The Guide to Hosting The Perfect Summer Happy Hour
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere... It's Friday and the heat of a gorgeous summer day is winding down. A sign it's ready for you to unwind and relax. It is time to pull out the cocktail glasses and appetizer plates. Today, we share with you a 5 step guide to achieve the perfect happy hour in the comfort of your own home.
Step 1: Timing
We all have invited over guests who may have overstayed their welcome. You love them to death, but you are ready to hit the hay. It is important to invite your guests with the clear idea that there will be food and drink, but that this is not a dinner party. This will prevent the awkward lingering and questioning of when the night is supposed to end. The perfect time frame for a happy hour is around 5-7pm. This two hour time frame allows you adequate time to enjoy quality moments with your friends and to catch up on life without anyone feeling rushed.
Step 2: Decor
Making your happy hour festive and appealing to the eye does not require party planners or extensive purchases. No matter the size of the space, or whether it is indoor or outdoor, there are a few simple ways to brighten it up with some extra oomph. A summer flower arrangement adds an amazing touch. Ensure to gear towards in season flowers such as: peonies, hydrangeas, sunflowers, roses, and carnations. Add a decorative table runner or cloth for color. If you are hosting indoors, a citrus or tropical candle will create a lovely summer aroma. If you are hosting outdoors, add warm lit string lights for an intimate feel!
Step 3: Atmosphere
The hour (or hours) must be happy to make it a true happy hour. That means working towards good energies and immaculate vibes. However, with good friends, good food, and good drinks, that should not be too difficult of a task. As a hostess, the more stress-free, the better. I recommend laying your food and drinks on one platform- whether that be a kitchen island, a long patio table, or a coffee table. People love to gather around all the goodies and chat. As it is a summer day, ensure all sunlight possible is coming through as well as windows open for a fresh breeze. I also recommend playing a fun summer playlist in the background.
Step 4: Food
One of the hardest parts about being a hostess is preparing the food. However, remember what I said..let's keep the happy hour happy and the hostess stress-free. With that said, I am going to share a few bite-sized appetizers that can be easily prepared beforehand. These recipes do not require a reheat, which means you will not have to awkwardly excuse yourself to go prep the food. Additionally, let us save ourselves some cleanup as these dishes also do not require the guests to use utensils :)
- Caprese Skewers
- Cherry tomatoes: Use a mix of colors if preferred
- Fresh Basil
- Fresh Mozzarella Balls
- Olive oil
- Balsamic glaze or vinegar
- Black Pepper
- Italian seasoning (optional)
Array how you would like on a mini skewer and enjoy!
2. Corn Bean Salsa
- Corn: Preferably fresh but canned works
- White Beans
- Jalapeno: Optional but add some spice
- Italian Dressing
- Lime Juice
- Dash of Olive Oil
Combine all the ingredients above into one large bowl. Add in as much or as little as you want in regards to the liquid ingredients. Let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Serve aside your favorite tortilla chips. Enjoy!
3. Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini
- Olive Oil
- Goat Cheese
- Strawberries thinly sliced
- Balsamic (optional)
- Mint (optional)
1. Cut the baguete into little slices, coat in olive oil, and bake on broil for 2-3 mins
2. Spread the goat cheese onto the crostini
3. Add two thinly sliced strawberries on top
4. Top with a balsamic glaze and mint (optional)
Dig in :)
Step 5: Drinks
And last..but certainly not least..are the beverages. I suggest providing a supply of chilled sparkling water, kombucha, beer, and wine for those who may not fancy liquor. This will provide options for all of your guests to sip on. I commonly enjoy sparkling water with fresh sliced fruit such as lemons or oranges. As for wine options, gear towards a Rosé or crisp white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Hard Kombucha has also made its mark this summer if you feel your guests may fancy that over beer.
Your beverage choice really depends on your understanding of your guests. If you know all guests are wine lovers-stick to an assortment of wine. If you are unsure on your guests preferences, an array like the ones listed above is best. I have also shared my favorite summer cocktail- a cucumber margarita. Why it's my favorite? It is crisp and fresh and it is low in sugar :) It is also equally delicious made as a mocktail
1. Cucumber Margarita
Ingredients for 1 Drink:
- 1/2 ounce Silver Tequila
- 1/2 ounce Lime Juice
- 1/2 ounce Triple Sec
- 1/2 ounce Cucumber Juice
- Jalapeño (optional)
- Salt (for rim)
Go To KiraGrace Happy Hour Looks
With your happy hour commonly taking place shortly after your long work hours, the ideal outfit is something you feel confident and beautiful in while at the same time feeling comfortable. I have provided a few outfits for inspiration featuring our new collection, Simple Elegance, as well as our Dress Shop. The Sketched Floral Wide Leg Pant is so chic and paired with the Luxe Ruched Tank makes it even better. If you want to keep yourself cool, another option is the Long Razor Back Tank paired with a short. Finally, and my personal favorite, the KiraGrace High Neck Dress. This dress is made with an ultra soft fabric and can be dressed up or dressed down. Add some earrings and a vibrant lip and you are ready to go!