Entertaining shouldn’t be a chore, especially in summer. Stress-free planning comes from keeping things simple and sticking to the essentials: food, drink, music and friends. These are six important tips for throwing an easy summer bash, be it in your backyard, roof deck or beach rental.
Yes, theme parties can be annoying. No one wants to sweat through your disco barbecue. But choosing a theme can help you whittle down the million little choices necessary for throwing a good bash: food and drink, guest list, decor, even music. And the theme can be loose. Think: boozy tea party, grown-up picnic or urban Hawaiian luau.
For inspiration, turn to Pinterest for decorating ideas. (Check out the statement-making floats by funboy—swimming pool not included.) For menu inspo, peruse cookbooks and cocktail guides (like Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz by Kat Odell), and consider one or two signature drinks to mix and serve.
You can't have a truly great summer party without a refreshing signature cocktail. The London Fizz and B&T are two excellent choices. But it takes a complex, well-balanced gin to make them right. Beefeater's crisp flavor comes from 100 percent natural ingredients, giving it a crisp and clean flavor that's primed for summer. Grab a bottle before your guests come over.
This isn’t the time to start spinning your collection of Sun Ra bootlegs. A good playlist knows how to merge old and new music. While classic Motown cuts never fail to keep guests grooving and nostalgic hits from the ’80s and ’90s practically scream summer party, consider mixing in some contemporary tunes.
This year is ripe with new releases from Katy Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Haim and Drake, and the “Despacito” remix by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber might just be the No. 1 contender for the song (or earworm) of summer.
Once you’ve nailed down the setting, it’s time to drink. From mixing to serving, the name of the game is keep it simple. This means sticking to the basics. For beer, Sam Adams Summer Ale is a light, quaffable crowd pleaser. And for a wine option, neither Ruffino sparkling rosé nor Wölffer Estate Summer in a Bottle rosé will break the bank.
Big tubs are great for icing, but you can also keep bottles cold with ultra-versatile canteens for wine chilling and Chillsners for beer cooling by Corkcicle. And don't forget to keep your guests hydrated. Set out pitchers of ice water, or mix things up with WTRMLN WTR cold-pressed watermelon juice.
The secret to being a great host or hostess is actually enjoying the party. Consider outsourcing the bar and wait staff to make life a little easier. Waitron is like Lyft for party staffing. The service can send you from one to 20 service staff, depending on the size of your bash. Big or small, “organization is the key to a great party,” says Waitron CEO Bobby Sain. So is being handed a drink!
Know that woozy feeling the morning after a particularly indulgent fete? Give guests a leg up on their next day by providing sunscreen, plenty of water and two tablets of their new favorite hangover cure, flyby. According to founder Eddie Huai, Flyby “metabolizes alcohol-induced toxins, supports healthy liver function and replenishes nutrients so your body can keep up with all the summer boozing.” Does it work? Who knows. But can you afford not to find out?
Think you know the booze?
Let’s start with some basics.