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Planning a Summer Party

Planning a Summer Party
If you are planning a party this summer, you may well be hoping that you will be able to sit outside in the garden or on a terrace, whether at home or at a venue. Of course, this being Britain, you can’t guarantee the weather, but what you can do is theme your party to make it feel like summer, even if there is a downpour! One way to bring the sunshine to a party is to serve cocktails. They don’t have to be complicated or expensive – in fact some are really simple, like the mojitos, mint julep and sangria. You can serve cocktails in a colour that reflects your event by using fruit juices or fruit purees to produce the colour you like and flavour the cocktails to reflect the theme. You can even be creative with non-alcoholic cocktails, with more and more lovely fruit juices and non-alcoholic wines available, you can make beautiful drinks, so that everyone can join in. Here are some party themes that are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, hen parties or just a summer get together. You can have them at home or at a venue – if the weather is set fair you can event go out to a park or beach. Day at the Races – we can’t all make it to ladies day at Royal Ascot, but we can all dress up in glad rags and hats and celebrate with champagne cocktails. You could all have a flutter too, perhaps in a race to be televised during the party. Party in the Park – make up a posh picnic and make your own party in the garden or a local park – if it rains opt for the bandstand or picnic in your house. Make up an iced-tea cocktail or Pimms. If you can get outdoors take some games: Frisbee, Jenga or quoits gives everyone the chance to join in. Beach Party – what makes you think of summer more than getting out the shorts and swimwear, relaxing with a cocktail and hiring a hot tub or blow up the paddling pool and fire up the barbie. Re-live the summer hols with sangria, daiquiri or kir royale. Rio Carnaval – much as we resist it, we will probably be gripped in World Cup Fever next month – if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em and have a Carnaval themed party. Dress to impress with flowers, feathers and fruit and samba the afternoon away accompanied by the ultimate retro cocktail, pina colada. Preparation for any of these parties could include making your own signature cocktail, have stock in to have a cocktail creating competition on the day. To do this you need to provide: Something strong – gin, vodka, rum, whisky for example Something sweet – you can make a basic syrup or use elderflower cordial Something sour – lemon, lime You may also want to provide angostura bitters, fruit (to puree, add to the mix or garnish), herbs (mint and thyme are popular in summer cocktails), ice, fruit juices, tonic and soda water. Set the tone for the party by sending invitations out about a month in advance - if you want guests to bring their own ingredients for a cocktail competition, let them know. Enjoy the sunshine.