Happy August friends! We’re entering the last bit of summer and now especially is the time to soak up the sun and plan outdoor dinner parties and get togethers with friends and family. One thing I’ve learned from hosting a party is to go easy on yourself. You might really want to try that fancy recipe or pretty cocktail you found on Pinterest—don’t do it. My guideline is, for parties larger than 6, keep it as simple as possible. Here are some easy cocktail solutions that will allow you to enjoy your party while still looking like the hostess with the mostess.
Invest in a drink bucket. The stylish sister to the cooler—your ice won’t last as long but if you want to fancy up your party, a drink bucket is a fun alternative for easy beer or soda grabs. The one shown from West Elm is no longer available, but here’s another option from Target.
Pre-made cocktail batches. Don’t worry yourself over mixing cocktails while guests are arriving. Pre-make a big batch a half-hour in advance and don’t forget to slice or prep any garnishes to accompany the cocktails. Some recipes that work best for big batches are sangria (which you can even prep the night before!), margaritas, mojitos and rum punches. Pour and place them on a serving tray when you’re guests show up and you’re free to mingle!
Let guests do the mixing. Set-up a simple bar area with staples and general garnishes and allow guests to concoct their own drink. Put up a cute sign that says “Mix and Mingle” so that they’ll know to help themselves.
Champagne in a can. As much fun as it is to pop open a bottle of bubbly and as many parties I’ve had where it hasn’t lasted long, there have also been several times when there’s been leftover flat champagne. These little cans are perfect for satisfying your bubbly-loving friends, while not wasting any. They’re also ideal for cocktails that require a top-off of sparkly stuff where you might not use an entire bottle.
Avoid frozen drinks. As much as summer calls for a cool frozen treat, you’ll want to skip these for a gathering more than 4 people. Your kitchen will be a sticky mess and you won’t be able to keep up with the demand, trust me, I’ve been there before! For an easier option, try alcoholic frozen popsicles. You can make them the night before and they’ll double as dessert!
• Have unmarked recycle bins placed in a discrete spot nearby so that your party won’t become cluttered with cans, bottles, caps, etc.
• Make sure you have LOTS of ice on hand, for the coolers and drink buckets and separate bags for drink ice. You don’t want to be dipping into the drink bucket at the end of the night for cocktail ice, yuck!
Image Source: The Green Life