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Summer Fun

Written by: Celia Chen


Summertime and the living is easy…the famous song lyric reminds us that entertaining this season should be relaxed and effortless. Whether you are lounging poolside or hosting a party at the beach, get inspired by the freshness of the local farm stand and the spectacular colors of the great outdoors. We’ve gathered some simple recipes and bright ideas to help you host some fun in the summer sun!

Watermelon is undoubtedly the iconic fruit of summer so why not add it to the season’s most popular cocktail, the margarita. Stirrings created the Spicy Watermelon Margarita by combining the sweet cooling notes of watermelon with a little heat – in this case Tequila and a dash of cayenne. For some added fizz, top with Tonic Water.

Always have a non-alcoholic option for the designated drivers and younger guests in the group. For a chilly mocktail, blend frozen chunks of fresh watermelon with Stirrings Watermelon Mixer and add fresh lime juice to taste. In the summer heat, it’s important to stay hydrated so keep cold bottles of water handy for guests to help themselves throughout the day.

At a party where your guests are likely to be dressed in bikinis, shorts and sarongs, it’s best to keep your summer menu filled with recipes that are light on calories yet full of flavor. While the heat might curb some appetites, our guess is that all of the frolicking on the beach and games in the pool will make guests reach for a savory snack at some point.

For a Summer Fun feast, I turned to my friends Claudine Revere and Chef Arvin Dhansew at Relish Caterers, known for their one-of-a-kind events and seasonally inspired cuisine, to create a menu that would work for all types of outdoor gatherings.

Using affordable and easy-to-find ingredients, often from the local farmers market, their menu includes: Organic Chicken Sandwiches with Grilled Onions, Tomato Chutney and Crisp Iceberg Lettuce on Toasted Brioche; Skewered Watermelon, Feta Cheese and Tomato Salad with Mint and Raspberry Emulsion; and Olive Oil Steamed Baby Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic.

For something sweet, they recommend serving Honey Grilled Summer Peaches with Sweetened Yogurt and Crumbled Lady Fingers. This super simple recipe can be prepared with mascarpone and granola for some variety.

To make your pool party look like a chic cabana at a boutique hotel, find plush towels in one or two shades that compliment each other and alternate them on deck chairs. Roll up extra towels and place them in galvanized bins around the pool. Bring out a large wicker hamper so used towels are kept out of sight.

For some simple pool décor, buy blow-up beach balls in various sizes and throw them all in the pool for some color and instant fun!

Any outdoor event calls for non-breakable tableware so stick to acrylic glasses for your cocktails and melamine dishes in pretty patterns. Serving trays with covers are helpful in keeping out pesky bugs or sand from your delicious dishes.

A seasoned event planner and entertaining expert, Celia Chen is the Founder and Editorial Director of Notes on a Party, an online magazine about entertaining that celebrates Events from the Inside Out™. For more inspiration, ideas and tips on party planning, visit www.notesonaparty.com

©2011 Diageo, Norwalk, CT. Please Drink Responsibly.

A distinctly different soda but definitely sublime for summer!

2 oz Stirrings® Simple Watermelon Martini Cocktail Mixer
1 oz Club Soda
Garnish: lime

Pour ingredients over ice in a tall glass and stir!

A fresh tasting, juicy, delicious summer drink. Serve shaken or frozen.

1.5 oz Stirrings® Simple Watermelon Cocktail Mixer
1.5 oz Stirrings® Simple Margarita Cocktail Mixer
1.5 oz Don Julio® Tequila
Garnish: Stirrings ®Watermelon Rimmer

Rim highball glasses with Stirrings® Margarita Rimmer. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker (or blender) with ice. Cover and shake vigorously. Serve in rimmed glass.

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