Summer Party Planner

How to Throw a Summer Cocktail Party

Party for 25? Here’s your no-sweat guide to hosting a cozy, colorful, and laid back seasonal fete.

By Heather Summerville
Food and products for summer cocktail partyDavid Meredith

“If there’s a lot to look at on the table, there’s no pressure to serve a culinary masterpiece,” says Molly Hartman, the founder of Glitter + Rye, an event-styling company in Brooklyn. Hartman mixes patterns and deep colors, sometimes tossing in a quirky object, like a vintage globe, as a focal point. She regularly hosts nibbles and drinks for 25-plus. (“Any fewer and the party fizzles when one couple leaves.”) And she quits prepping a half hour before party time to get herself ready. “It’s more important to greet guests with a smile and some lipstick than to have the table perfect.”

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Quick Tip

Blue ice cube tray

A few days before a party, start making ice and storing it in baggies in the freezer.