At my cocktail parties, I like to have a make-ahead cocktail that can be served from pitchers with ice. Usually my parties are in spring and summer, so I'd do something like a gin/cucumber/lime concoction. This time I'm doing little bites of comfort food: mini chicken and waffles, tiny cups of tomato soup with grilled cheese, pickled vegetables, pigs in blankets, etc.
While a classic punch is an option, I might want to branch out.
It's my husband's birthday, so the cocktail could incorporate one of his favorite flavors: pumpkin (though I might do a pumpkin dessert, the main dessert is a chocolate chip cookie icebox cake), scotch, coconut. Then again, it doesn't have to, and he'd probably be as happy drinking a beer. I don't want anything too sweet or fruity, but at the same time I don't want a drink that's so strong it knocks your socks off.