When it comes to summer entertaining, easy-breezy is the name of the game! It’s hot outside, so nobody wants to be slaving over the stove or heating up the oven for hours. With a nautical palette featuring lots of stripes (and a no-hassle menu), you can create a summer happy hour that celebrates delicious food and fabulous design! Keep reading for tips, pics, and lots of fun, seasonal ideas…
It’s summer: the perfect time for light, fresh food and equally refreshing decor! Since happy hour is the event at hand, special sips are a must. That’s why these striped drink umbrellas inspired our palette:
Hues such as red, mint and sky blue add an extra festive vibe. No matter which cocktails and drinks make your menu, guests will love the added touch of a tiny umbrella that brings a big dose of summer to each sip. Don’t be afraid to make it easy with paper napkins. An added bonus: they’ll bring color and pattern to your party palette. The striped napkins showcased above are from Caspari.
It wouldn’t be summer without tropical leaves. Not only will they add a vacation vibe to the happy hour, they have the potential to last for weeks! Throw in some colorful blooms for a splash of vibrancy. Now that’s a lot of bang for your buck! Need other centerpiece ideas? Don’t hesitate to go with fresh produce, such as pineapples or sliced watermelon.
Easy Food and Beverage Options
If you love good design, you may also love a beautiful presentation of party food! Don’t deplete your energy by getting caught up in complicated recipes. By keeping it simple, you’ll have more time to enjoy decorating for your happy hour. Even more importantly, you’ll have more time to spend with your guests when the party starts!
For the beverages, go with summer-perfect selections such as rosé (sparkling or non-sparkling), which can be served plain or as a festive punch with the help of simple syrup, sliced strawberries or citrus. Have some non-alcoholic options on hand, such as specialty iced tea (this rosé iced tea is always a hit with guests) and water infused with citrus.
For the food, serve up a collection of small bites that celebrate summer’s bounty (plus some hearty nibbles for good measure). Here’s what we served…
Watermelon with lime and basil. It’s as simply as slicing the watermelon, dousing it with lime juice and sprinkling sliced basil on top.
Cucumber and tomato salad. This is as refreshing as it gets. Slice up cucumbers and colorful bite-sized tomatoes. Top them with a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil. You can add a dash of vinaigrette if you like. Sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper for added flavor.
Hummus and crispy crackers. Purchase your favorite hummus and serve with thin, crispy crackers. Filling and fresh!
Tangy aioli with crackers or sweet potato fries. This goat cheese and yogurt aioli is our favorite, and it can be made the day before the party, much like the fresh produce selections above! Frozen sweet potato fries can easily be popped in the oven just before guests arrive. Don’t want to mess with a hot oven? Serve sweet potato chips or crackers instead.
Cookies from your favorite bakery. We served an assortment of special cookies, including dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate and macadamia nuts.
Now who’s ready to throw a party?! As mentioned, the decorations and most food items can be prepared in advance, leaving the day of the party stress-free. Plenty of time to revel in the delicious summer motifs and enjoy the company of your guests. Wishing you and yours a festive summer!