A Summer Cocktail Party

I know that it’s still Spring, but the thought of lazy summers sipping sweet tea (another Southern tradition I have inherited during my six years here in NC) and watching my toddler chase fireflies while Ella Fitzgerald’s soothing music plays in the background are nothing short of heaven.

Trips to the pool, backyard barbeques, and refreshing adult beverages of fruity martinis and minty mojitos become a highlight of summer. Friends congregate and mingle lightheartedly, celebrating life, taking shelter in the shade from the summer sun. This is also my version of summer and if yours is very much like this, it’s time to start planning your own summer cocktail parties. Here’s a little nudge to planning and decorating your party, which includes my favorite summer color schemes and a few adult beverage recipes:

The theme below is very much girly boho and oh so yummy! Mint and coral is all the rave and  incorporating my brief Southern background, the mason jar sippers by anthropologie are too cute to pass up and perfect for sipping some iced tea in.

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Tablecloth by anthropologie; Mint chevron fabric by spoonflower.com; Handpainted plate by GoGoBerlinette on Etsy; Floral arrangement by Ella Bella Floral

The next theme reminds me of a Mediterranean get-together overlooking the crystal blue sea. Navy blue and tangerine go great together and accent it with turquoise for a pleasant pop of color.

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Orange plate by hickorees.com; Printed Hida Plate by jumbledonline.com; Yellow striped napkins by myislandhome.com.au; Starfish placecard holder by crescentmoonpaper.com; Turquoise tumblers by Barking Sands Vintage on Etsy

And here are a couple of my favorite summer cocktails:

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Rosemary Limoncello/ Credit: myrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 18 lemons (Meyer or Eureka; see Notes), washed and dried $
  • One 4-in. rosemary sprig, washed and dried
  • 2 bottles (750 ml. each) 100-proof vodka, such as Stolichnaya or Smirnoff
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar

Preparation

  1. 1. Peel lemons with a sharp vegetable peeler, taking only the zest (top layer) and avoiding any white pith. Put rosemary in a 1-gal. glass or ceramic container with a tight seal. Add zest to jar.
  2. 2. Pour 750 ml. vodka over rosemary and zest; seal container. Let sit undisturbed in a cool, dark place for 40 days.
  3. 3. In a saucepan, bring 5 cups water to a boil and add sugar. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Let sugar syrup cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
  4. 4. Pour syrup and remaining 750 ml. vodka over lemon-vodka mixture, stir, and seal container. Let sit in a cool, dark place for another 40 days.
  5. 5. Pour limoncello through cheesecloth into a large spouted pitcher and divide among gift bottles.
  6. Note: Nutritional analysis is per ounce.
Note:Either Meyer or Eureka lemons work in this recipe (the fragrant Meyer is especially good, though). To speed up the process, shorten the infusing time in steps 2 and 4 to 1 week each, and you’ll have a fine although less intense liqueur. Limoncello keeps indefinitely in the freezer.

Sunset
DECEMBER 2007

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Strawberry Mojito/ Credit: allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • white sugar for rimming (optional)
  • 2 large limes quartered
  • 1/2 bunch of mint leaves
  • 7 strawberries quartered
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 2 cups club soda
  • ice cubes 

Directions

  1. Pour 1/4 to 1/2 inch of sugar onto a small, shallow plate. Run one of the lime quarters around the rim of each cocktail glass, then dip the glasses into the sugar to rim; set aside.
  2. Squeeze all of the lime quarters into a sturdy glass pitcher. Toss the juiced limes into the pitcher along with the mint, strawberries, and 1 cup of sugar. Crush the fruits together with a muddler to release the juices from the strawberries and the oil from the mint leaves. Stir in the rum and club soda until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into the sugared glasses over ice cubes to serve.

I hope you have a blast at your very own cocktail party! Comment and let me know how you prepare for your summer parties.

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