November, the holidays are a-knocking. Fear not, there’s still plenty of time to host non-holiday gatherings. And with all the cooking and meal preparation on the horizon, we’ll be inviting guests for a drink. Having friends for cocktails is a wonderful way to catch up without the effort of a dinner party. You can keep it simple and offer the old standards of wine, beer or something neat. And if so inclined, offer a specialty cocktail. I personally love to make or outsource a batch cocktail. It’s the equivalent of a make-ahead meal and frees me up to enjoy my company. New Orleans is home to many talented mixologists. Kyra Walker of Drunk Connoisseur can make you a batch of any cocktail that is far more nuanced than what I would make. Since she has my spicy margaritas under control, I will be dusting off my favorite, colorful glassware. Unique glasses are the ultimate joy-sparker. Passing your guest a small piece of eye-candy will make the entire affair feel special. Throw a handful of Zapp’s in a pretty bowl, pull up a New Orleans 60’s soul music playlist, and you have yourself a lovely evening. Cheers!

Cocktail HourIce ice baby

Keep the ice handy or stash your Chablis. Regardless, this accessory is a must for any cocktail party. Matte White Ice Bucket with Lid, Jade Nola, 504-875-4420,

Cocktail Hour

No champagne problems

Serve bubbles in these beautiful Venetian glasses exclusive to Sotre. Rialto Glassware, Sotre, 504-304-9475,

The ultimate party trick:
Kyra Walker of The Drunk Connoisseur is a full-service beverage caterer. From Bloody Mary bars to a batch of your favorite cocktail, she’s got you covered. Drunk Connoisseur, 504-373-0640, IG: @kydrunkconnoisseur 

Cocktail HourRing me never

Coasters that are meant to be noticed won’t be accidentally overlooked by guests. Louise Bourgeois Ode A La Bievre Coaster Set, NOMA, 504-658-4100,

Cocktail Hour

Rose colored glasses

Colorful, hand-blown wine glasses aren’t just for wine. Serve any cocktail in these elegant beauties. Fritsy Stemless, Sotre, 504-304-9475,

Cocktail Hour

Fill me up

These generously sized, ribbed glasses can take a more refreshing cocktail, such as a spritz, to the next level. Gems Tumblers, Hilltop Shoppe, 504-533-9670,