Gone are the days of the indoor dinner party with summer presenting the perfect opportunity to host an amazing outdoor garden party. Let us show you how!
Summer Garden Party Ideas
With daylight savings now in full swing and balmy afternoons lasting well into the night, there’s no need to rush indoors come 6pm. Make the most of the Kiwi weather by taking the summer season events outside, hosting a summer garden party with these easy but memorable ideas.
Invite your friends
It’s not a party without a group of good mates in attendance to share it with. These days the most effective way to invite people tends to be via Facebook.
Remember it’s all in the description, keep it light, clever and provide the date, time and address well in advance. A good indication is to assume 70% of those who have RSVP’d will actually show up on the day.
Get some food
Light finger food that can be consistently served throughout the event is ideal. You absolutely cannot go wrong with the following crowd pleasers:
- Miniature Brioche sliders (chicken, beef or vegetarian)
- Miniature seafood tacos (prawn or fish)
- Use a mixture of cheeses, meats, dips and chips for the ultimate platter envy.
- For something slightly more substantial wood-fired pizzas are a winner
- Wash it all down with some sweet treats such as fruit kebabs and home-made coconut ice blocks for dessert
- Keep the fire cranking and with a novelty S’more station
Without the constraints of walls the garden party theme allows you to be creative with tonnes of extra outdoor space to play with. Incorporate flowers and plants as much as possible and hang fairy lights for a festive glow.
Stuck for furniture? Don’t waste your precious dollars on matching chairs, utilise the floor and lay down colourful rugs and cushions for guests to sit on.
Wooden pallets are also the perfect height for dining a ‘la floor. Make sure to also put a pile of blankets aside for people to grab as the evening cools. Equally essential at this time of year is a plentiful supply of sunblock and bug spray, your guests with thank you for it!
If your soiree starts slightly earlier then consider organising a couple of simple lawn games such as croquet, petanque or a nostalgic kiwi classic – padder tennis. These are a great way to break the ice and are guaranteed to get people talking.
Get some nice drinks
Serve drinks in mason jars chilled with floral ice cubes made by filling an ice tray a quarter way up and placing edible varieties of flowers facing down before topping up with water and freezing.
Our tips: For extra clear ice cubes use distilled water that has been boiled and allowed to cool.
Satisfy the sober drivers with a homemade lemonade bar. Make sure you have more than enough lime and lemon juice already prepared as well as a few mixer options available. Hopt sodas are a great refreshing and lower sugar choice with flavours such as watermelon and mint, perfectly suited to the occasion. Base quantities on the assumption that each guest will consume 3-4 beverages.
Depending on your personal preference pick a few well-known beer brands or if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment with some of the mix and match craft beers on offer such as the Mac’s, Emerson’s and Panhead ranges. There’s also nothing quite like a thirst-quenching shandy or cider on a hot summer’s day.
Beer Chandy Recipe:
Half (light) beer, half lemonade. Easy as.
For the vino lovers out there, discover all the goodness of a white wine with an exotic, international spin.
White & Rose
There’s no doubt about it the ‘it’ drink this summer (and a must have at any garden party) is Frose.
This frozen edition of Rose is a cheeky take on an icy cold slushy with an adult’s only twist. It can also be made in advance, so you can maximise time spent socializing and minimize time spent cooking.
- Pour 1 bottle of a dark, full-bodied rose such as the Wither Hills Pinot Noir Rose into a pan and freeze until close to solid (approx. 6hrs).
- Bring ½ cup water and sugar to the boil until sugar dissolves.
- Add a handful of strawberries before removing from heat and leaving to sit for 30mins.
- Transfer rose, 1/3 cup lemon juice, strawberry syrup and 1 cup ice into a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Re-freeze until ready to serve.
Champagne & Sparkling Wine
Use champagne and sparkling wine varieties such as Prosecco to carefully craft beautiful cocktails that will blow your friends away. Combine with flavours such as peach, rosemary, elderflower, watermelon, lychee and pomegranate.
Build your own champagne cocktail bar with Lindauer. Provide liquors and fruit juices allowing guests to make their own Mimosas.
In terms of Champagne, you simply can’t go past a quality bottle of Nicholas Feuillatte best experienced straight from the bottle. This drop has earned its Number 1 Title in France for good reason. Hand out glasses on arrival.
Our take on ‘5 Ways with Champagne‘ will provide you with even more inspiration.
Garden Party Cocktail Special LK
While there are hundreds of cocktail recipes out there to pick and choose from, here are a few guaranteed favourites from the Liquor King cabinet… no bartending master classes required.
Pimm’s Enlightened Cup Recipe
- 30mL Pimm’s
- 5 Mint leaves, orange and lemon slices, sliced cucumber
- 75mL Mac’s Brewhouse Ginger Root
- 75mL Mac’s Brewhouse Lemon & Barley
- First fill a highball glass to the brim with ice.
- Add Pimm’s and top with Mac’s Brewhouse Ginger Root and Mac’s Brewhouse Lemon & Barley.
- Garnish with fruit.
Bombay Sapphire Bramble
- 50mL Bombay sapphire
- 20mL fresh lemon
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 15ml Chambord
Mix all ingredients and garnish with berries and lemon slices.