Summertime Eats, Drinks, and Fun! Celebrate in Style!

It’s the time of year when consumers finally crawl out of their winter-long hibernation and begin the hunt for good food and fun times. It’s finally summer – the season synonymous with warmer weather, longer days and nights full of festive excitement. So why not make of the most of it? Here are some suggestions for enjoying this season.

Up your patio game

Who doesn’t love sitting outside on a seventy-degree night, a cold one in hand, bonding with close friends? If you’ve got the space, use it.

Take your restaurant to the next level by making the most of your outdoor area. Create an ambiance with tiki torches and low hanging, decorative lighting. An open flame and dim lights can really set the scene and create a memorable environment for your guests.

Bring in live music to fuel the night and deliver an experience. If space is an issue, go acoustic with a solo singer and guitar act. Or setup karaoke and watch the good times unfold. Keep in mind, good drink specials may come in handy for those guests who might need a little encouragement.

Be sure to check out our massive selection of outdoor furniture, including tables, seating and fencing.

Refresh with cool treats and sizzling selections

Food. The great seasonal equalizer.

Summertime offers an opportunity to switch up your menu and try something new. Go big. Be bold. Standout.

Some hot ticket dishes include fresh seafood, grilled chicken (or grilled anything) and a diverse selection of crisp salads. To get the ideas rolling, check out these unique recipes for a seared chicken with avocado salsa and a sesame ginger salmon salad, as well as delish.com’s entire list of 75 Insanely Easy Summer Dinner Ideas.

Fajitas are also a sizzlin’ summertime favorite. The trick is in the marinade. We recommend some combination of lime juice, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, cayenne and black pepper. SONY DSCBring in your choice meat (steak, chicken or shrimp), along with bright, colorful veggies, and let soak in a zip lock bag for at least two hours (or overnight for optimum flavor potential). Then grill up and serve sizzling.

You can also have some fun with lighter bites too. Summer is an excellent season for refreshing fruits like watermelon. Check out these 20 refreshing watermelon recipes including watermelon slushies, salsas and salads. And don’t be afraid to get nutty. Coconutty that is! Check out this recipe for piña colada popsicles sure to inspire a refreshingly good time.

For more ideas, be sure to follow our Summer Sensations, Scrumptious Salads and Cookout Inspiration boards on Pinterest!

Don’t forget the drinks!

Summer also provides great cocktail inspiration.

Mules are a current trend, and offer possibilities for your own unique spin. Start with this:

  1. Pour 1 ½ oz. of vodka and 4 oz. of ginger beer over ice in a copper mug
  2. Add 1/6 oz. of lime juice
  3. Stir
  4. Garnish with basil and a lime slice

Other variations include the Kentucky Mule (prepared with whiskey instead of vodka), and the Garden Mule (made with blueberries and cucumbers!). Here’s a whole list of unique mule concoctions!

Or go the more tropical route with this coconut rum punch!

  1. Mix together 1 cup coconut rum, 2 cups orange juice, 2 cups pineapple juice, and 2 cups ginger ale
  2. Pour over ice and add 1 cup grenadine or cherry syrup for a tropical hue
  3. Garnish with orange slice and maraschino cherries

For you beer lovers, look for local cream ales or craft pilsners. They’re light, refreshing and will definitely hit the spot during the hotter days!

Host one big festival or summer event

Summer won’t last forever! Bring it all together for one, big blowout event your guests will never forget.

Let us know how you celebrate the summer in the comments section!

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