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The Life of the Party
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The heat is on and what better way to cool off than to have a party? From pool parties to barbecues – there is a plethora of options to choose from. By Anjali Alappat

Is the sweltering summer heat making you long for a cool drink and a good laugh? Summer parties are a good way to combine the two. Pick a theme (if needed), invite some friends, and embrace summer at its best. You can laze on your lawn, hang out on the terrace, lie on the beach or even set up a barbecue in someone’s backyard. Summer is a time for laidback fun and festivities. Here are some great ideas for summer parties.

Chill Out with Cocktails
Cocktails are a time-honoured way to kick back and relax. Sitting next to a pool and sipping a cocktail is the perfect way to unwind. Cocktail parties are a popular way to celebrate a special occasion. These are especially ideal for celebrating a summer birthday or anniversary. Fruity drinks are preferable. Try your hand at whipping up a Cosmopolitan or the universal favourite –pina coladas.

If you are trying to avoid hard alcohol, a wine and cheese party is equally elegant and has the advantage of being even simpler than mixing cocktails. Pop the cork and sip a glass of crisp wine. If you are feeling adventurous, there are a host of wine and champagne based cocktails to choose from. Here is one to get you started:


1 shot of pineapple juice
1 shot of vodka
1 glass of champagne


Take a glass of champagne while it is still fizzy, add a shot of vodka and mix well. Top off the mix with a shot of pineapple juice and stir well. Serve chilled.

Bask at the Beach
Too hot to lie out on the beach? Never fear! There is an easy and fun way to bring the beach to you. Instead of venturing out onto the overheated sands, settle for a beach themed indoor party. You can decorate your home based on a beach theme and use air conditioners and fans to give the illusion of a sea breeze. Stow away your large sofas and fill your living room with wooden, cane and deck chairs, cushions and beach towels. You can even put up a few beach umbrellas to give your interiors a fun-in-the-sun feel. Make sure your guests stick with the beach theme as well. Shorts, Hawaiian shirts, bikinis and sundresses are the costumes du jour. Serve seafood and cool drinks – it is not a beach party without the ever popular beer and prawn biryani combination!

Gorgeous Garden Parties
Garden parties are easy to pull off. All you need is a nice lawn and some ingenuity. Garden parties are the perfect way to relax outside. If the sun is beating down on you, it is sometimes preferable to have a tent or large umbrellas covering the tables. This keeps you safe from sunburn and overheating without taking away the joy of being outdoors. It is also important to remember extenuating factors like mosquitoes and other insects. Spray the area with insect repellents or have one at hand.

Traditional garden parties are held during the afternoon and are generally teatime events. Other than the usual tea and coffee, your guests might appreciate fresh juices and mocktails. Lemonade, orange juice and other favourites are appropriate for the occasion. Since it is being held outdoors and in the late afternoon, non-messy food like sandwiches, biscuits and muffins would work better than full meals.

Ice Cream Fest
Ice cream, the ultimate summer dessert, does not have to be the afterthought of your meal. Ice cream parties are a fun and novel way to ring in summer. Invite your friends over, buy plenty of flavours of ice cream – some of the traditional favourites – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butterscotch and mix them up with some interesting flavours – mint, cheese cake, watermelon, litchi and more.

Buy some fun shaped cones and bowls and of course, be inventive with your toppings. Chocolate chips, fruit slices, wafers, cookies – the possibilities are endless.

Know the Grill
Barbecues are a low maintenance but delicious way to beat the heat. Meat, vegetables and even paneer can be grilled. Most barbecue foods are marinated to soak up the sauce of preference before they are grilled. This makes the dishes exceptionally easy to manage. The beauty of the barbecue is that you can do it quickly and serve it hot. The side dishes are also easy to make and digest – salads, pasta or bread – the condiments are actually more important as the barbecued dish is the centrepiece.

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