Planning a Summertime Cocktail Party

This post is sponsored by American Honey

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Summer is the perfect time to host a group of friends for a simple, yet elegant, cocktail party. I’ve decided to invite a few of my favorite couples over for a fun, summertime get-together to celebrate the season. This party will mark my first time hosting at the new house since the remodel, so I’m especially excited to make it memorable.

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Party planning, for me, always begins with choosing a theme; an occasion or perhaps a type of food or cocktail, and once that’s decided everything else seems to fall in to place. For next month’s summertime cocktail party, I’m planning my menu around a fabulous signature cocktail: Honey Bourbon Lemonade made with Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon.

Flavored spirits are growing in popularity and it seems honey is a favorite for bourbon makers looking to get in the flavor game. It’s no surprise; honey is an obvious choice since it works well with bourbon. Sipped alone, this bourbon is delicious but in cocktails like this simple grown-up lemonade, it’s spectacular.

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A perfect companion to my Honey Bourbon Lemonade will be a make-your-own slider bar complete with buns and an array of sliced smoked brisket, pulled pork, mini veggie burger patties, pepper bacon and assorted toppings like grilled onions, various cheeses, chili sauce and a variety of mustards.

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Side dishes for my slider bar should be simple, fresh and tasty. My homemade ‘Salt & Pepper’ potato chips will be the perfect complement to sliders along with a classic California broccoli salad plus a tray of individual wedge salads to take care of the veggies. I’m thinking the perfect dessert would be buttermilk shortcakes topped with fresh peaches and whipped cream.

Now that I’ve got the guest list, food and signature American Honey Bourbon Lemonade cocktail all figured out, the next step for my party plan is to focus on the décor. I like to have one predominant color for each party I throw and work it in to the invite, flowers and table linens and for this party I’m pulling inspiration from the bright yellow lemons I used to test out my lemonade recipe. Simple daisies and yellow carnations will bring a sunny touch to my buffet table and tie in well with what I’m serving.
All that’s left to do to plan my perfect Summertime Cocktail Party is to finalize a date, design some cute invites and then start thinking up songs for a great playlist. Stay tuned for updates and a recap of my Summertime Cocktail Party. In the meantime, why not mix up a batch of my signature American Honey Bourbon Lemonade?

American Honey Bourbon Lemonade
Serves 8 to 10

1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 quarts + 2 cups of water, divided
2 cups of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup American Honey Bourbon
1 lemon sliced into rounds, for garnish

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a simmer and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
In a large pitcher, combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, American Honey bourbon and 1 quart of water. Taste and add additional water to taste.
Serve in ice-filled glasses garnished with lemon slices and enjoy.


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American Honey is the original honey bourbon, made with real honey and real bourbon.  Serve up your Summer with American Honey!  Follow American Honey at