It’s that time of year! Outdoor entertaining is one of my absolute FAVORITE things about summer. There’s just something about enjoying food and drinks (or mocktails for me this year) with friends and family in your own yard.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that Duncan and I have been investing in our backyard this year. We started back in January in anticipation of Four’s first birthday party in January and have been making some big changes over the past five months.
I finally feel like our yard is in a place where we can host people this summer and actually have a nice space to enjoy! As I’m planning out some of the events we’ll be hosting, I also started putting together a few tips and tricks I’ve learned for outdoor entertaining.
First off, stick with refreshing drinks and snacks that everyone can enjoy no matter how warm it is outside. I’ll obviously be enjoying mocktails this year, so I found this delicious recipe for a lemon basil spritzer.
If you live near a World Market, their French Lemonade and Italian Flavored Sparkling Water are SO good and easy to have for those who don’t want a mocktail. I love putting mine in my Julia Berolzheimer ice bucket.
When it comes to food, I always opt for something super easy like sandwiches or appetizers. If we’re having a smaller gathering, Duncan may grill a burger or something, but for larger groups, putting out a few snackable options usually works great!
I found a great recipe for a caprese slider board that is perfect for snacking and isn’t too heavy if it’s warm outside. My biggest tip for serving food is to go with dishes that won’t break like this shatterproof melamine set from Amazon. It’s so pretty and nearly impossible to break!
I’ve linked several of my other outdoor entertaining essentials below and am sharing the full recipes for the lemon spritzer mocktail and caprese slider board. I hope you have a great summer entertaining!
SHOP OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING ESSENTIALS
Lemon Basil Spritzer (via Organic Kitchen)
I love a good lemon-based drink in the summer. We basically always have some sort of lemonade at our house this time of year. So of course, I’m a big fan of a mocktail that uses lemon. I love that this uses sparkling water so it gives you that fizz that normal lemonade doesn’t. And if you want to make this into a cocktail, you could totally add some vodka!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 leaves fresh basil
- 2 lemon wedges
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup or 4-5 drops liquid stevia
- 3/4 cup cold sparkling water
- basil leaves or lemon wedges for garnish
- Place a few basil leaves and 2 lemon wedges in bottom of glass, muddle, crushing the lemon wedges and basil together
- Add lemon juice and either simple syrup or stevia drops, and muddle more. Then pour tonic water into glass.
- Add a few ice cubes, and garnish with additional basil and lemon wedges if desired.
Caprese Slider Board
I’m all about a good burger or steak on the grill during summer, but it can also be nice to stick with lighter options like caprese sliders. Let’s be honest, really any excuse to bust out the Hawaiian slider rolls is great. There’s definitely no official recipe for this, but I wanted to share what I used to put together this caprese slider board.
- Sliced mozzarella
- Sliced tomato
- Hawaiian slider rolls
- Basil leaves
- Fresh cherries
- Cherry preserves
- Balsamic vinegar glaze
- Apricots and Marcona almonds for garnish
- Slice your tomato and mozzarella
- Prune your basil leaves
- Toast your Hawaiian slider rolls if you wish!
- Assemble all ingredients on your favorite charcuterie board for easy slider assembly for your guests
- Drizzle the balsamic glaze over your mozzarella slices
- Add honeycomb and cherry preserves for extra spread flavors on your slider
- Sprinkle cherries, apricots and marcona almonds in the gaps if your board assembly for extra grazing snacks!
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