Summer is the perfect time for hosts/hostesses to SHINE!
We’ve got a few tips, ideas and recipes to make sure your next Backyard Bash stellar!
Remember, celebrate responsibly.
Patio Picks: Spirits
4 Mixology Recipes featuring Campari, Lillet Rose, and Plantation Pineapple Rum.
- 2 oz. Campari
- 2 oz. Prosecco
- 1 oz. club soda
Pour ingredients in rocks glass over ice and stir, garnish with an orange rind or speared olives.
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. Gin – Roxor recommended
- 1 oz. Sweet Vermouth – Carpano Antica recommended
Stir ingredients in mixing glass with ice, strain and serve it up or on the rocks. Garnish with orange peel.
Lillet and Tonic
- 2 oz. Lillet Rose
- Mediterranean Fever Tree Tonic Water
Pour Lillet into rocks glass over ice, top with tonic water, garnish with a lemon slice, and enjoy!
The CAP Carre (A play on a Vieux Carre)
- 1.5 oz. Pineapple Plantation Rum
- 0.5 oz. Rye Whiskey
- 0.5 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- 1 tsp Benedictine
- dash of Angostora Bitters
- dash of Peychauds Bitters
Combine ingredients over ice and stir. Strain into a double old fashioned with ice. Garnish with lemon twist.
Patio Picks: wines & Beers
- Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne
- Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages
- Calcada Vinho Verde
- Raptor Ridge Rosé
- Ballast Point, Mango Even Keel, Session Ale with Mango, 3.8%
- COOP, Saturday Siren, Dry Hopped Pils, 5.4%
- Evil Twin, Nomader Weisse, Berliner Weissbier, 4%
- Ozark, Pale Ale, 4.3%
Here are some ways to help you set the scene.
Be creative with your centerpieces. With a clear vase, any size, make an attractive, original piece that is sure to impress. We like to use the same vegetables that are going on the grill, but anything can be used. Something as simple as three lemons or limes in a vase can be stunning. Carrots and peppers are also great choices. Use sturdy fruits and stay away from those that will quickly discolor or crush.
LED lights in old wine bottles can help light up your celebration.
Tell Bugs to Buzz Off
There are several plants that will repel mosquitoes and other bugs naturally. Here are a few tips for dressing up your summer cocktail party tables while keeping uninvited bugs away.
Sweet Basil – With their fluffy and fragrant green leaves, this plant will not only give off a strong bug-repelling scent, it will double as an attractive centerpiece as well. Pick up a few at your local nursery, put them in a pot or bowl and set them in the center of your table.
Marigolds – In a pot or planted in beds around outdoor entertaining areas, marigolds will repel mosquitoes and other insects. The active ingredient in many insect repellents is derived from these pretty little flowers.
Mint – Everyone should have some mint growing. Don’t have a garden? A pot in a windowsill will do. It grows like crazy, smells great, and helps keep mosquitoes away. Bonus: If you or a guest is bitten – pinch off a leaf, crush it up in your hand, and rub the oils on the bite. For most, it will begin to soothe immediately.
Sage/Rosemary – Are you having a fire or grilling on coals? Throw a few bunches of either herb on your fire or grill (once done grilling). The scented smoke will keep the pesky little bugs away from the party.
4 Pitcher Perfect recipes!
CWS Summer Shandy
- 2 – 12-oz. bottle chilled Fever Tree ginger beer
- 3 – 11.2 oz. bottles of chilled Hoegaarden beer (or your favorite)
- 1 lemon thinly sliced
- mint springs, for garnish
In a large pitcher, combine the Hoegaarden with the ginger beer. Stir in most of the lemon slices and mint springs.
Fill 6 rocks glasses with ice. Add the remaining lemon slices to the glasses and pour in the shandy. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and serve.
Servings 16 – 20 (depending on amount of water added)
- 2 – 750 ml bottles Tres Picos Grenache
- ¾ cup Presidente Spanish Brandy
- ½ cup Grand Marinier
- 1 cup strained fresh orange juice
- 1 large orange, sliced into wheels
- 1 lemon, sliced into wheels
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 – 750 ml San Pellegrino Water
Combine everything except the San Pellegrino in a large pitcher and stir. Cover and refrigerate 12 – 24 hours prior to serving.
Mix the Sangria. Fill rocks glasses with ice. Pour about ½ - ¾ full. Add some of the fruit from the pitcher. Top off with San Pellegrino and enjoy. To dress each drink up, garnish with additional cut fruits and a sprig of fresh mint.
Hot Summer Lemonade
- 5-6 lemons
- 2 cups lemon simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 ½ cups Jack Daniels
Juice all lemons and set the fresh juice aside. If making lemon simple syrup, reserve one of the lemon peels.
In a 2-quart pitcher, combine lemon simple syrup, lemon juice and Jack Daniels. Fill pitcher with ice and top off with water – stir well to combine.
The perfect glass for this drink is the style that looks like a quart canning jar with a handle on it. If not available, use a large rocks glass. Make sure each glass gets plenty of ice cubes from the pitcher. If you need to make in advance, do not add the ice until just before serving.
Pimm’s Cup Perfect Summertime
Serves About 16
- 1 small cucumber, sliced thin
- 1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced thin
- 1 orange, sliced thin
- 1 lemon, sliced thin
- 1 green apple, sliced thin
- 2 cups (16 oz.) Pimm's No. 1 Cup
- 6 cups (48 oz.) 7-Up
- mint sprigs to garnish
In a large pitcher, layer fruit slices. Add Pimm's and 7-Up.
Stir gently to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Use rocks or Collins glasses. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour the mix over the ice making sure to get fruit in each glass. Garnish with mint, and serve.
Lemon Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
Cut up the rind of one lemon, place in a medium saucepan along with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
After the sugar is dissolved, turn off heat, strain and let cool.