7 Tips for Hosting a Summer Party

published Jul 25, 2017
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(Image credit: Sarah Crowder)

Summer is my favorite time of the year to entertain. Warm weather, longer days, and the slightly relaxed schedule of these months provide the atmosphere and time to prioritize having friends over in a way I can never seem to over the holidays. It’s important to me, though, to host in a way that maintains those summer vibes, which means balancing making the event special with keeping things easy and laid back. In that spirit, I’ve put together my best tips for party hosting during the summer months.

(Image credit: Sarah Crowder)

These suggestions are inspired by our first party of the season, which was a just-for-fun gathering to effectively open our backyard for the summer months. Each tip is one I’ve been putting to good use for years now, with the exception of using ReadyRefresh℠ by Nestlé® to make serving thirst-quenching beverages extra easy. This was my first time using the service, and I was so pleased with the variety of drinks I had on hand for my guests. In fact, one of the ways I employed tip six was by pouring myself a Blood Orange Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage just before the party started. It helped me feel refreshed and ready to entertain.

Here’s how I keep those summer vibes in the party when I entertain…

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

1. Do and make ahead anything you can.

No matter how small. Tackle big things like making dishes that hold or re-heat well, but don’t forget small things that can add up, like putting out serveware.

2. Simplify.

After you plan your dream party in your head, scale it back. Make one special dish instead of three, and fill the rest of the menu out with crudités, good cheese, and crackers. Running out of time to develop a custom cocktail recipe? Serve a delicious tried-and-true instead.

(Image credit: Sarah Crowder)

3. Keep your guests refreshed.

In just a few clicks, ReadyRefresh conveniently delivers a customized variety of leading regional bottled water brands (both still and sparkling), teas, and imported water varieties to your door. When you subscribe, you have a lot of flexibility in making the service work for you: set the frequency (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.) and sizes (5-gallon dispenser, regular sized bottles, kids’ sized bottles, etc.). This is hugely helpful in keeping guests hydrated between alcoholic drinks and in providing options to those not imbibing…and hugely helpful to have one less thing for me to do!

(Image credit: Sarah Crowder)

4. Set the mood through details.

It doesn’t take much: finding the right Spotify playlist, buying some fresh flowers, or, in the case of a child’s birthday, hanging balloons instantly signal a party atmosphere.

5. Take care of yourself.

Get a good night’s sleep, eat well, and leave time for a shower so you can have fun; if you’re having fun, your guests likely will too. For summer parties, especially, stay hydrated as you prep! It’s easy to forget, but important when it’s hot.

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

6. Serve colorful food and drinks.

I love to fill the food table with lots of fruits and vegetables; it’s healthy and pretty. And it makes an unexpected detail to put out colorful drinks, too, like bright green Perrier bottles. I consider the party food to be part of the decor. If you plan on offering some adult beverages, ReadyRefresh drinks turn into creative mixers…

Creative Cocktail Ideas*
  • To keep it simple, a splash of vodka with any of the Perrier flavors, from good old Lemon to the splashier Watermelon, is an easy refreshment.
  • In hot weather, try mixing tequila with Blood Orange Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage.
  • And if you’re looking for a brown drink, use a Sweet Leaf Iced Tea to make a crowd-pleasing pitcher of Sweet Tea and Bourbon.
*Under 21? Skip the alcohol.

7. Channel your inner Julia Child.

I admired Julia Child’s ability to keep her cool when things didn’t go as planned and that she encouraged others to take on the same mindset. If something about your party doesn’t go as you hoped, keep calm and party on.

(Image credit: Creative Studio)

This post is sponsored by ReadyRefresh by Nestle.
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