Cocktail Party Ideas for Summer Cocktail Parties

Summer is under way and what isn’t a better time than now to throw cocktail parties.  Here are some cocktail party ideas that don’t take much time to produce and won’t break the bank!

For starters, let’s look at the cocktail party menu.  Keep it light and simple.  Slice chunks of various kinds of vegetables, skewer them, place the skewers in a simple marinade of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, season with salt and pepper if desired and then grill or roast the marinated skewers.

Want to mix it up a bit? For outdoor cocktail parties, stick the finished skewered vegetables in a bed of wheat grass and there you have a grilled vegetable garden!  Or place the finished vegetables on a platter and decorate the platter with loose flowers such as cymbidium orchids or Gerber daisies.

I recently attended a cocktail party at Brookfield Properties where the caterer created a great cocktail party menu that included Macadamia nut crusted chicken lollipops.

Other menu items can include European cheeses with dates and figs, sliced toasts and crackers.

Have some fun serving your appetizers by using a shot glass at cocktail parties. Create a conversation piece by serving either skewered shrimp with a shot glass of cocktail sauce or soups such as gazpacho or cucumber served in a shot glass.  Good old-fashioned milk and cookies where the tray includes shots of cold milk with a side of mini cookies is always fun too.

And since it is summertime, for your outdoor cocktail parties it’s always fun to include tray-passed mini-burgers (can be beef, turkey or veggie) and of course the all-time favorite mini-hot dogs.

Other fun cocktail party ideas include creating an all white themed summer event with a white fabric gazebo such as Brookfield Properties recently produced at their cocktail party.  You can rent a 10’ x 10’ canopy and then use sheer fabric to swag the sides of the tent.  You may need to bring in a tenting company to help with the small tent but you can buy the fabric yourself to create the swags.

Add some color to your white cocktail parties with colored glass décor items such as vases and marbles for your buffet display as seen in the first picture.  Flowers too can be fun and colorful yet simple such as the arrangement pictured below. (For more flower arranging ideas check out pages 59 to 64 in Budget Bash.)

And for drinks, here are some cocktail party ideas that are refreshing and cool for the summer.  One cocktail party menu idea is to make your own spa water.  Just add any of the following to water and let sit for a bit:

•    Fresh raspberries or strawberries
•    Citrus such as lemons or oranges
•    Cucumbers
•    Herbs such as mint or basil

If you prefer serving alcoholic beverages for cocktail parties, think about adding to your beverage menu sangria, mohitos or flavored martinis such as lemon, cucumber or watermelon. (For some cocktail party martini recipes, look at pages 87 and 88 in Budget Bash.)

I hope you found these cocktail party ideas helpful for your summer cocktail parties.  Keep your cocktail party menu fun and light and when throwing a cocktail party remember the Budget Bash mantra: make it simple, delicious, stylish, fun & economical to all!

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