Looking for some fun ways to celebrate the 4th of July? Check out some of my party tips from my latest segment on NECN and NECN.com
There is nothing more American than the Fourth of July! This is the one time of year that we actually like gathering with our neighbors on the lawn, on the balcony or rooftop, or in the cul-de-sac. With red, white and a Memphis blues twist, your occasion can be memorable! Think “Ole’ Man River” playing and a tantalizing buffet with heart and soul.
The star attractions? Delicious SMIRNOFF® Blueberry martinis, authentic Memphis blues, delicious red, white and blue food, and unique décor all help set the down-home Mississippi delta atmosphere.
- Your guests should arrive through a festive doorway or into a backyard setting with tables that are draped with red, white and blue fabric…very inexpensive versions can be found! Or use paper gossamer, available at online party supply stores.
- Tables can also be covered in red, white or blue tablecloths.
- Red, white and blue candles lit before guests enter.
- Have red, white and blue flowers on serving tables.
- Mini American flags could be scattered around for all guests.
- Pull out the whites for your table: white plates, serving dishes…and pick up some red and blue cloth napkins…you can even use red handkerchiefs as a fun casual touch, and wrap silverware up and tie up silverware with royal blue ribbons.
- As most likely this will be outside, you can get Tiki Torches at home supply stores to set around for fun atmosphere after dark. Light them at dusk!
- Fill oversized clear vases or jars with red, white and blue items…could just be balled up tissue paper, Christmas ornaments, anything and everything!
- For a touch of twinkle, tie handfuls of Sparklers together with ribbon, and then rest in a red or blue basket. Distribute matchbooks to your guests, and then light up the night.
- And the music should be playing.
Of course, the food, drinks and music are key to the overall atmosphere!
As guests enter, they will be greeted with the signature cocktail for this event, SMIRNOFF® Blueberry Dreams. And the party begins….Ol’ Man River, here we come!
THE SIGNATURE DRINK
- 1.5 oz SMIRNOFF® Blueberry Flavored Vodka
- 3 oz. Fresh Lemonade
- Mix together in an ice filled Collins glass with a rim of course sugar.
- Garnish with blueberries and lemon wheels.
Another Fabulous “blue” cocktail option is:
- 1.25 fl oz SMIRNOFF® Blueberry Flavored Vodka
- 0.25 fl oz orange liqueur
- 0.5 fl oz Lemon-Lime Soda
- Stir and strain to lose bubbles, and serve in a martini glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist and blueberries.
The goal here is to have all the food red, white or blue, and totally Delta style! Use your creativity, but here are some ideas for you:
Set out some bowls of strawberries in white bowls and blueberries with spoons, and bowls of marshmallows.
For some fabulous sides, try delicious Blue Potato Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
Some local fresh baked dinner rolls are always a welcome touch.
Give them something sweet with Southern Blueberry and Strawberry Shortcakes.
TIME SAVING TIPS
- Whole Foods is a great stop for homemade whipped cream and shortcakes if you don’t have time to make them from scratch.
- You can find pre grilled shrimp … skewer it yourself. Set out some fun sauces, such as Neely or Rendezvous Barbecue Sauce (A Memphis style is preferred here!)
- Make your SMIRNOFF® Blueberry Martinis ahead of time and chill in pitchers (preferably glass). Pour into a Shaker and shake and pour for extra atmosphere if you wish for refills, but you can have drinks ready on a table as guests enter. Add your blueberries to each glass prior to pouring for ahead of time prep.
- Pull out your drink coolers and fill with ice/sodas/waters a few hours before the party…the ice will not melt and it’s one less thing to do!
- Prep for recipes as far in advance as possible. You need to relax!
- Inside…just make sure you have an accessible bathroom snazzed up with some fun hand-towels and a nice candle, and that you have an inside bar set-up in case the party comes indoors (it will, I promise).
- THE PLAYLIST
Here is an authentic Memphis Blues Playlist! Enjoy!
All in all, your friends and family will leave feeling patriotic from their dose of all-American cuisine and unique atmosphere. And hopefully, you will be thrilled with the memorable moments you have helped to create.
If you are interested in purchasing Lolita® products please visit: www.thelolitastore.com.
Diageo North America, Inc., the maker of SMIRNOFF® Vodka, has given me this product to try for my blog.