Your Parents & Birth of the Cocktail Party of the 1950s

It was very popular in the 1950s and into the 1960s to host cocktail parties in a home or other location. A good way to relax and socialize. Yet the concept started in America back in 1917 when Clara Walsh of St. Louis, Missouri hosted an unusual party titled ‘Baby Party’. Here adults were encouraged to drink liquor from baby bottles. There was a good deal of newspaper articles about the event.

With the ‘Roaring Twenties’ and the start of Prohibition (no alcohol) , cocktails became popular by adding club soda and fruit to sometimes cover-up the ill-tasting bootleg liquor.

After World War 2, many families moved to the suburbs and becoming social with one’s neighbors was important. The wives of the 1950s had to be the perfect hostesses, with the best variety of food to eat and great cocktails prepared. Popular drinks in the 1950s were: martinis, daiquiris, mint juleps, whiskey sours, champagne cocktails and punch. Peanuts were served but not just plain peanuts, they were now called ‘cocktail peanuts’ by Planters Co. The drinks in special cocktail glasses became more exotic with different favors, mixers and even special straws and umbrellas to make it a fun time.

Everyone attending a cocktail party dressed up and the birth of the cocktail dress came about. The hosting of cocktail parties continued into the 1960s and even some of the 1970s but with ladies going more into the workforces by late 1970s and into the 1980s, less parties were held.

Here is where you talk to your parents or aunt or uncle to get down for the family history those days of the social cocktail party. You might come across some interesting stories. Anyone in the family still has those special and fancy cocktail glasses?

Photos: Cocktail party; Cocktail drinks; the cocktail dress and cocktail glasses.

Related Blogs:

1950 Census

Slang Terms of the 1950s

Slang Terms of the 1960s

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