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20 Essentials for a Summer Cocktail Party

Summer cocktail party season is upon us! Make a big impact during cocktail hour with a few key essentials. In fact, we’ve rounded up 20 stylish finds, in case there’s anything you’ve forgotten! From fabulous barware to special finishing touches, check out the breezy, festive items below and celebrate summer in style…

Sips and Snacks

It goes without saying that a great summer cocktail party requires quality cocktails! Make them special. The Pearl Diver is a great place to start, as it features not one, but three different styles of rum! [featured at Camille Styles]

Pearl Diver cocktail featured at Camille Styles
Pearl Diver cocktail featured at Camille Styles

Don’t forget the straw! Stripes are always fun for summer… [photo from Camille Styles]

Striped drink straw
Striped drink straw

One of our favorite sources for cocktail inspiration is A Beautiful Mess. Not only is this blog filled with refreshing cocktail recipes, the styling and photography are fabulous. These amazing fruit and tonics feature fruit-infused ice cubes, created with these large ice cube trays. Top with gin and tonic water, and you have an instant summer beverage!

Fruit-infused ice cubes
Fruit-infused ice cubes

Vary the cocktail action with some boozy popsicles that will instantly evoke the festivity of summer. These Strawberry Mojito Popsicles are as lovely as they are delicious! Get all the details at Paper & Stitch:

Strawberry mojito popsicles from Paper & Stitch
Strawberry mojito popsicles from Paper & Stitch

Colorful appetizers don’t hurt either! This Watermelon Salad with Cilantro and Cotija from Freutcake can easily double as a fruity starter snack for your cocktail party. Add some toothpicks so guests can grab and enjoy:

Watermelon salad from Freutcake
Watermelon salad from Freutcake

Sensational Serveware

Serve up a sensational cocktail party with classy plates, serving pieces and cocktail glasses. These Marie Coupe Cocktail Glasses from CB2 are only $3.95 apiece!…

Coupe glasses from CB2
Coupe glasses from CB2

Make your party special with DIY cocktail glasses. These Mid-century Modern Style Starburst Cocktail Glasses from Palm Springs Style were created by Studio DIY blogger Kelly Lanza. Liquid gold leaf dresses up ordinary glasses with retro-style starburst patterns, and we’re loving the results!

DIY Midcentury cocktail glasses from Palm Springs Style
DIY Midcentury cocktail glasses from Palm Springs Style

Whether you’re transporting drinks around the party and offering them to guests or you’re setting up an open bar where guests can serve themselves, punctuate your display with a serving tray. These Zuma Trays from Crate & Barrel are available in a range of colors:

Wooden serving tray from Crate & Barrel
Wooden serving tray from Crate & Barrel

When it comes to cocktail party essentials, there’s no shame in disposable plates! Especially when they’re this cute… [summer picnic from Random Acts of Pastel]

Disposable plates are party essentials
Disposable plates are party essentials

Disposable utensils are perfectly acceptable, and there are many stylish options at the ready. But if you’re looking to invest in some party-perfect flatware, CB2 offers mini versions with this cocktail cutlery, sold in sets of 6 (such as mini cocktail spoons).

Mini cocktail serveware from CB2
Mini cocktail serveware from CB2

Don’t forget the napkins! This Set of 8 Spectra Cocktail Napkins from Crate & Barrel brings a rainbow of color to your summer party:

Cocktail napkins from Crate & Barrel
Cocktail napkins from Crate & Barrel

Anchor your cocktail party spread with a summery table runner, like this Fishnet Woven Runner from West Elm:

Woven table runner from West Elm
Woven table runner from West Elm

And of course, now might be the perfect time to invest in a barware set, like this Mixology 7-Piece Barware Set from West Elm:

Barware set from West Elm
Barware set from West Elm

Big Ideas

Let’s talk about living large at your cocktail party, shall we?!… Make a statement on your patio with CB2’s Dolce Vita Outdoor Bar Cart (shown below). No bar cart? No problem! Moving a small table outdoors and topping it with bar essentials will do the trick if you’re on a budget.

Outdoor bar cart from CB2
Outdoor bar cart from CB2

There’s nothing like a party to inspire a few big purchases, especially if you’ve been thinking about them for awhile. Ready to expand your outdoor seating possibilities? This Lucinda Mint Stacking Chair is on sale at CB2 for only $64.95. Enjoy them, then stack them!

Mint stacking chair from CB2
Mint stacking chair from CB2

Finishing Touches

When it comes to finishing touches, there are many ways to “ice the cake” that is your summer cocktail party. For starters, there’s power in tropical greenery. Nothing says summer like a giant monstera leaf. If you feel extra crafty, you can paint it and create a vivid party accent. Get all the DIY details at Mirror80:

Bright painted monstera leaf
Bright painted monstera leaf

We’re currently loving this embroidery thread-wrapped toothpick idea from A Beautiful Mess, which is the perfect way to add garnishes and delicious bites (such as olives and citrus slices) to your favorite summer cocktail. Check out all the details here.

Embroidery thread toothpicks from A Beautiful Mess
Embroidery thread toothpicks from A Beautiful Mess

Speaking of garnishes…they will definitely vary depending on the drink you choose. But we love the idea of catching people off guard with a creative and clever garnish. Like the macarons in these Clementine Violet Jam Chambord Mimosas from Random Acts of Pastel:

Macaron garnishes from Random Acts of Pastel
Macaron garnishes from Random Acts of Pastel

Another fun way to top off a festive summer cocktail party is through the use of confetti. Yes, confetti! Sprinkle it on your tabletop and instantly up the style factor of your fete. [photo from A Beautiful Mess]

Confetti adds a festive touch
Confetti adds a festive touch

Last but not least, give guests a parting gift as the evening wraps up. We’re fans of air plants as a fun party favor alternative to edibles! [photo from Mirror80]

Air plant party favors
Air plant party favors

Are you entertaining this summer? Enjoy the warmest season of the year in style!

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