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 Pimms. 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.
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!
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!
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:
- Add a 400g tin of pineapple into a large bowl with the juice
- Add a packet of frozen raspberries
- Finish by pouring in 1 litre of apple juice and 1.5 litres of sparkling water
Keep little hands safe by giving them a picnic tumbler to drink from.
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 will make 6 bottles, while beer kits will make a huge 40 pints!
Top tip: Plan ahead if you’re homebrewing, most wines and beers take around 3 weeks to make.
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! And you could always add a fun twist to your drinks by using a tray with cool shapes.
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.