Summer has arrived with a bang. Festivals are back, holidays are once again doable (bar the chaos at the airports) and clubs are heaving from Bangor to Bognor. If summer of ‘20 was all about lockdown, and summer of ‘21 was a season of government-approved bubbles, then summer ‘22 is the year we re-embrace partying with a vengeance. All from a respectable, Covid-conscious social distance, of course.
As we melt under the heat, we have decided here at Neat & Shaken to celebrate summer by throwing a little partay ourselves. But how best can we bring summer into our homes?
The saying go big or go home doesn't really make much sense when you actually are home, so our guide to hosting a summer soiree is more less, is more than bold and brash. Sure, you can roast a suckling pig over your firepit if you want, but really? We’re guessing the people at your party will savour the smaller touches: quality spirits for cocktails, some nibbles to soak up all the gin, a proper sound system and the right music.
We recommend kicking off the evening with a few simple cocktails with a summery twist - don’t be afraid to mix up your usual Gin and Tonic with a sexy fruit gin such as Greenall’s Tropical Fruits or shake up your classic Negroni by substituting traditional London Dry with Greenall’s Pineapple Gin. If you don’t have the time, equipment or inclination to channel your inner mixologist, don’t forget to have a few ready-to-drink canned cocktails on hand.
It won’t do to forget drivers or tee-totalers though, and quite frankly, in this heat, we’re not even sure we fancy drinking ourselves. Make sure you have plenty of mixers for the non-drinkers, and create a signature mocktail that is not built around booze, but rather everything else that goes into it. A word of warning - don’t get too bogged down with anything overcomplicated (alcoholic or non). Bitsy drinks are a buzzkill, and will turn your evening into part-nay than part-yay.
When it comes to music, no one is expecting to find Carl Cox in your front room, but at the same time your laptop speakers are not going to cut it this time. So, don’t skimp on the sound system, and spend a few hours choosing a playlist that will take your guests from zero to hero in a couple of tunes. You’ll need the kind of background music which sets the tone of the evening perfectly; from lounge to something that treads the line between house and boogie perfectly, to after-hours Balearic bliss. Just in case you have still held on to your vinyls, remember that guests make the best DJ's. Spinning records gives them something to do and for your friends to connect over — and frees you up to throw down a few shakes on your living room rug.
Our final word of advice on how to host a good party at home? Stay sobre. The mark of a good host is that they have a good time at their own party — but not too good. And don’t mention the vaccine.