Everything You Need for the Perfect Cocktail Party - 15 Pieces the Most Stylish Event Host We Know Relies On

From ambient lighting to cocktail shakers, this one-stop shop inspired by Ryan Matthew of Studio RM offers something for all of your hosting needs

A curated assortment of essentials to host the perfect holiday cocktail party.
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The holidays breed parties of all kinds. Although dinner parties often steal most of the attention, the succinct brilliance of a cocktail soiree can be equally, if not more, impactful.  Fueled by spirited conversations and the presence of alcohol, cocktail gatherings effortlessly blend disparate social circles - family with friends, friends with coworkers.

The wintertime cocktail party is a favorite of Studio RM founder Ryan Matthew, who specializes in bespoke experiences. "Even though winter comes with controversial qualities, like those early sunsets and chilly slushy weather, I like to take advantage of the romance and warmth that compliments our hibernatory winter routines," says Ryan. 

Ryan seeks to strike a balance between timeless elevations and not being overly stuffy - "it’s a party, after all!" To this end, the designer recommends tactics such as shopping around the best home decor stores to mix and matching your glassware. The same goes for serving hors d'oeuvres: "when in doubt mix trays and bowls of all sizes and heights... I like to be playful yet sophisticated when presenting food, and tend to think outside the box when choosing the best food displays"

A master of ambience, Ryan has a strong affinity for candles, from votives to hurricanes: "I’m all about that warm glow and love to play with shapes and heights," Ryan says. He recommends keeping your overall cocktail décor relatively simple - all that's needed are greens and floral pops to quickly elevate your cocktail space. 

Upon hearing Ryan's tips, we scoured the internet for the perfect cocktail hosting pieces. From sleek stemware to ambient lighting, our search left no stone unturned. Continue along for some as we unveil the kitchen and home essentials for hosting a flawless holiday cocktail gathering - cheers!

Holiday cocktail party essentials: food, drinks, and ambience

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Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.