After an especially brutal winter, Rich was even more excited than usual to see springtime come to his beautiful roof garden. In the summer months, the rootop is his favorite room in the house, with walls of hydrangea and boxwood and pots of herbs and lettuces. So naturally, Rich wanted a little fanfare to celebrate the start of the season. To properly welcome summer, he threw a casual afternoon gathering for some friends and neighbors, serving food and drinks inspired by the bounty already flourishing in the garden. This week we'll be telling you all about his party, the recipes, the decor, and the shindig itself, starting today with the Party Plan. Want to see how he did it all?
The Party Idea: A Garden Gathering
To celebrate the summer, Rich built his party around the blooming garden. Because the plants create all the color and decoration that he needed, decor was minimal, just making use of the tables, chairs and loungers that always decorate the outdoor space. For food, he served colorful vegetables with fresh herb garnish. He offered two refreshing vodka cocktails, inspired by our lovely sponsor, Pearl Vodka, including a pomegranate punch served from a beverage dispenser, and a cucumber-herb cooler served in individual glasses.
The Party Look: Greenery and Simple Flowers with Rustic Garden Touches
Rich repurposed his garden furniture for the party. He used his plant stand as a bar table, filling the plant sink and a separate planter with ice to keep the Pearl Vodka chilled. On his central umbrella table, he took a roll of burlap and created a hole in the middle by separating the fibers, allowing the umbrella to pierce through it without having to fabricate a special tablecloth. The burlap protected the tile table while lending a rustic texture to the scene. Rich used textured white plates with colorful cloth napkins that picked up on the hues of the cocktails.
The Party Menu: Refreshing Drinks and Vegetable Hors D'Oeuvres
For afternoon cocktails, Rich wanted to offer a cooling drink with lots of fresh garden flavors like cucumber, mint and basil. For contrast, he also made a pomegranate punch with a pineapple garnish, an easy and colorful summertime ade. For finger foods, he chose creamy yogurt-and cheese-based dishes with fresh herb flavors and colorful vegetable accompaniments, like bright radishes and crisp peppers. And that herbed almonds recipe, which should be a staple of every cocktail party everywhere!
The party ended up happening on a humid afternoon after a rainstorm, so the garden was incredibly lush, and the guests were definitely thirsty! Look for the big party reveal on Thursday, and for The Kitchn's original Cucumber Pearl Cooler cocktail recipe tomorrow.