As summer quickly gears up – we again find ourselves preparing for the 4th of July. This year, we challenge you to take a little extra time and create a truly sophisticated get-together. Below are five easy ways to take your party to the next level.

One of the easiest ways to elevate your celebration is to use real dinnerware. Adding placemats, using cloth napkins and lighting candles creates a refined tabletop, which can set the tone for your party. To really embrace the holiday, think about incorporating symbolic colors into your tableware. Need ideas? Check out our Outdoor Entertaining Pinterest Board

Crafting a signature cocktail gives you the chance to highlight your favorite ingredients and gives guests a chance to try a cocktail they may not have tasted before. When selecting a cocktail, be sure to think about the time of day it will be served, the glassware it will be poured into and your guests’ preferences. Short on ideas? Try our house-mixed Pineapple Sunrise cocktail:
Pour 1 ounce of each of the following into a chilled cocktail shaker: White Rum, Grapefruit Juice and Pineapple Juice.
Add a scoop of crushed ice and shake until the mixture is well blended.
Pour into a chilled glass, add some fresh ice and fill the glass with club soda.
Stir briefly, top with a splash of grenadine and serve!

Know what’s in-season locally and use it! One of our favorite in-season July treats is fresh blueberries and watermelon. We especially like the creative way they’re threaded onto kebobs below, as found on Looking for a little extra flavor? Try adding mint leaves and strawberries to the mix. 4th of July just wouldn’t be complete without a serving of potato salad. Elevate this staple dish by using fresh herbs and less mayonnaise. As Bon appetite notes, “potato salad is better when it’s not a mayonnaise bomb.”

While an ocean-view cabana may be the ultimate way to establish a sophisticated, relaxed atmosphere, let’s face it – it’s not attainable for all of us. Instead, let’s focus on easier ways to create this vibe: scent and lighting. Try incorporating fragrant flowers or aromatic candles around major seating areas, lighting a fire (think fireplace or firepit) and adding a touch of greenery to create a calming ambiance. To give candles extra glow in the evening hours, place them in glass containers.

Another simple, yet overlooked way to elevate your celebration is to create multiple areas of comfortable seating. That’s right –comfortable. This means putting in a little extra effort and providing beverage buckets, throws and pillows throughout your entertaining area to ensure guests are contented throughout your party. Now that we’ve shared our top five tips, it’s your turn!

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