gently in the background, so guests don’t have to shout to be heard.
And right before the party, arm yourself with a couple of subjects to discuss over drinks -- just remember Oscar Wilde’s cardinal rule: “It is very vulgar to talk about one’s business. Only people like stockbrokers do that, and then merely at dinner parties.”
Tray by Ralph Lauren Home, $395. Champagne flute by Asprey, $125 each.
By Kenneth Cole, $335
By Prada. Shirt: $530. Bow tie: $95.
By Armani Casa, $1,460
By Restoration Hardware, $12-$18
By Armani Casa, $230, with Cercle D'Argent Bread and Butter Plate, $350, and Art Deco Dinner Plate, $305, by Hermes. Pearl Silverware by Fishs Eddy, $3.50-$6 each
By Tiffany & Co., $60 each
By Michael Aram, $249.
By Ralph Lauren Home, $3,075.