(NC) - Ambiance plays a major role in the success of any party. Here are a few useful tips to make your gathering memorable, courtesy of the entertaining experts at Ocean Spray:
Arrange comfortable chairs for easy conversation.
Hanging baskets, planters and flowerpots are an instant eye-pleaser. Your local nursery should stock ready-made planters all summer long.
Be prepared for the arrival of irritating insects. Citronella candles are good at keeping bugs away. Remember to cover food, especially the meat and sweet drinks on the table to protect from pesky invaders.
Themes are always a great way to add fun to your outdoor summer party. With a little prep, you could throw: a classic Garden Party complete with a refreshing pitcher of summer punch and classic hors d'oeurvres; a Lobster Boil accomplished with a simple trip to the local market for seafood and fresh breads; Mexican Fiesta complete with piñatas for the kids; or an All-Canadian Backyard Barbecue with the addition of games and races for adults and kids alike.
For children, plan gift bags to keep them entertained, with surprises like inexpensive glow sticks, beach balls, crayons and notepads found in discount stores. In addition, games like croquet and horseshoes will please kids of all ages.
Play a variety of music to appeal to many different tastes. Use a downloadable music website to personalize the entertainment.
Portable outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are a pleasant way to add warmth. Patio heaters will also keep your guests enjoying the summer nights.
Move big indoor cushions and light blankets outside to provide increased comfort for your guests after the sunsets.
Candles, miniature white lights, or hanging paper lanterns will add a relaxed note once the sun goes down.
5 oz Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (2/3cup/ 150ml)
1 1/2 oz tequila (3 tbsp/45ml)
1 1/2 oz lime juice (3 tbsp/45ml)
1/2 oz triple sec (1 tbsp/15ml)
5oz crushed ice (2/3 cup/150 ml)
Strawberry fan, garnish
Put all ingredients except garnish in a blender. Blend on high speed until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Pour into a large glass and garnish with strawberry.