Ahh summer is sooo close and Lee and I discussed our next blog topic to be focused on the love for summer and sharing it with family and friends.
Nothing makes people happier then being able to cozy up, relax and enjoy the magnificent outdoors, I mean seriously the summer is short in our neck of the woods. When you can share an evening or afternoon with family and friends, is it not one of the simplest pleasures in life ?!
It doesn’t mean you have to blow the budget to make it happen. Sure your expectations are high but honestly people just love to be together in laughter, warmth with some good food and drink a little music and you got the perfect trifecta for success.
Lee and I want to share what we consider to be a few ideas and tips to make the best of your backyard / lakeside entertaining moments:
Light a Fire
That fire pit is the perfect spot to gather and share the world’s stories and watch the sun go down. Those warm summer evenings are just calling you to set a fire for all to share. I mean from propane to wood burning you name it the sky is the limit on what you can do. Its all about creating ambiance. Here is a little DIY if you are so inclined
Around that firepit shake it up abit , it doesn’t have to perfect, just make it cozy , so have a variety of seating options Grab seating from indoors that can do double duty — piano benches, poufs, dining room chairs make great additions to the classic lawn and camping chairs. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.
Bundle Up With Blankets
As the temp cools down and you have the kids wanting to stay up longer or that person that just won’t leave … make sure they remain comfortable along with yourself. Your thoughtful blanket to keep everyone a little cozier will be a welcome gift, unless you want the person that wont leave to leave …
Just throw them in a basket, stack them on a chair or hang them from hooks up against your fence and get ready for your party to continue past the setting sun.
String Together Mood Lighting
String lights can transform a backyard and create cozy spaces on patios and under trees. Skip the Christmas lights peeps and use bigger-bulbs for a more sophisticated, warm look. Or even hang some lanterns, its all good as the focus is creating cozy .
Seat Everyone Together
For dinner parties,(my personal fav) we love the aesthetic and convenience of seating everyone at a long table. The meal and conversation are easily shared in this family-style setting. Need to string together a few tables? Grab a tablecloth or two.
Tune it In
Music relieves you of awkward silence, and dulls out the unwanted next door barking…
Create a play list before the party , tune it in at the beginning of the party and then forget about it. Go for crowd-pleaser classics: the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, a little Tom Petty. Just invite your neighbors..then crank it up a bit
Make Drinks Easy To Find
Guests should have easy access to whatever drinks you’re serving, whether in an open cooler or drink dispensers. No one wants to have to ask the host where to get an adult sippy-cup
We thought you might like a few ideas on some great summer drinks, so we went to our good friend Charlotte Rothwell Burhoe, owner of the little downtown gem, Corked Wine Bar 83 Regent St. http://corkedwinebar.ca/ . Stop in and see Charlotte, she is more than than a wine bar, don’t let the name fool you. She has a vast array of drinks to wet your whistle and some lovely appies to serve up.
Here are Charlotte’s Top 3 favourite drinks for the beginning of patio season which are crisp and light.
1-Cucumber Basil Gin Smash is da bomb
It’s refreshing, mild and savory, perfect for the hot days and its low calorie too if that is of a concern using club soda instead of tonic water.
Take a generous amount of fresh basil (about 8-12 large leaves) and muddle with 1.5oz gin (Charlotte uses Gin Thuya but you could use another)
Strain into a tall glass with ice and top with club soda
garnish with cucumber strips
2. Spiked Mimosas
Charlotte is a fan of skipping the juice and …so am I and pumping up mimosas with flavoured spirits such as Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka.
3 oz of sparkling wine
1 oz flavoured spirit
The beginning of patio season, sangria is a must. Charlotte enjoys light and crisp white versions but they are perfect no matter how you make them, using up any ingredients you have on hand. Easy to whip up quickly when unexpected guests arrive!
In a pitcher combine:
1 btl of dry white value wine (if you like a sweeter version you could use a sweeter wine or add in simple syrup to taste)
4 oz peach schnapps (adds a touch of sweetness and ripe fruit tones)
add sliced lemon, lime and apple (if adding green grapes, slice them to get the added benefit of the juice)
add ice and top with club soda or sparkling wine
Let There be Music Drink and….FOOD
Don’t get caught up in the trap I find myself in more than I should, prepare ahead.
Enjoy your time with everyone instead of scrambling in the kitchen to finish the food. Choose a menu that can be mostly prepared ahead of time and have simple snacks on hand while you finish up cooking.
Some of the best parties I have thrown with my wife have been the success of great tunes, simple cool and crisp drinks and easy and yummy snacks and simple wholesome food.
Lee and I hope this blog will be of some assistance to you as you enjoy the upcoming summer nights. Be safe, have fun and make some great memories everyone
Happy Summer !
Lori ~ Lee