With the release of Baz Luhrman’s The Great Gatsby film right around the corner, people all over the country are throwing themed-parties that hearken back to the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. That means gussying up in fancy period-specific duds, guzzling classic cocktails, putting a few jazz records on the turntable, and constructing elaborate phony backstories to overcompensate for our crippling existential alienation. It’s just like we do every time there’s a new season of Mad Men to get ready for — Gatsby himself was nothing if not the proto-Don Draper. With that in mind, here are a few steps you’ll want to make to ensure your party goes off without a hitch.
Dress up like a flapper
Flappers, or as we call them today, ratchets, were the party girls of Gatsby’s day, known for their elaborate flowing dresses, and YOLO vibe. You already known a dozen girls like this, so call them up and ask where they keep all their dead grandmother’s stuff.
Head to Long Island
“I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited,” Nick Caraway relates in the book. “People were not invited—they went there. They got into automobiles which bore them out to Long Island, and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door.” Traffic is a little bit denser than it was back then, however, so make sure you leave yourself a good 19 hours or so to get there.
Mix up some mint juleps
The mint julep is one of the most iconic cocktails from Gatsby’s famous parties. In order to make one you’re going to want to follow a few steps: 1) Work up a healthy hatred for quality bourbon 2) Pour a gallon of sugar into a silver-plated cup 3) Fill it with so much ice that you can’t taste anything but cold air 4) Freeze your fucking hand off standing there like an asshole looking for the waiter with the tray to come around and treat you for frostbite.
Bake a pastry pig
“On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold,” is one of the more memorable descriptions of the menus served at Gatsby’s house. What is a pastry pig? No one knows, but this thing looks depressing enough to fit in with the theme.
Hire a piano player
No period-appropriate party will be complete without a piano player farting through the motions of some old standards. Don’t want to hire one? Do what Gatsby does and browbeat some poor old sap into sitting down at the piano and entertaining you. Musicians are poor, you see, and will do as you bid them for a few swallows of wine. This being Long Island, perhaps Billy Joel is free that night? Call him first.
Hurl yourself into a volcano
While it might not exactly fit with the manner of Gatsby’s death, it’s probably good enough to get the job done, and no less than someone planning a party based on the release of a movie they had nothing to do with deserves. Good luck!