As soon as the temperature increases, so does the frequency of dining alfresco. When it’s nice out, no one wants to spend time indoors unless they have to, and that includes while eating. Dining outdoors can be enjoyable and relaxing, no matter where you live.
When you were attending your Texas culinary school, you probably learned all about popular restaurants with alfresco dining. It’s no secret that restaurants with great patios get a lot of the action, so why not try to recreate the atmosphere? Summer is a great time to throw an outside dinner party. For some, pulling off alfresco dining at home can be daunting. Here are some tips to creating and hosting your perfect outdoor dinner party:
Invest in an ice bucket
If it’s a breezy Austin night or sweltering 95 degree weather, people will want cool drinks. No one likes a watery cocktail on a hot summer night. Try investing in an ice bucket or two to keep on the table. That way, your guests have easy access to cold beverages throughout the night. Whether they’re choosing to partake or not, they’ll be thanking you for the cool hydration.
In addition, trays filled with ice can also work to keep fresh fruit cool. That way, you won’t have to cut it outside. Prep the fruit inside and put it in the tray to keep it cold and refreshing.
Create a comfortable environment
The biggest concern of guests when dining outside is having to deal with the natural elements. For protection from sunlight, add an oversized outdoor umbrella. This will allow your guests to shield themselves from the sun should they need to. It also can add a little personality to your event. Oversize umbrellas come in various colors and patterns. Choose one that represents you the best for your get-together.
Another inevitable annoyance is mosquitos. Though your guests can load up on repellent, sometimes these insects just hang around. Try lighting citronella candles around the space to give your party some ambiance and to protect your guests. These candles release a light, plant-based scent that is effective but not too overpowering. That way, it won’t interfere with the aroma of your delicious feast.
Stock a bar cart for easy transport
Unless you’re lucky enough to have an outside bar, a cart will be your best friend. This will allow you to easily transport beverages back and forth whenever you need to stock up. Choosing alcohol options can be tricky, however. Although flavored alcohol can be tempting, it’s best to stick to the basics like whiskey, vodka, tequila and gin. If you know your guests’ favorite liquors, add those too! Make sure to stock the cart with all the essentials like glasses, plates, ice and ice bucket, a cocktail shaker and swizzle sticks. Cut up a few lemons or limes and set them out for your guests as well.