Warm summer nights, gathering with friends, and basking in the season’s nostalgia is at the top of our list for the upcoming months. We’ve gathered our favorite tips for hosting, from what to serve to what to listen to, and everything in between for your Memorial Day get-together.
Even the most experienced hosts can relate to the overwhelm of the final hour before guests arrive. Panic-washing dishes and tidying the house, delegating to whoever will listen to put out the pitchers of water and set the right playlist on Spotify.
What if, instead of the last-minute rush, we go back to the ease of ‘set and forget. Make-ahead dishes + drinks allow you, the host, to be present and at peace and really, truly enjoy their guests, the conversation, and the precious time we have together.
The “easy” is in the prep, and here’s what you’ll need:
Libations - Quench everyone’s thirst! We like to anticipate what our guests will need so they feel comfortable and at home. Fill a large cooler filled with Waterloo, Mexican Coke, flat water, and beer, as well as a make-your-own mimosa bar with berries and assorted juices.
Cocktails - You know It’s ‘mint’ to be so create your own Mojito bar! Put out some rum, sliced limes, club soda, simple syrup, a muddler, a shot glass, and mint of course… To elevate your mojitos, add some diced watermelon, strawberry, and blueberry! The recipe will be to add a few mint leaves, slices of lime, and simple syrup to taste and then muddle the ingredients. Then add 1.5 ounces of rum and fill with club soda and there you have it!
Bites - Say 'Cheese!' with an overflowing fruit and cheese board with nuts, snacks, baguette, and honey for drizzling. The key is to add beautiful pinch bowls and ramekins for the smaller snacks and fill the tiny spaces on the board with delightful surprises, like dolma, sliced figs, dried apricot, and truffled cheese crisps.
Meal - Let’s taco bout it, shall we!? Create a taco bar for an easy buffet that will please everyone’s dietary needs. have both flour and corn tortilla options and include different fillings such as meat, beans, guacamole, sautéed vegetables, and shredded cheese. Don’t forget to have at least 2 salsas, one green, and one red - This is Texas after all!
Dessert - It’s hot out there y’all so make an ice cream bar for more delicious help-yourself action. Grab your favorite three ice cream flavors and place them out buffet style, surrounded by toppings like sprinkles, chocolate, and caramel syrup, whipped cream, and of course, maraschino cherries! Our favorite tip? Ice cream scoops can be stored on the table in patriotic mugs of warm water to keep the scoops clean and ready for the next guest to help themselves!
Decor - The Memorial Day holiday is about remembering the men and women who gave their lives for our country, so a proper tribute incorporates patriotic color motifs. Simple is beautiful, and just add some red, white, and blue decor and you will be all set. One idea we love is setting your table with a red, plaid tablecloth and using blue-and-white plates, bowls, glasses, and vases to create a layered look. Don;t forget to reuse what you can for the 4th of July!
Flowers - Trader Joe’s flowers are unparalleled with great prices and selections. We’re loving their roses, in red, for the holiday! Accessorize your buffet table with these beauties, and add a bunch of lavender to freshen up your bathrooms for your guests.
Playlist - Set the mood! Stream a 4th of July playlist on your favorite platform or make your own! Here are Billboard magazine's suggestions to get you started: