Halloween Cocktail Party

Halloween Happy Hour – Casual or Elegant!

Who ever said that Halloween was just for the kids? Not me, and in fact, I think that Halloween is a terrific time to entertain adults with a cocktail party with lots of clever touches! In looking over the fun decorations and invitations available for this type of event, I devised both formal and informal plans for your next Halloween celebration! Will you ask guests to dress in costume? I wouldn’t do it at my house, but I’ll leave that decision up to you!

For a Casual Get Together

Party Invitations

  • A funny invitation is available from Announcing It, depicting a beer keg and cups covered with spider webs. The sample wording invites guests for “munchies and mayhem,” setting the tone for a laid-back party. (announcingit.com)

  • A similar feel can be achieved with Fine Stationery’s invitation that features a jack o’lantern drink tub, filled with bottles. (FineStationery, Pumpkin Invitation, prices vary depending on quantity)

Party Decorations

  • Since your party is more relaxed, go ahead and get out those kitschy plastic skeletons, faux cobwebs, tombstones and black candles.
  • Outfit a few lamps with green light bulbs for an added spooky effect!

Party Menu


Keep your buffet simple, with munchies like:

Main Course

  • For the main course, set up a chili and/or baked potato bar with lots of topping choices.


For dessert, create a candy buffet by filling a variety of clear glass containers with seasonal favorites such as:

  • M & M’s – try to pick up the Halloween colored versions
  • Candy corn
  • Caramels
  • Hershey kisses
  • Black licorice sticks! – use a tall thin glass container to stack the licorice upright!

Add spoons to the containers and cellophane bags on the side for easy take-out!


Both invitations suggest that beer will be served at the party, so keep that beverage in line with the theme as well!

  • Sam Adams drafts an “Octoberfest” beer that is heavier than summer brews, with a nutty flavor.
  • Pete’s Wicked Ale or Hop Devil Beer from the Victory Brewing Company are perfectly haunted choices, too! (You can learn about additional autumn beers at novusvinum.com!)
  • Don’t forget to offer non-alcoholic drinks such as mulled or chilled apple cider, soda and bottled water.

For a More “Elegant” Affair

Party Invitations


  • A fashionable choice is available from Fine Stationery* and features a mod looking martini with an eyeball instead of an olive (!) on a background of black with orange and lime green circles!  (Fine Stationery, Goulish Martini Invitation, price depends on quantity)



  • For a sophisticated touch, this invitation from pear tree features a crystal chandelier, complete with cobwebs, against a dramatic black background!  (Pear Tree, Elegant Chandelier Web, on sale $19.99 for 24)



  • From Anna Griffin, this invitation has a vintage feel and features vellum overlaying the printed card.  Both sheets are tied together with a black ribbon for a unique finishing touch!  (papersyoulove, Skeleton Halloween Invitation, on sale for $2.12 each)

Party Decorations

Halloween Black Candle HolderThis party calls for a bit more restraint in the decorations! To give your event a cohesive and more sophisticated feel, choose a color scheme and stick to it! For example, with any of the invitations above, I’d decorate with black and orange with touches of lime green.  Select black linens and dinnerware and set the scene with midnight black candle holders from Grandin Road. (Grandin Road, Black Candle Holders, on sale for $15.00 – $24.00)

Party Menu


Plan to serve a variety of hors d’oeuvres.

  • Take a look at Busy Bee’s collection of appetizer recipes for some inspiration.
  • Try to offer at least one food choice that is a bit more substantial, like sliced beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce and dinner rolls on the side.  I make my own sauce by adding fresh horseradish to light mayonnaise until it’s sufficiently spicy!
  • Another nice option is satay chicken skewers – these are sold at my local Sam’s club and are really tasty!


  • You can create the candy buffet mentioned above!

Drinks and Garnishes

Martinis are a must! For the “red and black” party see recipe for Vampire’s Kiss.  For the “orange and black” party, see recipe for Orange Satin Cosmo.  But don’t forget to offer a wide assortment of non-alcoholic beverages as well!  For a bit of festive flair, add a themed garnish:

  • Trim the rims of your martini glasses with black licorice, black plastic spider rings or white plastic vampire fangs!
  • If you’re feeling a bit crazy and your friends have a terrific sense of humor, purchase several “Barbie” type dolls from the Dollar Store and use their dismembered arms and legs as drink stirrers!

Whatever route you choose, I know that you will have a fabulous, frightening and terribly fun party! Cheers for some adult revelry at Halloween!

You may also enjoy:

Did you enjoy this article? For more fun tips and product finds, sign up to receive The Latest Buzz!




Share This Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *