Easy Summer Cocktail Party Ideas

Easy Summer Cocktail Party Ideas

Have you ever wanted to host a cocktail party but felt like it would be way too much work? Well, I have some great ideas to help make it easy for you to mange.

I recently had a chance to put this to test after I forgot about a cocktail party my husband had invited his coworkers over to attend. He had had told me a few weeks before that we were hosting a cocktail party for his co-workers. I really sort of forgot about it until the week before. Not a big deal but I was in Turks and Caicos so I could not really prepare anything until right before the cocktail party. I decided to find some semi-homemade cocktail party ideas to make prep, entertaining, and clean up a breeze.

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

Easy Summer Cocktail Party Ideas

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With the kids home and being more busy carting them places all day, I had to find cocktail party recipes that were not only easy but can be prepped ahead of time. I also wanted to use a lot of fresh summer fruits and veggies into my dishes. Having a good balance of homemade dishes and things I could just open and put on the table was important. I was glad I went with a heavier almost meal like menu since they did not leave until after 11 pm.

My semi-homemade summer cocktail party menu consisted of:

  • cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto
  • Watermelon with Feta and balsamic reduction
  • Caprese bites
  • Salmon Sliders
  • Pesto Pasta & Pea Salad Recipe
  • Hummus and veggies
  • Assorted Brownies
  • Assorted Craft Beers
  • Red & White Wine
  • Assorted nuts for the bar

 Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

Here is the table before the guests arrived. It was a simple setting with wild flowers from my garden in red neck wine glasses and a simple white tablecloth. Not all the items are on the table because I had to assemble the Salmon Sliders after they arrived. If you had limited space to create your buffet, a 3 tier serving tray is a great idea. It’s ideal for serving small appetizers or items that are similar ut have differnt flavor variations.

DAY BEFORE:

  1. Do your shopping for premade desserts, marinated mozzarella balls, salmon and rolls.
  2. Make the Pesto Peas and Pasta Salad.
  3. Cut up the watermelon and cantaloupe into serving size pieces
  4. Cut up the feta into bite size chunks
  5. Make the sauce for the Salmon Sliders
  6. Set up Bar and table area
  7. Make one of our favorite Sangria recipes if hosting in the summer. 

DAY OF PARTY:

  1. About 2 hours before party, take out pasta salad to get to room temp.
  2. Chill beer and wine if not already
  3. Cut Rolls for salmon sliders in half and place back into bag.
  4. Assemble Appetizers such as the Caprese Salad Sticks, Watermelon Feta bites and Cantelope 1 hour before party
  5. Platter up desserts and Veggie trays.
  6. Hit up Grill and Grill Salmon. Allow to sit for 15-30 minutes covered.

WHEN GUESTS ARRIVE:

  1. While they are chatting and enjoying cold cocktail assemble Salmon Sliders
  2. Take off all coverings on food
  3. Enjoy your guests

Easy Bite Size Appetizers:

Some of my favorite cocktail party recipes are the bite size appetizers . Assemble Bite size pieces of watermelon in between a small piece of fresh mint and feta. Drizzle with a reduced balsamic reduction.

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

Skewer a piece of marinated mozzarella balls, purchased at Sam’s club, a piece of Basil and a grape tomato for a refreshing and no fork needed version of a Caprese Salad. This is a favorite elegant cocktail party appetizer option that everyone seems to enjoy.

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

Wrap small pieces of cantaloupe with prosciutto

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

Create an appealing hummus and veggie tray. You can disguise the dip or hummus with the Dip A De Do Da.  Semi-homemade dips and appetizers are perfect for this cocktail party! They save time and frustration. 

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders.

For a hearty appetizer make these yummy Salmon Sliders.

Cocktail Party ideas like these make entertaining easy when you use our guide and great tips for building delicious recipes like our Cocktail Party Salmon Sliders. For your next cocktail party, use our tips and recipes to make it an easy event that everyone enjoys! Check out our delicious salmon sliders recipe below!

Salmon Sliders

Salmon Sliders

Yield: 12 Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A fun and hearty appetizer Salmon Sliders are a crowd pleaser

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh salmon fillets
  • Good olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 cup good mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped scallions, (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble

  • 12 fresh white or brioche rolls 2-inch round)
  • 1/4 pound mesclun mix or fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  1. For the salmon, Heat up Grill and grease it. Rub the outside of the salmon with olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until the salmon is almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. I covered it with tin foil.
  2. For the sauce, place the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, basil, , scallions, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until combined. Make ahead and place in fridge covered overnight.
  3. To assemble the sandwiches, slice the rolls in 1/2 crosswise. Spread a tablespoon of sauce on each cut side. On the bottom 1/2, place some spinach or salad and then a piece of salmon. Place the top of the roll on the salmon and serve immediately.

Notes

Adapted from Ina Garten Parties

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 332 Total Fat 26g Saturated Fat 5g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 20g Cholesterol 67mg Sodium 299mg Carbohydrates 5g Fiber 1g Sugar 1g Protein 18g
All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on stayingclosetohome.com should only be used as a general guideline.
 
 

17 Comments

  1. I absolutely love all of these ideas! And I am definitely trying the watermelon and feta one 🙂

  2. Great summer recipe ideas!! I love throwing parties in the BBQ with awesome food! Thanks for these recipe ideas!

  3. These all look great for entertaining and potluck meals! Love the shell toothpicks!

  4. Thanks for all these awesome recipes! I’m having a girls night on Friday, and I think I’ll try the Watermelon with Feta and balsamic reduction.

  5. I want to come to your next party. All you food looks awesome!

  6. All of those goodies sound great!! Looks like you were quite busy!! I love hummus!

  7. These are some great looking appetizers and tips! The pesto and pea pasta salad caught my eye, I love pasta salads!

  8. Everything just looks so delicious. Thanks for the ideas.

  9. What I would give for that delicious pesto pasta right now! This is a great group of yummy recipes.

  10. All that food looks delicious. I have had a dish similar to your watermelon and feta at a fancy restaurant once!

  11. Beautiful Layout. So many great ideas and the Salmon Sliders look tasty.

  12. Yummy! All of these recipes sounds great! Perfect for summer!

  13. Mmm… that all looks great!
    Love the seashell food picks. what did you do with them when you were done?

  14. I love those seashell food picks! The foods you made all look really yummy.

  15. Those all sound great. We host a lot over the summer and I think a lot of these would be a big hit.

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