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Party on! Top tips on throwing a great party

Take a generous shot of tequila, add a splash of triple sec, and mix together with a dash of lime. Now you know how to make the perfect margarita cocktail, you can concentrate on holding the perfect party for your friends.

Haven’t you heard that staying in is the new going out? So for a change on a Saturday night, pick your favourite people and get them round to your place at 9pm – oh, and ask them to bring a bottle!

Kitting out the Kitchen

It’s often said that the cool people hang out in the kitchen at a party, so once you have your dance music sorted for the lounge, get your kitchen kitted out as well so no one will want to leave. Before your first guest even sets foot in your house, your kitchen is going to be the busiest room in your house because preparation is the key.

Keeping Your Guests Happy

If your guests are going to be drinking a lot, you need to make sure they’re eating a lot too to avoid any casualties later in the night. Think simple: stick bite-size snacks in your oven and set the timer so you can carry on getting ready. Crisps and dips are also popular, and if you’re feeling adventurous you could make your own dips. If you’ve got a gadget such as the Kenwood mini chopper (it’s a favourite of Delia’s), let it do all the work for you by combining shallots, ginger, lime juice and avocado to create the ultimate avocado and lime dip.

If you’re expecting quite a few guests, it may be a good idea to hire glasses. Quite a few high street off-licence chains offer this service for free when you buy your alcohol from them – so it’s all taken care of in one easy step. Some even offer temporary wine and beer chillers too, which is great for ensuring your guests are always hydrated.

If you are expecting to be Mr or Miss Popular for the night, you could consider a theme for your party. It’s fun to decorate your house before people start arriving and you can get some great things from party websites and shops. And everyone loves a fancy dress party don’t they?

Experimenting with Cocktails

Once your guests start arriving, you can use your cocktail making skills to create some fancy drinks for your friends. If you’re lucky enough to have an ice machine in your fridge freezer, make sure it’s ready to go, otherwise stock up on bags of ice cubes from the supermarket.

It’s a good idea to make your cocktails in a blender so there’s enough to go around, plus it can also crush ice to add extra zing to your special creations. For those who are sticking to soft drinks, give them a refreshing hit of fizz with a Sodastream drinks maker that comes complete with orange, cola and lemon and lime flavours. Who says only the drinkers can have fun mixing their drinks!

Getting the Tune Right

So, that’s your food and drinks taken care of, but don’t forget to get the room ready for your guests too. Although upbeat tunes may be banging away in the lounge, you could try something a bit more chilled out for the kitchen. Load your iPod with some laid back anthems and stick it in your speaker system. There’s a huge range of speakers and docking stations available for the iPod now, so you can vary the volume depending on the time of the evening – plus keep your MP3 player safe from any spills.

To create a bit of a club vibe, you could even have some music videos playing on your TV, and another way to keep your guests chilled is a cooling fan. A pedestal version will ensure everyone gets a blast of cool air so they can party away in comfort.

Embarrassing Your Guests With Photos

Finally, don’t forget your camera so you can take some funky pictures of the night. Some models are now super sturdy and waterproof, so there’s no chance of the evening being spoilt by an expensive accident. Load your pics onto Facebook, so all your friends can have a laugh at the memories. Just don’t forget the coffee making machine for the morning after…

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