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Last Minute Summer Party Ideas

I cannot believe it’s already August! As far as I’m concerned, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. And since I don’t have to go back to school, I figure why not enjoy the warm weather and stretch out the relaxed summer vibe a bit longer! Below I’ve come up with a few ideas for no-fuss summer entertaining (all built around a summer beverage) that feel right at home in August… or September.


Since ceramics always play a big part in my own party planning, I created a special section of the Emilia Ceramics website with pieces that are perfect for warm-weather entertaining. Check out all the ideas for Summer Parties here >>

It all begins with a beverage

Summer parties are fun in so many ways (think swimming pools, burgers, warm nights, beautiful sunsets, croquet and corn hole) but one of the best parts is the ice cold beverage in your hand during all those activities. Everybody has their favorite, but these three drinks are crowd-pleasers that don’t require much work. What I like best is that whichever drink you choose, you can then plan an entire party around it. Of course, you might still need to offer some beer and Pinot Grigio (for the less adventurous) but these drinks really do make the party.



My favorite margarita is a strong margarita. Here’s a great recipe for a strong pitcher of margaritas that you can make ahead and then serve to your guests upon request. If you’ve chosen the margarita as your party drink, you’ve clearly got a party theme ready to go. Everyone loves a taco bar where they can load theirs just as they like it. Add some chips and guacamole, displayed beautifully on a few Mexican serving platters and your party is complete.

More Ideas: Celebrating Mexican Pottery with an ‘Indian Summer Taco Party’



Nothing elevates a party like Champagne. But Prosecco (the Italian version) and Cava (the Spanish version) are just as tasty and often less expensive. If this is a fancy Champagne-inspired party, dress up your buffet table as well. One of my favorite tricks is having dishware at various heights, like serving cheese and crackers on a footed platter, that’s arranged stylishly next to square plates and oval dishes. The variation is pleasing to the eye and ensures that all your party snacks stand out.

More Ideas: Check out this pinterest photo of a wheelbarrow filled with bubbly!

footed_serving_bowl footed_platter_side_2

Good Ol’ G&T.

Nothing says summer like an ice-cold Gin and Tonic (with lots of fresh lime). It’s so easy, yet oh so satisfying. Gin and Tonics remind me of my mom (she loves them), which then makes me think of her mom and the type of summer entertaining my grandmother probably did 50 years ago. I think of fun, old-fashioned finger foods, like cucumber sandwiches, deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, and crab dip. While these might sound slightly more labor intensive, they’re really all prepped in advance, leaving you to enjoy the party, Gin and Tonic in hand! I picture that my grandmother would have loved serving appetizers from this fun Spanish dish: Caracol Serving Platter.

Are you planning any more summer soirees? What’s your theme… and your drink of choice? If you need inspiration, check out our ideas for Summer Parties or our Party Planning Pinterest Board.