Your after-party has some high hurdles to get over: It’s late. People have been drinking and partying, possibly for hours. You’ve already lost members of your squad to the fatigue of an unforgettable night out. So how do you make sure that your after-party is an event to remember and not just a place where the die-hards circle around like buzzards? Here are the five things your after party absolutely can’t live without.
The Right Playlist
It’s late. People have been out dancing. They’ve had a few drinks. They need a little something to get them going again. What better way to make that happen than with a little bit of music? Pick up-tempo hits to start, with some more low-key stuff for when you’re winding things down. The best part is that you can do this in advance and even make the playlist run out around the time you want people to start moseying for the door.
Put a few drinks in people, have them dance half the night away and they’re going to want a little something to nosh on. Aim for healthy snacks, like fruit and veg, but don’t feel like you have to be totally boring: Some cheese and crackers would really hit the spot at around 2 a.m. Get some top-quality sandwich meat to throw in there and you’re golden.
If you really want to go big, prep something in advance that can easily be heated up once you get home. Make sure you have enough for at least a couple people to annihilate them.
Don Q Rum
One key to keeping the party going is having just the right drinks on hand. The great thing about rum is it’s versatile—you can drink it on the rocks or in a ton of different cocktails. But if you want to up your drink game (you do), you have to have the right rum. We’re not talking about partying with pirates and sea monsters here; we’re talking about stocking your bar with a truly premium spirit. Don Q has all the different varieties and flavors you’ll need to keep everyone happy and have an unquestionable night. (Just be sure to keep the extra special Gran Añejo to yourself.)
Besides the obvious (Don Q Rum, natch), you’re going to want some ways for people to hydrate and stay awake. Have lots of ice cold water in the fridge, and maybe a little Red Bull, too. You can even set your coffee machine on a timer to brew so that it finishes just as you and your crew return from the club. Think of things that will help people energize as well as keep their insides from drying out.
If you can hook your guests up with Uber / Lyft credits to get them home at little or no cost to them, you’ll be a host to remember for sure. Remember: an important role of a responsible host is keeping people off the road when they have no business being there. One way to make that go smoothly is by throwing in a little bit of cab fare.