Whether you’re hosting an outdoor birthday party, a Kentucky Derby fete, or a general celebration of summer, we’re here to help you with tips and tricks to make your party a success – without leaving you exhausted! Read on, and then we suggest you make the included drink recipes for yourself straight away – practice makes perfect, after all.
Part of party planning is to address the basics. Here’s what you need to decide before you start working on your event:
To Theme or Not to Theme
From 4th-of-July blowouts to a reason to celebrate Yellow Pig Day July 17 (Google it), themes can make your party more memorable. Not necessary, of course, but worth a little research.
Select a Simple Menu
Keep it easy, fresh, and colorful. Buy what you can and spruce it up, especially with fresh additions from a local farmers market. For example, you could spend 2 hours chopping ingredients for a salad, but you could also buy a big salad, put it in a colorful bowl, and sprinkle it with coconut, chia seeds, herbs, toasted walnuts, or the like to make it your own.
A mix of open areas, groups of seating, and several food and drink stations will keep your guests mingling and avoid bottlenecks. One of our favorite and easy ways to create seating is to throw down some big outdoor cushions among patio furniture. Use deep seating cushions both on your patio chairs and as floor cushions. Super value, double duty.
Got bar carts? You should. They’re versatile and pretty! Consider one for cocktails and one for mocktails to keep them clearly separate and to offer easier access. Extra bottles down below, glasses & garnish up top. Little recipe cards allow guests to make their own.
Mason jars, cans, and buckets can hold silverware, and on-trend serving trays can hold just about anything. Try a pretty platter to play up the season’s best colors, or think outside the box and let your party theme serve up some inspiration.
A basic color palette is all you need to keep in mind. Then mix and stack chargers, outdoor dinnerware, glasses, and table linens for an eclectic, bohemian feel.
If you’re pre-mixing your beverages for guests to serve themselves, make ice cubes from fruit juice to avert watery drinks.
Give thought to interesting drinks without alcohol. Our blogger friends did! See recipes below for Moscow Mule Mocktails and Skinny Watermelon Limeade – and cheers to your season of summer parties!
Skinny Watermelon Limeade Recipe
Summertime is filled with sunshine, BBQs and fruity drinks to cool us off. For that next outdoor party, whip up a batch of Skinny Watermelon Limeade. It’s full of fruity juice, tart limes, and a bit of sweetness. Everyone will be begging for a refill!
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Truvia
- 3 1/2 heaping cups diced seedless watermelon
- 3 large limes, juiced
- Garnish: mint, basil, lime wedges
- In a small saucepan, bring the water and Truvia to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn off heat, add simple syrup to a glass container, and place in the freezer to cool while you prepare the rest of the drink.
- Place the watermelon in a high-powered blender and completely puree. Place mixture in a strainer and push mixture through to remove all pulp.
- Place watermelon juice in a glass pitcher. Add the juice of three limes and the simple syrup (make sure it’s cooled). Stir.
- To serve, fill glasses with ice and limeade, and garnish with mint, basil, and lime wedges if desired.
- To keep, refrigerate in a closed container. Limeade is best within 48 hours of making.
Orange Moscow Mule Mocktail Recipe
Cool and refreshing, this mocktail is a twist on a Moscow Mule. Freshly squeezed orange juice paired with non-alcoholic ginger beer makes for a sweet and tangy drink that’s fun to serve in copper mugs.
- 1/2 cup non-alcoholic ginger beer*
- 1/4 cup sparkling orange or club soda*
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Garnish: orange slice, mint sprig
Fill mug with ice. Add ginger beer, sparkling orange, and freshly squeezed juices. Garnish with mint & orange slice. Stir before drinking.
*You can replace the sparkling orange/club soda with 2 ounces of vodka and use ginger beer with alcohol should you wish to make a traditional Moscow Mule cocktail.