Ahhhhh, Labor Day. Before I know it, the sounds of the crickets and the laughter of the kids swimming in the pool, as well as the revolving doors of visiting friends, will be a distant past for one more season. How does it get here so quickly? The older I get the faster summer seems to fly by and I always find Labor Day weekend one more great reason to mix up a little backyard fun. Here are some of my favorite summer party tips to make your get together memorable:
Signature drink: I love to have one special drink that will make my guests think “Wow.” I will typically make fresh-squeezed juice (pineapple is always a favorite!) and make a signature martini. Of course beer and wine are staples.
Create a new appetizer: One of my favorite parts of entertaining is trying out a new recipe. I am not usually so bold as to try it as a main dish but I will not hesitate to venture into new cooking territory with an appetizer. My last hit was steamed artichokes with a curry aioli.
Music matters: Music in my family is always a top priority and certainly with the invention of the iPod and all it’s accessories you can make some wonderful party mixes easily. However, if you are a little lean on music selections, don’t hesitate to ask your guests to bring a favorite CD to play at the party.
Set the stage: Lighting is essential for a great mood. I am a big fan of using numerous votive candles and I also think the centerpiece is extremely important. In the summer, you can do wonderful things with fresh fruits like lemons and limes in the bottom of a vase and can use any simple flower to finish it off.
Give your guests something to do: I don’t hesitate to bring up our ping pong table to spur on a good pre-dinner competition.
Finally, here in Minnesota, it’s mosquito season as well, so to ensure summer’s final fling goes off without a hitch, be sure to make sure it also goes without an itch and light the citronella candles and enjoy!