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Summer is wrapping up which means that it’s time to throw open your doors and gather friends and family for one more outdoor party. Whether you’re lucky enough to have the space at home or access to shared condo entertaining amenities, these tips will help you host in style, while ensuring your soiree runs as smoothly as possible so you can have as much fun as your guests.
It will be hot outside and your guests will be thirsty, but mixing individual drinks is time consuming and tedious. So why not grab your prettiest pourer and try this recipe for a tasty large-format cocktail.
Summer Champagne Punch
¾ cup lime juice, preferably freshly squeezed
½ cup vodka
2 cups tonic water
2 cups raspberries
1 lime, sliced
1 bottle Champagne or sparkling white wine
1. In a small pot, bring the sugar and water to a boil over medium heat. Stir to make sure the sugar dissolves. Let cool to room temperature.
2. In a large pitcher, stir the cooled simple syrup with the lime juice, vodka and tonic water to combine. Stir in the raspberries and lime slices.
3. Just before you’re ready to serve, add the Champagne. Serve chilled.
Accompany Beverages with Beautiful Floral Ice Cubes
These ice cubes are sure to wow your guests. Keep them handy near your champagne punch!
Fire up the Grill
The most important part of a great party whether you’re entertaining indoors or outdoors – delicious refreshments. But in the summer, the barbecue is king. Here is one of our favourite ways to grill chicken.
Grilled Chicken with Nectarine, Red Onion, and Basil Relish
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ c. olive oil
2 tsp. olive oil
2 ripe nectarines or peaches
½ small red onion
½ c. chopped fresh basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1. Heat grill to medium-high. Clean the grill and lightly oil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
3. Add the nectarines and red onion and toss to combine; set aside.
4. Rub the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoon oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and grill until cooked through or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165 degrees F, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
5. Fold the basil into the nectarine mixture and spoon over the chicken.
A Refreshing Dessert
Another way to keep your guests cool throughout the party is to offer up some Instagrammable homemade popsicles for dessert – it’s easier than you think! Try these fruity coconut pops your guests will love.
1 cup coconut water
½ cup sugar
3 cups coconut milk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup jam or jelly (optional)
1. In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the coconut water and sugar to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cool slightly. Stir in the coconut milk, vanilla and shredded coconut.
3. Pour the mixture into ice-pop molds. Press sticks into the center of the pops and freeze until solid, 3 to 4 hours. (If using jam, freeze the pops for 1 hour before adding 2 tablespoons jam to the top of each mold.)
Keep your party going long after dusk with these pretty lighting ideas!
1. Go for votives
Flickering votive candles instantly create a warm, romantic look. Try lining them up along the table to create a beautiful centre piece, or arrange them around your yard for an extra glow.
2. Hang your lanterns
Hang lanterns from your deck and trees to give off a bohemian chic vibe. It’s easy to make your very own hanging lanterns out of old mason jars.
3. Break out the Christmas lights
It’s official: Christmas lights aren’t just for Christmas anymore. If you don’t have the budget for new lights, bring those Christmas lights back to life. Wrap them around tree trunks to create a special ambience.
Smartly Dressed Tables
Use all-weather table coverings to ensure easy clean up at the end of your get-together. These come in many vibrant colours and patterns. Vinyl-coated oilcloth can also be wiped clean with little effort.
Pump up the Jam
Get the party started with some tunes to accompany your small bites and refreshments.
If you’re not ready to invest in an outdoor sound system, the explosion of portable sound systems has made it super easy to bring the music with you wherever you go. We recommend the Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Wireless Speaker for incredible sound in a small package.
Find them here
Keep Essentials Accessible
You want to keep your guests as comfortable as possible all day and into the night. Leave some sunscreen, hand wipes, towels/blankets, and bug spray in a cute basket on the side of your yard for your guest’s convenience.
Install A Fire Pit
At the end of the night, when everyone has enjoyed some amazing food, music and drinks, it’s time to kick back and relax with a s’more or two. Installing a fire pit or outdoor fireplace can be a great investment. It is really the perfect outdoor accessory to set the stage for an enjoyable evening outside.
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