$ense & $ensibility Monday: Luxurious Cocktails on Little

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Hello Tranquility Lovers! I’m Katharine and I’ll be here every Monday to talk about living large on a budget. I’m a twenty-something writer, editor, and art market specialist with a background in wealth management who currently resides in New York City. I love living a luxurious life, but refuse to pay big bucks for it. I’m looking forward to sharing my tips for being a fancy frugalista with all of you this year! Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Cocktail Dreams

This holiday season I wanted to give my friends a little something to show them how grateful I am that they’re in my life, so I decided to throw them a cocktail party. However, seeing as it was on New Year’s Eve and I needed to pay the rent the next day, my party had to be lavish AND economical. How to throw a fantastic cocktail party on a tight budget?


Pick one drink and stick to it as alcohol can get expensive quickly.
I chose sparkling wine for the evening and told my friends if they wanted to drink anything else they needed to bring it themselves. Wine needn’t be expensive to be good and you can often get deals when you buy multiple bottles or a case.


Just a few easy hors d’oeuvres and a lot of nibbles like olives, nuts, and chocolates spread around the party area.
For short parties, you can skip the hors d’oeuvres all together. Alternatively, have a potluck with everyone bringing a dish or a bottle.


I love lighting candles and putting up a few strings of lights to set the mood.
No need to waste your Diptyques on a party, just go for simple, non-scented candles of various sizes (scents may bother some guests). Put some of your nibbly things in wine glasses spread around the room. For my party, I covered a piece of cardboard with some pretty paper, hung it on the wall, and had my friends write their New Year’s resolutions on them to add a festive accent to the décor.


There’s always Mad Libs, Charades, and various other games if you’re looking to break the ice between different groups of friends.
And don’t forget the music – iPod it!

Now go and get your cocktails on with your closest and dearest and be fabulous while doing it! Happy New Year!

Katharine Albritton is an Art Market Specialist and Writer with a background in the financial world.