A Memorable Memorial Day

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[infobox subtitle="In The Sun" bg="gray" color="black" opacity="off" space="30" link="no link"]Fun[/infobox]

Memorial Day is a special time of year for me.  Not only do I finally get to take the party outside with one of the first warm holidays of the spring and summer season, but it marks my yearly anniversary living in New York City.

I moved to the city on Memorial Day in 2012, the majority of my belongings tossed into duffel bags I later dragged up three flights of stairs in my West Village summer sublet.  The air was thick and hot that night, the skies opened up and welcomed me with warm rain.  It’s a day that I’ll never forget.

I love an annual celebration, whether it’s a holiday or special moment from my life I like to remember.  Considering the double whammy of summertime fun that comes with the Memorial Day holiday, I really love to put together an over-the-top celebration this time of year.

The following tips are my top 5 party tricks that will ensure success this Memorial Day or on any holiday really.  Hosting a fabulous fete was born into me and I’ve been hosting my friends with dinners from scratch, sparkling cocktail parties, and gorgeous bridal showers since I moved out on my own a decade ago.  Here they are (+ a new cocktail recipe made with Ciroc Pineapple that’s perfect for summer):

Lo’s Top 5 Party Tricks

1.  Overstock the Bar Cart: Always ensure you have enough glassware, garnishes, napkins, and mixers to appeal to your group.  It’s never fun to host a party when supplies run low and you’re scrambling to make sure all have what they need.

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2.  Set the Scene with Homemade Floral Arrangements:  Custom floral arrangements you make yourself are the only decorations you really need at a sophisticated party.  Better than the pre-made bunches you’ll find at the bodega, head to the market and buy bunches of one type of flower.  Bring them home and place them in vases.  As a flower purist I think simple arrangements of the same flower are truly chic.

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3.  Don’t Ask Your Friends To Bring The Ice:  Never trust your friends with one of the most important elements to any party.  If the ice shows up late or not at all, you’ll be thrown into overdrive scrambling for a last minute fix or run to the store.  Plus, everyone loves a frosty beverage immediately upon arrival.

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4. Allow Room for Extra Friends:  The More The Merrier!  I like a strict guest list but its simply easier most of the time to allow friends to bring a friend.  You want all of your guests to feel comfortable and sometimes their special guest can turn into the life of the party.

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5. Plan Ahead of Time:  Make a list of what you need a week before your party, leaving you plenty of time to think creatively and change your mind about what you hope to accomplish before the big day.  Start purchasing basics a few days out and make sure to have everything you need, apart from ice, the day before your party.  The only errand you should run the day of is to purchase ice and any last minute forgotten items.  Prep all the food you can the day before, and lay out a game plan with timing to cook the day of.  Build an extra 60 minutes into your schedule just for safety.

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Ciroc Pineapple: The Rocks

I really love a clean and classic cocktail, something crisp with a bit of flavor but light on the extras that increase calories and sweetness.  The Ciroc flavored vodkas are high on my list because the flavors don’t taste artificial in any way and don’t require an additional mixer to create a deliciously flavored drink your guests will love.

With the addition of Ciroc Pineapple to my bar cart I’ve been enjoying “The Rocks” quite a bit with friends on these warm summer nights.  If you enjoy your vodka with a splash of still or sparkling water, feel free.  If you’re looking to channel your inner Don Draper on Memorial Day simply pour Ciroc Pineapple over rocks, sit back, and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 Oz of Ciroc Pineapple + Rocks