Hosting a successful red, white and blue drink tasting in your backyard

14 July, 2014

The Fourth of July is a time of year when friends, family and neighbors gather together to celebrate our nation's independence. Cookouts, firework viewings and pool parties are all common ways people choose to enjoy the holiday, but you can bump your event up a notch. Consider using your backyard as a venue for a sophisticated tasting party that features red, white and blue drinks. As you plan, use these tips to ensure you and your guests have a splendid time:

Plan your drink menu
As drink tasting is the point of your party (not including celebrating the Fourth of July, of course), you need to compile a definitive menu of enjoyable beverages. You can create cocktails that layer liquids of each color, or pick several drinks all of different shades. For example, you might create a menu of white and red wine, and serve a blue martini. Make sure the flavors of your beverage selections vary widely. You want your guests to progress logically through drink flavors. Perhaps start with something light and end with a drink that packs more flavor. For instance, you can begin with sweet white wines, and make your way to dry reds. Avoid opening with hard drinks and instead begin with a drink that has a low alcohol content. 

Create stations
Designating drink stations is an easy way to organize your party and keep traffic moving steadily. You might place a table in each corner of your yard and tell guests which direction to travel to visit each station in the proper drinking order. The Delano Cast Aluminum Cafe Set features a table perfect for hosting a drink station.

Offer food pairing
A Fourth of July celebration that lacks food seems somehow incomplete. You can stick to appetizers with flavors that match those of your drinks. For example, pair a robust red wine with lamb skewers or a light white with a fruity treat. You can always serve a full meal, just don't let it detract from your tasting.

Provide adequate seating
Your guests might stand around while you serve drinks, but at some point they'll want to take a seat. Set up outdoor sectionals to ensure everyone enjoys their time at your party. Sectionals can be arranged to fit your backyard space and offer a cushioned spot to sit. Outdoor sectionals are also a stylish way to update your yard – your guests are sure to notice!

Light the space
As night falls and you approach firework hour, you'll need lighting in your yard. While the fireworks display could illuminate your home, such lights aren't exactly adequate. If your patio already has outdoor lights, be sure to turn them on. Otherwise, set out yard lights, candles, lamps or torches to give your space a comfortable glow. Of course, you'll want to turn the lights out when the fireworks actually begin.