Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get creative when it comes to entertaining. Whether you are gathering adults for a cocktail party or having familes over for a bbq, spin your party in a different direction by adding a theme. One of my favorites is “Cocktails & Croquet.” A favorite summer past-time, croquet is a simple game that can be played with a few or many guests (of all ages, too!). Mix that with a few fabulous cocktails, delicious food and colorful decorations, this party will quickly become one of your best ever.
When it came time to deciding on decor, I took my cue from the colorful balls and stripes from the croquet set. A crisp, blue and green stripe was used on the invitations and paper goods, and red accents were used throughout the party.
After the games are played and it’s time for dinner, escort your guests to a colorful dinner table. A playful, paisley patterned tablecloth is the ideal backdrop to our gorgeous, white centerpiece. White peonies, and hydrangeas accented with yellow billy balls looked fresh and playful with our coordinating stripe pattern wrapped around the vase. Each placesetting held a personalized croquet ball sitting atop a crisp green napkin. It added a playful touch, and extra croquet balls can be easily purchased at sports stores or from online retailers.
Guests were greeted with a simple self-serve bar, set-up on the patio so refills could be attained easily while playing the game. Wine was chilled in a fruit-filled ice bucket that I made using limes, lemons and raspberries (check back later this week for the “how-to” instructions). Lemonade was served in a drink dispenser, with an assortment of ice cubes infused with fruit flavors. These are so simple to make and add a refreshing flavor twist to any basic, summer drink.
We all have our favorite go-to appetizer recipes, especially during the summer. I tend to gravitate towards veggies & dip, a layered taco dip, bruschetta, or fruit of some sort. The fun part comes in the the presentation. Get creative! Make individual servings of your beloved taco dip in mini mason jars, or shrimp shooters in shot glasses with some cocktail sauce at the bottom. Carve out a head of lettuce to hold your veggie dip, instead of placing it in a regular bowl.
I hope my Cocktails & Croquet party has inspired you to put a twist on your typical patio cocktail party!