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Can you believe Memorial Day weekend is here? As do most people, I always view Memorial Day as the official kickoff to summer, which of course means a great excuse to throw a party. Knowing we’d be out of town for actual Memorial Day, I got a head start on the celebrations over the weekend. I love how bright the SVEDKA Stars and Stripes is so I knew it had to be the star of the party. The beautiful weather played right into my plans and we were able to spend the evening out on our deck for the first time since we bought our house in January.
To start I focused on setting up the bar. I wanted to keep the signature cocktail light and refreshing so I paired the SVEDKA Stars and Stripes vodka with lime flavored sparkling water, and added in a handful of fruit to each drink. Have you ever had berries soaked in sparkling water? So good! Our bar cart is almost always stocked with SVEDKA vodka because it’s an accessibly priced import and is a great tasting vodka.
This “bar cart” is actually an Ikea utility cart that we use in the winter time to store our gloves and scarves in our coat closet. I finally feel like it’s safe to put all the winter gear so up to the deck it went! The cart is on the smaller side, so I kept only the essentials for mixing up a good cocktail on the cart.
To add a little height and color to my bar cart, I used red gift boxes I had been keeping in my closet forever now. (I knew I was keeping them for a reason!). For the star banner, I just cut the stars from red glitter paper and secured them with tape to twine.
Whenever I’m mixing up cocktails for parties I always keep the alcohol separate from the mixer for several reasons. One, if I have a guest who doesn’t want to, or can’t drink, they can still enjoy a mocktail, second if there is any leftover I don’t have to waste the alcohol by throwing it out, and three it gives guests the chance to make their drinks as weak or strong as they would like. I kept the pitcher of sparkling lime water on the table so we could easily refill our drinks throughout the night.
Given that we were dining outside, I kept the tablescape fairly simple with a few red, white and blue decor elements. I used navy placemats and napkins and then added a napkin ring that I DIY’d using a small piece of red, white and blue garland. I attached the garland to white ribbon and then tied the ribbon to the napkin. You’ll also notice that I used this same garland to make “sparkler” swizzle sticks.
Plastic cups are a necessity outside so I picked up these cups for the occasion. They were too perfect! I also filled small candle votives with red glitter and tea lights. It’s a little windy on our deck so it was difficult to keep them lit, but I liked the sparkle they brought to the table.
A nice, unexpected touch to even the most casual dinner party is some sort of favor. For this party I picked up red, white and blue sunglasses to give out. They will be great to use again on the 4th of July!
I’ll be celebrating Memorial Day in a very un-American way in Canada, but you can bet I’ll be putting some of these party ideas to use when I celebrate 4th of July with Brett’s family in Charleston!
Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of SVEDKA Stars and Stripes vodka this weekend for your Memorial Day parties! For more great summer entertaining and cocktail recipes, be sure to check out the SVEDKA Celebrate the Summer website.