Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

How to: Maneuver Cocktail Hour Like a Pro

Jan 08, 2013 08:14PM ● By August Schwartz

First, the Cup-Plate-Hand-Shake Juggle

We love the flexibility of being able to eat and drink while we move around and greet our friends and acquaintances, but sometimes we come off looking a bit disheveled, just barely juggling our crudités with our vodka soda.

Don’t worry—we’ve all been there. You see an acquaintance coming, and quickly scan the room for the closest table upon which to rest your plate or glass so you can free your hand for a shake. You smile and give the “nice to see you” nod, hoping that might be enough—but it never is. Sometimes there isn’t a table, in which case you frantically wiggle your fingers around, balance a plate on the top of your glass just hope it stays put just long enough to extend your right hand.

When we say “we,” in this case we mean “the proverbial we.”

As in, you. Because “we,” the Towne Socialite, have mastered the skill.

We’ve got the answer:

Wrap your thumb and index finger (of your left hand) tightly around the bottom of your rocks glass or tumbler (we’ll cover martini and wine glasses later).

Then, extend your pinky, ring, and middle fingers under it, as evenly/flat as possible, with your pinky finger closest to your body. To begin, try pointing your middle finger to one o’clock, your ring to three o’clock, and your pinky to four or five.

Gently slide your plate under the cup, resting on your three fingers, held from flipping over them by the weight of your cup.

Voila. Your right hand is free for waving and shaking—and actually picking up what’s on your plate and eating—and both your glass a plate are secure.

When you’re ready for a sip, just grap the plate with your right hand, and sip from your left.

We promise, it works. Have we ever steered you wrong?

Now, the next cocktail hour finesse casualty:

Taking a Photo with a Drink in Hand

In many cases, it’s perfectly fine to have a wine glass in hand with your photo is taken. In other instances, we like to refrain. But often in those cases, we do the awkward arm stretch to ensure the glass is as far down our sides as we can reach. Unfortunately, most photos taken aren’t from only the waist up, and even if they are, stiff-arming your invisible drink makes you look incredibly uncomfortable—and usually obvious.

Quick Tip: Put your glass in the hand of the arm that you put around the person next to you in the photo. This way, you look perfectly at ease, but the drink is hidden, no matter the angle.

Do you have any tips for navigating cocktail hour successfully? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to email the Towne Socialite at