As the sun slowly starts to creep its way back into our lives (however briefly), it’s time to start thinking about picking up some great summer gifts for yourself, your family and your friends. Make sure you have a summer to remember by preparing for those BBQs and parties early, getting festival gear well in advance, and preparing yourself for the impending joy (and probably heartache) of the World Cup.

Summer Party Themes

What to drink this summer:

An essential part of any good summer party are the drinks. Alcoholic or not, there’s nothing better than satiating summer thirst at a party or BBQ. Here are a few of our favourites:

The Champagne Mojitochampagne mojito

Ingredients (from Channel 4 Food):

  • Half a Lime
  • 1 Teaspoon brown sugar
  • 8 Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice
  • 50ml Rum
  • Champagne to top

Instrctions:

  1. Quarter the lime.
  2. Put your sugar and mint leaves into a tall glass with the quartered lime, and mix together.
  3. Add the crushed ice to near the top of the glass.Whiskey Sour
  4. Pour your rum over the ice.
  5. Mix with a spoon.
  6. Top up the rest of the glass with champagne.
  7. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

The Whiskey Sour

Ingredients (from About.com):

  • 50 ml Whiskey
  • 50ml Lemon Juice
  • 25ml simple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Pour your whiskey, lemon juice and syrup into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  2. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a chilled glass.Tequila Sunrise

The Tequila Sunrise

Ingredients (from BBC Food):

  • 50ml Tequila
  • Fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp granadine

Instructions:

  1. Pour the tequila into a highball glass filled with ice.
  2. Top up with fresh orange juice.
  3. Pour the granadine down the side of the glass in order to make it sink to the bottom.
  4. Garnish with a slice of orange.

What to eat this summer:

Getting food right in the summer is harder than you think. Keeping it light is a must, and overdoing it on things like red meat and rich sauces can leave you feeling bloated and sleepy. On the other hand, there is no need to make anemic looking salads to go with your BBQ.

Pine Nut, Spinach and low fat Feta Salad

This great recipe from BBC Food is the perfect summer salad. Packed with flavour from the feta, red onion and sherry vinegar, the salad is low in calories, high in vitamin A, fibre and flavonoids.

Frittata with Shallots and Pancetta

The Italian frittata is a terrific light main meal for the summer, and will go perfectly with the salad above. This recipe by Williams-Sonoma is a great dish to share with friends and family. Indeed, you can even have the left-overs (if there are any!) for breakfast the next day.

Tiramisu

Another great recipe from the BBC food website, and another perfect dish to share. Tiramisu is super-simple to make, but I’d always recommend making it a day before your event to let the flavours mingle.

Perfect Party Accessories:

Here at IWOOT we’ve got a great selection of retro kitchen gadgets and quirky kitchenware to help make your summer break parties even better. For example, for your cocktails, you could pick up these Alessi Mami XL long drink tumblers to make them look even more impressive than they taste:

Alessi tumblers

And for the salad, why not grab these Fred Idle Hands Salad Servers! They’re sure to keep your guests entertained!

Salad fingers

Whatever you end up doing this summer, make sure you take advantage of the weather when the sun actually decides to pop its head out!

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Team IWOOT

Team IWOOT

Writer and expert

A hub for gifting and homeware ideas, committed to bringing you the quirkiest trends on the market.