Get a few details together, invite some friends over, and have a good time… that’s what summer is all about, right? Let’s do this!
Here are 5 easy ideas to elevate your summer entertaining experience without a major remodel or weeks of planning. Read all the way to the end… I saved the best for last. 😉
5. Alfresco Dining
This is the cornerstone of every great summer get together… get outside, set the table (layer a few tablecloths, set out some fun colored dishware) and put together an easy menu so you can hang out with your guests and enjoy!
4. Light It Up!
Turn off that code-required door light and add some real ambiance to your outdoor space: bring a cool chandelier, put up some string lights (those are big crowd pleasers), or just place a few candles and lanterns around.
If we’re relying on candlelight, more is definitely more — yes, you can go there! Or if you’re ready to go big or go home? Two words…
It is the little black dress of outdoor décor… it can be dressed up, dressed down… so many ways to make it good and difficult to mess up. 😉
3. Conversation Areas
Think of this space as a living room… that just happens to be outside. When inside, we try to create a flow of traffic for entertaining and different conversation areas to help guests connect, relax, and enjoy the night. Let’s bring this thought outside!
Set up a couple chairs and a small spot to put snacks and drinks (don’t forget the candlelight), and you’ll have more than spot to hang out and lean into that summertime chill.
2. Texture + Layers
Again, we’re taking our cues from the inside and bringing them outside. Think fun pillows, a few well-placed blankets to wrap yourself in if there’s a chill, and a rug (this is one element that will instantly elevate your outdoor entertaining game).
Pattern, texture, tone…. you’ve got this.
1. A Signature Cocktail + Bar Station
Did you see this one coming? 😉 Summer is the perfect time to get creative and crafty with your libations. A little frozen fruit, a little alcohol, some ice and a sporty garnish…done!
Better yet, create a drink station — bar cart, bar tub, table, whatever you have that can hold a few drinks.
Sidebar: My last trip to SF took me to the Tipsy Pig where I had the best chipotle margarita… the twist was the habanero infused vodka! #Gamechanger and soooo good!
Since then I’ve been working on finding the perfect spicy margarita. Below, I’m sharing one with a little kick and alllll the summertime feels…
SPICY MANGO JALAPEÑO MARGARITA
Recipe courtesy of forkinthekitchen.com
· 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon chili powder
· 1/2 mango, diced
· 1/2 lime, juiced
· 1–2 fresh jalapeño slices (seeds removed for less spice)
· 1.5–2 oz. tequila
· 3–4 oz. mango juice
1. On a small plate, combine kosher salt and chili powder until mixed. Rub half of a lime on the rim of your serving glass and dip into spice mix. Set aside.
2. In a cocktail shaker, jar, or glass if you don’t have either, muddle together mango, lime juice, and jalapeño. Add 3-4 ice cubes, power tequila over them. Add mango juice and shake (or stir if you don’t have a lid). Add fresh ice to serving glass; strain drink over ice. Top with jalapeño or mango and garnish as desired.
Adjust tequila and juice ratio for the desired strength of alcohol.