Speakeasy Party

your daily party prescription

During Prohibition, a Speakeasy was the only place to get decent (and illegal) alcohol. People of great popularity and influence were frequent customers. Travel back to the 1920's with a party theme that is sure to dazzle.



We're talking all class here. Speakeasies had style!

  • Blackout all windows and leave minimal outside lighting.
  • Hang art noveau prints and pictures of famous 1920's writers, musicians and actors.
  • Keep the lights dim and provide plenty of candlelight.
  • Break out the china, crystal and fine linens.


Enjoy a menu of elegant speakeasy-inspired fare.

  • Appetizers: Speakeasy Spinach Dip and Fried Ravioli (in honor of mobster Big Jim Ravioli)
  • Entrée: Braised Beef and Vegetables
  • Dessert: 1920's Vintage Pudding, served in brandy glasses
  • Cocktail: Bathtub Gin, as Speakeasy's were all about the drink, be sure to have plenty of beer, wine and hard liquor. To keep with the theme, you can have the liquor stored in "hidden" areas.
  • Cigars: A couple we like – Acid Blondies (perfect for woman, as they are a bit smaller and taste sweet), C.A.O. Brazilia, Romeo Y Julieta Reserve Maduro.



  • Have a playlist of jazz and big band music, perfect for both chilling and dancing.
  • Play gangster movies or any 1920's-based films, such as The Great Gatsby.
  • Literature by 1920's authors – Hemingway, Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald. This could also be spread out on your table as both decorations and conversation starters.
  • An opium den is optional; however, we recommend a place for smoking cigars as a modern, legal alternative.



  • Have a Charleston dance competition. Directions can be found here.
  • As gambling was usually a large part of the Speakeasy culture, have out decks of cards, poker chips and any other casino games as you see fit.
  • Award prizes for the best costume(s). Be sure to photograph everyone – for an authentic look, set your camera to sepia or black and white.
  • Download and print 1920's slang dictionaries and see which guest can master the lingo the fastest.


  • Women – Flapper dresses, evening dresses, boas, long pearl necklaces, fans. Anything with beads/feathers.
  • Men – Zoot Suits, Black or white ties on a black shirt, spats (white canvas or vinyl shoe covers), fedoras or gangster hats.


If you need some more party inspiration, check out Dinner and a Murder. Give your guests alcohol nips and beads as parting favors.

And as always, remember to bring your camera!

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About Anna Papoutsakis

Chef. Writer. Cater. Editor. Culinary Badass.
This entry was posted in 1920's, Costume, Daily Party, Prohibition, Speakeasy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Speakeasy Party

  1. shell says:

    Hi there, for my invitations I did a Telegram for everyone and then sent it to their home address by post, you can google blank templates I just then added the text which set the scene (speakeasy bar), I stained them with tea bags which gave them an old look and of course it have details of the password needed to gain entrance.. no password – no entry.
    When guests arrived I put a poster on the door saying this is not a speakeasy… I directed everyone round the back of the house to gain entrance into the marquee in the garden which created a secretive mood… I also had a half nude waiter wearing a dickie bow and trilby gangster hat who served us drinks and canapes. It was a really fun night and was great fun organising it all.

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