Creating the right vibe for a great summer party is an art—one that Danielle and Jodie Snyder of accessories line Dannijo (opens in new tab) have perfected. Because we all know it's a *bit* more than just opening a bottle of vodka and inviting some friends over (#RIPCollege), here are their six easiest ways to class things up/make your party that much more memorable.
"Always have more on hand than you think you'll need so the party doesn't end earlier than expected! Also, try setting up make-your-own-cocktails stations. A fun and easy way to do this is to start with a Cointreau Rickey and have a variety of fresh fruits and herbs available to add—it's a great interactive element for parties, encourages socializing, and takes some of the prep pressure off you!"
Cointreau Rickey Recipe
"It's easy to make with three simple ingredients: Cointreau, a spritz of lime juice and club soda." Then add the fruit/umbrellas/those twisty straws you finally have a reason to break out.
2 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3-4 oz. Club Soda
Pour Cointreau and fresh lime juice into a glass.
Add ice, top with club soda and stir.
Garnish with a lime and orange zest.
You don't have to go over-the-top with complicated meal—simple, bite-sized food paired with great summer cocktails (opens in new tab) are all you need. (Besides, no one wants to carry an unwieldy plate around during a party anyway, so stick to smaller, easier stuff!) "During the summer, we love to have a mixture of hor d'oeuvres, cocktail infused popsicles (opens in new tab), and fruit-inspired desserts."
"When it comes to seating arrangements, mix it up. For dinner parties we like to help foster conversations by seating each person by someone they know and someone they don't. This way everyone feels comfortable and has the opportunity to connect with interesting new people."
"Use lighting to set the tone of your soirée. We love the look of an event lit by candlelight, so the more candles the better. You can also create interesting candle vignettes with melted wax for high-impact mood." (Pssst...you can also nab lights that just *look* like candles (opens in new tab). You know, as a safety precaution.)
"Beautiful flowers add charm to your soiree. Try bringing the outdoors in—from flowers or topiaries on display to freezing ice cubes with flowers to garnish your cocktail."
"In addition to cocktails and food, music is one of the most important elements to ensure guest are having a good time, so make your playlist count." Here's ours:
Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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