It’s not even summer yet and already people are ditching their desks and heading for the beach and backyard barbecues. Sure you’ll need great food and fabulous music but what else makes an outdoor soiree a success? I asked entertainment expert Mindy Kobrin from Meals on Heels by Mindy for her outdoor-party checklist.
A giant umbrella shields party guests from the blazing afternoon sun and some hanging Buitenlantaarn (outdoor lantern) lights will illuminate the table come nightfall.
Mix citronella candles with other colorful tea lights to keep away pests and offer diners light cotton shawls to ward off a chill in the evening.
Fragrant DIY Misters
Give guests a gift that keeps giving by using small spritzer bottles as natural hydraters. Simply add fresh mint and lavender sprigs to each spritzer bottle before filling with water. Affix cute labels and serve on a large platter.
People love music at events. But you have to be careful with what you pick. Do you want background music? Or loud dancing music? If you are after a classy event then you should hire a corporate band or if you want to save some money just get the radio on or play some of your favourite songs from your phone.
It’s always better to have liquor left over then to run dry at your party. Depending on the size and length of your party, these basic quantities will help your four-hour soirée flow:
1. One 750 milliliter bottle of wine pours 4-6 glasses
2. One 750 milliliter bottle of spirits provides approximately 14-16 drinks
3. Signature cocktail ratio is two and a half drinks per guest
4. Mixers should be stocked at one liter for each type for a party crowd of 15 guests or less
5. If using plastic cups, estimate each guest will use three cups during the party
Plenty of Ice
Lots of ice is vital for any cocktail party so have back-up bags of ice cubes and bags in your freezer. Before your party, check inside your freezer and make sure you have plenty of crushed ice or cubes on hand. You’ll need at least one 10-pound bag of ice per four guests or approximately eight cubes crushed per drink.
If you have some extra time, guests will enjoy this special added touch to garnish your signature cocktail!
Couture Ice Cubes
Fresh raspberries, well-rinsed
Fresh blueberries, well-rinsed
Fresh mint leaves, well-rinsed and patted dry
Silicon ice trays
Fill ice trays only half full with water. Alternating the fresh fruit and mint leaves, place one raspberry, one blueberry and one mint leaf inside each cube holder. Freeze trays. Remove from freezer and add water to each cube until full. Refreeze. These cubes are a perfect potion garnish!
Mindy Kobrin is an entertaining and celebrations expert and believes entertaining should be flavorful, fun and fashionable. A former member of Daniel Boulud’s culinary team at Feast & Fetes, Mindy helped orchestrate special events from the Jazz Aspen Festival to the South Beach Food & Wine Festival. With her company, Mindy’s Meals on Heels she uses her experience to fuse travel, fashion and food to create menus and parties with international flare and panache.