Throw a Classy Summer Cocktail Party (Like a Real Adult)

Home, Dating, Friends, Lifestyle / Wednesday, July 24th, 2019
Reading Time: 6 minutes

There are a ton of perks when it comes to being an adult, but one of the best perks is being able to throw a classy summer cocktail party for your girlfriends!

Throwing a classy summer cocktail party doesn’t have to be a hard endeavour to accomplish, but there are a few things that you might want to consider to make it a unique, fun and easy party!

Serving Classy Cocktails

While I’m not personally a big drinker, I do love putting together a great cocktail and that means serving classy cocktails. But you can’t throw a classy summer cocktail party without the right serving tools!

Drink dispenser

I’m a sucker for a cute drink dispenser, especially if it’s mason jar style. Though for my summer cocktail parties, I typically serve a summer-themed sangria. 

If you’re going for a non-alcoholic themed party, then you can always throw a juice or a fruit-flavoured water into one. 

Cocktail Glasses

Yes, you do need adorable cocktail glasses for your summer party. Even if you’re not serving cocktails. Everything’s better in a fancy glass (even if it’s disposable). 

While there’s a glass for every cocktail, when it comes to choosing the right ones for your summer cocktail party go with something fun and flirty—really anything will do for a great night with your friends.

Vintage cooler

A vintage cooler is probably not on the must-have list, but why wouldn’t you get one (pending you can afford it)? It’s a great way for you to display your drinks for your summer cocktail party!

Bring on the party food

No summer cocktail party is fit without a delicious spread of food. Whether you’re doing a potluck style party or preparing the food yourself, it’s all about the presentation!


While your typical household dinnerware is no doubt adorable, when it comes to throwing a summer soiree you’ll want to go with a non-breakable set. That’s especially the case if there’s going to be alcohol involved.

What you actually need for plates and bowls highly depends on what you’re serving your guests. Something like the Gibson Home Almira 4-piece set is more appropriate when actual dinner instead of appys are involved.

You could also go with paper plates for an easy clean up, but I’m not personally a fan due to the fact that I don’t think you need the extra trash!

Cheese platter

A cheese platter is my go-to food for any sort of party, but a charcuterie board is a must-have for a summer cocktail party. 

I am a huge fan of cheese boards and happen to own several. I have a wooden cheese board, marble cheese board and even a small personal sized wooden one. While you definitely don’t need as many as I have, it doesn’t hurt to have one on-hand for a soiree. 

What I love so much about putting together a charcuterie board is the fact that you can include anything you like, but you don’t have to include anything you don’t like. 

If you’re a newbie to the board, start with some aged white cheddar, a fruity cream cheese (think raspberry and ditch the Philadelphia) and something smoked, typically I do an applewood.

Fun Cocktail Napkins

While I’m not a fan of the paper plates, I’m cool with cocktail napkins. While this might be a contradiction, I don’t typically have enough fabric napkins to cover a bunch of guests. 

If you’d rather go with a fabric napkin, there are a ton of adorable ones you can find on Amazon!

Cute cake stand

Okay, okay, you certainly don’t need a tiered cake stand, it doesn’t hurt!

The best part is that you don’t have to only display cakes (though they’re great for a summer cocktail party) you can use it for anything. Fruit or appies are both great choices.

You could also use it instead of a cheese board if you want, though I would highly recommend marble or wood because they display and keep cheese better.

Balcony Decor

Your summer cocktail party should probably include an outdoor portion. And by “probably” I mean definitely. But if you’re going to be hosting outdoors, you’re going to need some cute decor. 

Adorable outdoor lanterns

Lighting is key to any great summer cocktail party. There a ton of great outdoor lighting choices, but I’m partial to the cute solar mason jar style. 

I love that they’re a combination between being unique and cute, but also solar-powered. Hang them and cross your fingers for some sunshine, when the sun goes down your party will be lit (no pun intended). 

Fashionable outdoor cushions

If you’re going to be throwing a classy summer cocktail party outside, you’re going to want something comfortable to sit on. Any old kitchen chair can be turned into an outdoor seat with a cute cushion-like these Bohemian Elephant ones.

While you can use any old cushion, the outdoor ones are built to withstand the weather. And if you’re going to be throwing multiple parties, you might want to consider investing.

Decorative tea lights

If you’re looking for a more romantic atmosphere, a set of cute tea light holders like the Kate Aspen Vintage Blue Glass holders is a perfect way to build that vibe. While they don’t give much light, they do give an atmosphere which is perfect for a summer cocktail party.

As long as you have adorable vintage glass holders, you can go with any old tea light. If you’re particularly concerned with safety you can go with a plastic tea light instead.

Tips to keeping your summer cocktail party on a budget 

Throwing a summer cocktail party doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Not all of us have a big pile of money to throw a Gossip Girl-style party for us and our 200 closest friends. And I’ve got a few ideas on how to keep the costs down:

  • Keep it a small crowd. More people means a bigger budget so keep your guest list down.
  • Put together a potluck. Food can be expensive, if you’re on a serious budget a great way to keep costs down is to have everyone bring a little something.
  • Limit your liquor. Don’t offer a full bar—no one is expensive too and it’ll get really pricey really fast. And yes, it is socially acceptable to go with a BYOB scenario.

Cocktail parties are fun, but don’t let them throw your bank account in the red! 

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