Summer Hosting Made Simple

Summer Hosting Made Simple

You may have heard of the Dog Days of Summer, that sultry, sweaty period between July 3 and August 11. Known for being among the hottest and most humid days of the year, the Dog Days are little cause for celebration; it’s hard to contemplate fun in the sun when the sun is just plain scorching.

We beg to differ.

Midsummer is the perfect time for beach bashes, backyard barbeques, park picnics and rooftop rumbles. In other words: everyone is getting hot and bothered, so why not take advantage by having a big ol’ summer soiree?

Pulling together a party doesn’t have to be a lot of work, either. Having grown up in the hospitality industry, our founders—Lauren, Abbey and Lexie—know a thing or two about entertaining. Here are a few of their tips for summer hosting made simple.

  1. Pick a theme. Tacos and tequila? New England clam bake? BBQ bonanza? Check, check, check. Selecting a theme for your gathering will drive ALLLLLLL kinds of decisions: menu, decor, cocktail, attire, guest list, invitation and more! Pro tip: pick a theme that is conducive to family-style dining, help from many hands or encourages your guests to sample from a variety of dishes. As host, you’ll want to bop around and mingle with your guests, not crank out individual orders like a short-order cook.


  2. Keep it chill. When temperatures rise, the last thing you want to do is sweat it out over a hot stove—or, sometimes, even a grill! Instead, serve a buffet of chilled dishes that can be prepared in advance and kept on ice, literally, until just before they’re ready to serve. Think ceviche, cold fried chicken, vinaigrette-based pasta salads, plant-based entrees or just about anything with fresh tomatoes, basil and buffalo mozzarella.


  3. Put it on a tray. Just like your bar cart, bathroom counter or perfectly styled console table, any random assortment of condiments, relishes, desserts or dishes looks better when contained on a pretty tray. Galvanized steel lends a utilitarian touch; lacquered wood adds a bit of class; and bamboo or wicker practically screams summer.


  4. Share the love. There’s something classic about a potluck supper. You get to try a million different things, you walk away with a few new recipes and best of all, as the host, you don’t have to do all the work! You supply the main course, then ask all your guests to contribute a side, salad, dessert or drink to the festivities. Bonus points if you share your menu plan in advance so attendees can bring something that fits with the theme. 


  5. Be inclusive. Having a full bar for those who imbibe—or even just a cooler full of beer—is a nice touch at any gathering. It shows your guests you care about their comfort and tastes. But you know what’s even nicer? Having an option that everyone can enjoy. And sure, that includes adding those gorgeous Perrier and Acqua Panna bottles to your bar. However, we’re Spiritless! So you know we’re going to suggest having a non-alcoholic cocktail option available for the no-and-lowers on your guest list. Premix a signature drink that allows your friends to experiment. For bourbon lovers, try our Kentucky 74; if you’re in the mood for tequila, we suggest our Jalisco 55. Both of these non-alcoholic cocktails can be whipped up in advance and kept in the fridge or a cooler until it’s time for the next round. Or you “can” make it even easier on yourself and supply a stash of our new pour-over cocktails.


Here’s hoping your Dog Days of Summer inspire you to frolic with your friends instead of languishing in the heat. Cheers!