Finally! The warm weather has arrived, and that means it’s the perfect time to dust off your party planning skills and put together a springtime event for your nearest and dearest. Whether you want something elevated and chic, or something more casual where people can pop in and out throughout the day—the keys to success lie in the planning.
With these tips and tricks, and some delicious large format ideas for bites and sips from Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Entertaining Expert, Sarah McLellan, you will be well on your way to hosting the party of the season.
Thank you for the great ideas, and the delicious recipe Sarah.
- Set up a seriously stylish drinks station
No one needs to be shaking up individual cocktails for each guest the whole party long. Set up a bar cart, or table with a variety of wines, spirits, mixers and craft brewed drinks for guests to pour their own. We’re also a fan of the comeback kid, aka, punch. And don’t worry, this isn’t your Grandma’s punch bowl with canned mixed fruit and ginger ale, read on for a sophisticated spin on this classic.
Find yourself an oversize carafe, or large round bowl and layer up a party-sized version of your preferred cocktails. One of our favourite drinks for spring is a Spicy Pineapple Ginger Mint Punch (recipe below).
Germain’s Escape is a great option for spring – a refreshing cocktail with St-Germain Elderflower liqueur and a light lemony zing. For those hosting larger groups, you’ll want to multiply this recipe by ten for a punch bowl version. Or mix up a large batch of the Forget Me Not—a tart and tasty cocktail made with tequila, Aperol and the zesty bite of Bundaberg Pink Grapefruit.
- Feed your guests a no-fuss feast
Now it’s all about the food. Some great ideas for a large format feast are all in the preparation, leaving you more time to relax with your friends. Cover a table with butcher’s paper and set up a “help yourself” cheese and charcuterie platter. Use a sharpie or marker to write the names of meats, cheeses, and other items for guests to use as a visual guide. If you’re having a large crew come by for your party, why not set up a DIY gourmet taco bar with BBQ prawns and Ginger Beer pulled chicken. Then, present a variety of cheeses, salsas, avocado, jalapeños, chopped tomatoes, warmed flour tortillas, lots of different hot sauces, and a bowl of sour cream on the side.
- Up your flavour game with delectable sauces
If it’s more finger food you’re after, chicken wings with a couple of different flavour bases are a great (not to mention low-cost) way to feed a larger crowd. Skip the sweet chili or buffalo versions and try something a little more unique like this Guava-glazed version with chili and sesame, or crispy drummettes tossed through a smooth BBQ Sarsaparilla sauce. A swoon-worthy spread like this is sure to impress a crowd!
Punch bowls, wings, tacos, and charcuterie and cheese boards for days—it’s no doubt going to be a party to remember! So after you plan your springtime soirée, it’s time for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun in the sun surrounded by your favourite people while noshing on delicious food and drinks. Cheers!
Recipe: Spicy Pineapple Ginger Mint Punch
You can make this punch as a non-alcoholic version by skipping the white rum and adding more ginger beer.
- 2 ½ cups fresh pineapple, roughly chopped
- ½ cup firmly packed fresh mint
- Juice of 3 limes and 2 oranges
- ¾ cup of white rum
- 1 bottle of Bundaberg Ginger Beer
- Sliced wheels of lime, fresh mint, ice to serve
Jalapeño Simple Syrup
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the sugar and jalapeño, stirring to dissolve. Let cool completely, then strain the syrup (discarding the jalapeño).
In a food processor, pulse the pineapple and mint until finely chopped. Add to a glass pitcher or jug, top with the juices, jalapeño syrup, and rum. Stir and refrigerate to chill. To serve, pour over ice in tumblers, and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a sprig of mint and wheel of lime.
Sarah McLellan is the Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Entertaining Expert and an Aussie food and travel writer. Currently based in New York, you can find her scoping out the best restaurants in cities across the U.S., scouring back alleys for midnight noodles and the best street food finds overseas, creating delicious dishes in her home kitchen and shaking up a cocktail or two with friends.
For more great entertaining ideas head over to Bundaberg.com