All right. It’s July. In the blink of an eye, it’ll be September. Don’t let sweater weather catch you napping, guys. Get while the going is golden. Throw the outdoor party you want to attend this year. The only rule? Keep. It. Simple. We’ve been nattering on about this, with good reason: Even if you’re not A Summer Person, there’s got to be a part of the day you like. Maybe it’s your 6am run before it gets hot, or that 6pm cocktail on the breezy patio. Maybe you’re a “noon on the beach, and bring it, sun” stalwart. Whoever you are, let summertime make feel you fine. Here’s how.
1. Clam Bake
Yes, you clam. (Sorry.) Clam bakes, seafood boils and their ilk are a centerpiece of coastal American living from sea to shining sea for a reason. But as long as you have a decent fishmonger nearby (and, ahem, some of our amazing picking, hammering and shucking gear) you’re good to go even if you’re in the middle of the country. Somebody fetch us some crawfish!
2. Summer Brunch
If you are a brunch person, then you skimmed this article, stopped here, and will go no further. People who do brunch are really into brunch. And the rest of us, well, love to show up for breakfast and not work for it sometimes. So be the hero; throw a come-as-you-are brunch-fest. You can make it potluck (extra credit to guests who bring the tomato tart shown here), but you can also take a gander at our super-simple brunch ideas, including the décor you might covet.
3. Cocktail Party
The season in a glass, anyone? We cannot lie: Our cocktail party ideas are as cooling as they are relaxing. Get your friends to motivate away from that One Bottle of Rosé They Are Actually So Dang Tired Of by promising freezes and punch. Just remember to keep it simple and big-batch oriented whenever possible.
4. Sundae Party
Boy howdy! We have the dry ice, pre-scooped, totally chill sundae-related advice of your soda shop dreams over here. We’ve got sprinkles. We’ve got ice cream scoops. And we’ve got the cool products that make your summer that much sweeter, including a boozy ice cream sandwich set that just lands at your door, thank you very much.
5. Spanish Tapas
Here’s the glorious thing about a tapas party. It’s really just you making a few big vats of sangria (inexpensive wine is OK), setting it in the fridge, having beer and seltzer for those who don’t want it, and then making a few glorious-looking charcuterie boards. Call it “Spanish snacks and sangria” and you are permitted to do as much heavy lifting in the kitchen as you like; marinated olives can carry you, and you don’t have to prepare a full meal.
6. Italian Grill
“What the heck is in these ribs?!” is a reasonable question that might be energetically tossed your way after you present folks with Chefs’ Collective super-chef Angie Rito’s Campari-glazed ribs. Her Italian-American potato salad is equally stellar thanks to a buttery avocado cameo. Yum, yum. Thanks, Angie.
7. Beach BBQ
“Throw the whole fish on the barbie!” may not have the same ring to it, but pretty much any which way you grill seafood is going to rule. (Just please don’t overcook it.) So throw a beach barbie, even if the beach part is in your mind. We’ve got the grilled shrimp instructions you need, the white wine-citrus cocktail you deserve, and the grilled whole branzino to wow the in-laws. Just get on out there. Pretty please.