Girls Night In with Monica Hart: Summer Entertaining

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There’s something so chic about a summer cocktail party, especially alfresco style! With a little imagination, DIY and a few pretty vintage extras, you can pull off a summer soiree that’s fresh, feminine and filled with understated glamour and charm. This glam gathering starts with a ‘tipsy garden.’  Yes, tipsy!

Inspired by the great garden read, The Drunken Botanist, I dug in and you can, too. First recycle an old metal tub. Give it some budget-friendly sophistication with a fresh coat of gold paint. Next, add a layer of gravel for drainage and great soil and then get planting.

This DIY tipsy tub features aromatic herbs, solely for my simple cocktail syrups. I’ve planted everything from lovely lavender to rose-scented geranium.

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Just a sprig or two, gives a classic cocktail a flirty, herbaceous twist which makes it simple to create your own signature cocktails and really wow your guests! I call this 'pretty in pink' number, the rose geranium drop. It’s seriously simple. Here’s the how-to for two:

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Rose Geranium Simple Syrup

Simmer two rose geranium leaves in 1-cup sugar to 1-cup water for 5-minutes. Add a SCANT drop of rose water, cool, chill and strain to make a fresh and fragrant cocktail sweetener. Keeps in the fridge for a week.

The ingredients: 

  • 2 parts Rose Geranium Simple Syrup
  • 2 parts good vodka
  • 2 parts Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • splash of grenadine

The method:

  1. Juice and sugar the rim of your glasses.
  2. Pour ingredients into a martini shaker, add ice and shake.
  3. Pour and serve.

I poured the gloriously rosy liquid into a mid-century pitcher and served it in vintage etched glasses.

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But wait, there is more! Heavenly scented petite rose geranium and champagne ice pops make this summer cocktail ultra-special and a bit of a showstopper. *LOVE* You can find my recipe for the icy treats HERE.

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Now for the party décor & entertaining essentials:

I rolled out an inexpensive painters drop cloth I dressed up with gold paint {DIY HERE} and pulled out ceramic garden stools. A ‘chippy’ vintage-rolling cart makes a great garden cocktail bar and an inexpensive white tray from Target rounds up my bar goods. Garden-variety roses look lovely in a pretty RECYCLED tea tin while treasured, transplanted peonies from my mother’s garden add a personal touch.

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Striped straws and little mermaids make great glass embellishments and add some whimsical summer charm. Simple sweet and savory bites in vintage, gold and glass bowls wait in the wings and mini jewel-like caprese skewers taste as fresh as they look.

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With a few fun extras and a little DIY you can recreate the look. Everything is coming up roses for this summer cocktail party, served on an antiqued mirror platter.

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The cocktail flag is up…here’s to a simple, yet stylish summer soiree.

Cheers, 

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Written by lifestyle specialist Monica Hart
Stylist: Monica Hart – La Famiglia Design
Photography by Stefanie Knowlton, Stefanie Knowlton Photography