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The Great Outdoors

  • Back Yard BBQ

    Spring fever may have everyone venturing out on the town to play, but we know that sometimes, the most fun can be found right in your own backyard. Host a friendly barbecue and invite everyone to your place for a day or night of chowing down and drinking up!


    It’s the season for fresh cocktails with a citrus twist, like the Stirrings® Kiwi Drop. Mix Stirrings® Lemon Drop mixer with Smirnoff Citrus Flavored Vodka for a fresh tasting drink your guests will love. Garnish with a slice of kiwi at the bottom of your glass for a pop of color. We like making a big batch of this cocktail before the party starts, adding thin slices of lemon and kiwi and putting it into a large pitcher or glass carafe for guests to serve themselves.

    When the night air is warm, make sure you have plenty of mocktails available to keep everyone hydrated. Pitchers filled with water and thinly sliced wheels of lemon and orange look chic on your bar and remind guests that non-alcoholic drinks are on hand – especially for your designated driver!


    One of our favorite summer menus includes a mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich that has all the best elements of a barbecue with no time spent manning the grill. It’s a great dish to prepare the night before and can be made in bulk to easily serve a large group of hungry guests. Serve the savory and sweet pork with homemade BBQ sauce and cool, creamy coleslaw on a toasted hamburger bun or ciabatta roll.

    In our opinion, the key to a successful barbecue is the quality of the meat on the table as well as the variety of tasty condiments to pair. Besides the classic choices of ketchup, mustard and relish, why not whip up a gourmet sauce like chipotle aioli, which adds a smoky richness to all types of burgers, sandwiches and wraps.


    Entertaining outdoors on a terrace or in a backyard is a relaxed way to unwind with friends and neighbors, without the fuss of a formal, seated meal. Keep your event casual by letting people come and go as they please, open house style.

    If you are lucky enough to have a patch of grass to call your own, encourage your guests to play yard games. Leaving out a croquet set or a few badminton racquets will start some friendly competition, or at least help burn off some of the calories from the BBQ feast!

    Music will set the stage for many more nights of cocktails and conversation so don’t forget to create a start-of-summer playlist of some new and classic tunes. By the end of the season, the songs will bring back some fond memories.

    Kiwi-Lemon Drop Martini

    • 1.5oz Ketel One Citroen Vodka
    • 3oz Stirrings® Lemon Drop Mixer
    • Slices of Fresh Kiwi and Fresh Lemon

    Shake vodka and Lemon Drop Mixer over ice.

    Kiwi Lemon Drop Mocktail

    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Lemon Drop Mixer
    • 2 oz. Lemon Flavored Sparkling Water
    • Slice of Fresh Kiwi and Slice of Fresh Lemon

    Place ice and fresh fruit into a tall glass pour in Stirrings® Lemon Drop Mixer. Top with lemon-flavored sparkling water.

  • Dining Al Fresco

    On a warm summer evening with the night sky filled with stars, what could be better than hosting a little dinner party al fresco? Whether on a terrace, roof deck, backyard or beach, finding some outdoor space to commandeer for the night is the first step to planning your event. Then, all you need is a group of your favorite people and an effortless summer menu that can be enjoyed in the great outdoors.


    Keep the mood festive by setting up a sangria station at your outdoor dinner party. If you are close to the house, use a punch bowl so guests can help themselves. A piece of cheesecloth draped over the bowl will keep out any bugs. For dinners that need to be set up further away, use an acrylic pitcher with a cover for easy transport and serving.

    Our Citrus Sangria Punch is a vibrantly colored cocktail filled with slices of oranges, lemons and limes for decoration and extra citrus flavor. Combine Stirrings® Blood Orange Mixer and Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer with vodka and red wine for a refreshing tasting beverage to toast to the summer season.


    he trick to dining outdoors is to prepare food that isn’t too delicate – items that do not need precision heating or timing and won’t wilt or fall apart in transit. Food that can be transferred from the grill to the plate in an instant is a good choice. Sauces and marinades that are packed with flavor and can be made in advance are a great choice too!

    We recommend serving a grilled tuna loin with salsa verde and a sugar snap pea salad with mint and almonds. Both recipes are very easy to prepare, but your guests don’t need to know that! The grilled tuna steak is an elegant dish with bright colors and bold flavors, while the sugar snap peas have lots of texture and crunch. Place bowls of olives seasoned with chili flakes and olive oil on the table so guests can snack on them before dinner begins.


    The great outdoors provides a naturally beautiful backdrop to your dinner party. Think about elements that can enhance what you are already working with. If you have a stunning view, invite guests over to enjoy a cocktail while the sun is setting. Those dining in a garden should incorporate some of the same flowers into smaller arrangements on the table.

    Creating an ambiance with lighting is important, especially since you may be working with almost no light at all when the sun sets. Large candles should be covered by glass hurricanes to protect the flame from the wind. Using gas lanterns to illuminate the bar and key areas of your event will cast a warm glow.

    Citrus Sangria Punch

    • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff Raspberry Pomegranate Sorbet Light
    • 1.5 oz. Stirrings® Blood Orange Mixer
    • 1.5 oz. Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer
    • 2 oz. Red Wine

    Combine all ingredients in a wine glass filled with ice, and stir. Add fresh fruit such as orange segments and grapes to garnish.

    Virgin Citrus Sangria Punch

    • 1.5oz Stirrings® Blood Orange Mixer
    • 1.5oz Stirrings® Pomegranate Mixer
    • 2oz Orange Seltzer

    Combine all ingredients in a wine glass filled with ice, and stir. Add fresh fruit such as orange segments and grapes to garnish.

  • Summer Fun

    “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. In the summer heat, it’s important to stay hydrated, so keep cold bottles of water handy so guests can 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.

    For a summer fun feast, friends Claudine Revere and Chef Arvin Dhansew at Relish Caterers, known for their one-of-a-kind events and seasonally inspired cuisine, created 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.

    Spicy Watermelon Margarita

    • 1.5 oz. Don Julio Tequila
    • 2 oz. Stirrings® Watermelon Mixer
    • 1 oz. Stirrings® Margarita Mixer
    • Dash Cayenne

    Shake all ingredients over ice and strain into a rocks glass packed with ice.
    Garnish with a slice of watermelon or lime.

    Blended Watermelon Slushie

    • 1 Large slice of watermelon cut into cubes
    • 3 oz. Stirrings® Watermelon Mixer

    Place ingredients in a blender and add ½ cup of ice.
    Blend till smooth; pour into a tall glass, and drizzle Stirrings® Authentic Grenadine on the top.

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