How to Host the Most Memorable Summertime Celebration
Your go-to guide for inspiration, with tips from expert entertainers for any summertime celebration
The long days of summer call for adventure, relaxation, and spending quality time with quality people. When you’re playing host for any gathering—whether it’s an all-out dinner party or just a casual afternoon get-together with close friends—a few subtle details can make it all the more memorable. We’ve put together a no-fuss guide inspired by a few of our favorite hosts so you can entertain with elegance and thoughtfulness, no matter the occasion.
Making an impression is all about the details. Get creative with the color scheme and express it through florals or a tablescape. For a party Laura Vinroot Poole hosted in honor of her friend Irene Neuwirth, she decorated the scene with colors inspired by Neuwirth’s opalescent jewelry line. If you’re going for a themed occasion, look to Sasha Bickoff’s sea-inspired fête (above) which included seashell motifs, a seafood-driven menu, and festive specialty cocktails (on-theme attire not pictured). Go the extra mile and fix up an easy raw bar with oysters, which pair exquisitely with Casa Dragones Joven.
2. Make it Personal
Handwritten name cards are a simple yet thoughtful touch to make the dining table more welcoming. For an extra-special gathering, consider a personalized, hand-signed bottle of Casa Dragones Joven to perfectly commemorate the occasion.
3. Brighten the Mood
The right lighting can transform an atmosphere. According to entertaining expert (and Instagram icon) Athena Calderone, candlelight is the most flattering, but for the right space, stringing twinkling lights overhead can make for an equally cozy and picturesque setup. For the DIY-inclined, take notes from New York–based event planner Sam Masters, who creatively adorned paper lanterns with tassels and fringe for a Chinatown-inspired dinner party for textiles brand Voutsa in Manhattan.
4. Have a Well-equipped Bar
And that means stocking beautiful glassware and accessories as much as it does quality spirits (we love our set of Christofle crystal tumblers, above). When guests arrive, greet them with a refreshing drink. A simple Dragones Rocks makes for an elegant and warm welcome. Plus, it means you won’t be stuck messing with fancy garnishes, cocktail shakers, or sticky counters.
5. Serve Festive Drinks
Good libations are key. For a larger get-together, consider hiring a bartender and give our cocktail recipe collection a visit when planning the menu (best to let a pro handle the more intricate recipes in there, anyway). If you’re playing mixologist, try an easily batch-able cocktail such as the Marquis Margarita or Oprah’s favorite, the Pink Panther.
6. Make a Seasonal Menu
Athena Calderone recommends going the simple route with hearty one-pot or make-ahead meals (think: a seasonal salad or a braised meat dish that can be made the night before). Or for an elevated dining experience, impress your guests with a menu or single course paired with Casa Dragones Joven for a culinary experience that fully immerses the senses. Peruse our library of chef pairings for inspiration.
Bonus tip: If you’re on the other end of an invitation, don’t forget a thoughtful token of gratitude for the host. Consider the Casa Dragones Blanco half bottle for its portable size and gift-ready box.
(FROM TOP) Photo courtesy Gately Williams. Photo courtesy Carl Timpone. Photo courtesy Jenna Peffley (L); Personalized Casa Dragones Joven Bottle (R). Photo courtesy Architectural Digest. MAG Festival 2018 in San Miguel de Allende. Dragones Rocks. Pink Panther (L); Photo courtesy Athena Calderone (R).