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Food & Drink

The Sharp Guide to Elevating Your Summer Soiree

By: Sharp Staff|June 3, 2015



The Location

Standard: Your Kitchen

Elevated: A Picturesque Outdoor Setting

The Food

Standard: Chilled Oysters

Elevated: Bacon Wrapped Scallops

Scallops are decadent on their own, but combined with crisp bacon they are a whole new kind of indulgence. Buy enough large scallops to allow for 2 per person, and enough bacon so you’ll have half a slice for each scallop. Marinate the scallops a few minutes in olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and pepper, then wrap each in bacon and skewer them in pairs. Grill on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes per side (or until the scallops are opaque), set aside a few minutes to cool, then serve to thunderous applause.

The Music

Standard: Home Stereo

Elevated: A Live Band

The right music is essential to any successful party, and the right music for this party comes from real live musicians. Serving paella and tapas? A Flamenco guitar player will bring the ambience to the next level. Steak and lobster? A jazz trio. You get the picture.

The Entertainment

Standard: Karaoke

Elevated: Celebrity Guest List

A variation of the classic “Who Am I” game, this one is perfect for a summer dinner soiree. On a stack of index cards, write the name of a different famous person (one per guest) and fold them in half like place cards. When you’re ready to begin the game, distribute a card to each of your guests, and position it facing away from them (and towards everyone else), making sure they don’t see the name written on it. Each guest must then go around the table asking simple yes or no questions to try and determine the name on their card. Biographical hilarity (and bad impersonations) ensue.

The Cocktail

Standard: Fruit Punch

Elevated: Grey Goose L’Orange & Perrier


1.5 oz Grey Goose L’Orange

3 oz Perrier

2 Lemon Wedges

Fresh Basil Leaves


1. In a glass with ice, squeeze one lemon wedge and discard it.

2. Add Grey Goose L’Orange.

3. Top with chilled Perrier.

4. Garnish with basil and remaining lemon wedge.

The Attire

Standard: Casual

Elevated: Relaxed Summer Suit

The Ambiance

Standard: Candles

Elevated: String Lights

You want to be able to see your food – and your guests – but harsh, direct lighting is the enemy of any good party. Candles are good inside, but outdoors they tend to blow out (not to mention taking up valuable table real estate). The perfect solution is the soft, incandescent glow cast by glass orbs floating overhead. String them over your patio and loop them around trees to strike a balance between visibility and atmosphere.

The Cocktail

Standard: Vodka & Soda

Elevated: Grey Goose & Perrier


1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka

3 oz Perrier

2 Lime Wedges

Sprig of Mint


1. In a glass with ice, squeeze one lime wedge and discard it.

2. Add Grey Goose Vodka.

3. Top with chilled Perrier.

4. Garnish with mint and remaining lime wedge.

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