Here at Wilko, we love nothing more than being outdoors and enjoying our great British summer. And what better way to make the most of the sunshine when it appears than by throwing a garden party for family and friends?

Whether you’re planning a casual affair with a few friends or a huge family get together, arguably the host’s most important job is to keep the drinks flowing! Serving drinks doesn’t have to be hard work and a little preparation beforehand can really set the scene for a party to remember. So fire up the BBQ, grab a sun lounger and let us inspire you to entertain in style this summer.

Raise a glass

Large drink dispensers are great for saving time as you don’t have to keep topping up guests’ drinks. Drinks that work really well in large containers include punch, sangria and Pimm’s. We absolutely love drinking sangria when the sun’s out and it’s so easy to make. Simply mix together 3 parts red wine with 2 parts lemonade and 1 part orange juice. You could even make your own red wine at home to save the pennies.

Our beehive drink dispensers are perfect for summer cocktails and our co-ordinating beehive drinking jars will complete the look. They even come with re-usable drinking straws and you can choose from four colours; pink, blue, green or clear.

Top tip: Don’t forget to add some fresh fruit to the top. Strawberries, lemons and oranges will add an extra burst of flavour and colour to the mix.

Layer it up

Not every party needs alcohol and there are plenty of alternatives you can try that your guests are guaranteed to love. On a hot summer’s day, nothing beats a freshly made smoothie and you can really have fun with colours and flavours.

Why not create a layered smoothie? They’re easier than you think and are bound to impress your guests. Simply make up three different smoothie flavours (of different colours) and pour each smoothie into a separate cup. Leave to chill in the freezer for 10 minutes then pour your heaviest smoothie into the bottom and layer up! A handled Kilner jar will show off your creation perfectly!

Top tip: Save time rushing in and out of the kitchen making smoothies by preparing your ingredients the night before. Simply chop your fruit, separate into tumbler size portions, pop in a freezer bag, label and freeze. When you’re ready to make another smoothie all you’ll need to do is chuck all the ingredients straight into the blender and whizz together with liquid!

kilner drinks jars

Mocktails for mini guests

The kids needn’t feel left out either as there are plenty of mocktails they can get involved in making. We love this super easy sparkling punch recipe:

  1. Add a 400g tin of pineapple into a large bowl with the juice
  2. Add a packet of frozen raspberries
  3. Finish by pouring in 1 litre of apple juice and 1.5 litres of sparkling water

Keep little hands safe by giving them a plastic tumbler to drink from. These colourful tumblers come with a twisty straw that little ones will love!

Top tip: Pop a few gummy bears into the bottom of the tumbler for an extra treat!

Brew your own

Keeping your guests fed and watered can be expensive. Before you know it you’ve spent your budget and still not bought any bangers or burgers for the BBQ! A great way of keeping costs down is to brew your own wine and beer. Once you’ve bought the essential tools an average wine kit costs around £9 and will make 6 bottles. Beer kits are around £10 and will make a huge 40 pints!

Top tip: Plan ahead if you’re homebrewing, most wines and beers take around 3 weeks to make.

And….chill

Make sure your guests keep their cool by having plenty of ice to hand. Just remember to fill up your ice cube trays in plenty of time! Bring a tropical twist to your drinks with this brilliant pineapple ice cube tray.

For something a little different, why not add a small piece of fruit into each section of the ice cube tray before filling with water? When the water freezes you’ll have unique and colourful ice cubes, especially if you mix and match with lots of different types of fruit. Try sprigs of mint too – ideal for giving your drink a refreshing lift.

Top tip: Have a go at freezing fruit instead of water to make ice cubes with a twist. Grapes, blueberries or raspberries are perfect and will naturally flavour your drink as they melt.

We’d love you to share your recipes and summer favourites with us too. Get in touch via our Facebook or Twitter page @LoveWilko.

Shop all your summer essentials online at wilko.com

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