If you’ve got a reason to celebrate coming up – from birthdays to bridal showers, anniversaries, and beyond – I’ve got just the theme for you! Our new “Festive Garden” Cocktail Party combines fresh greenery, big pops of color, and hints of metallic glam for a look that’s warm, versatile and fun.
This Calls for Celebration
In related news… we recently teamed up with Master of Mixes – America’s #1 cocktail mixer company – to help them celebrate their brand new look! For a long-established company with so many different products that retail all around the world, a rebrand is a big deal and a huge undertaking. I would venture to guess that it’s even a little bit scary mixed in with all the excitement!
Well, Master of Mixes officially unveiled the new look TODAY, so this is one of the first places you will see the new packaging. 🎉 I think the updated design does a great job of showcasing their fun and flavorful personality, and is definitely a milestone that calls for celebration!
A Festive Garden Cocktail Party
This is the first of several party themes we’ll be bringing your way throughout the year as part of our collaboration with Master of Mixes. Each theme will be filled with visual inspiration, creative and doable ideas, free downloads, and – of course – delicious DRINKS!
Speaking of drinks, let’s get started on these cocktail party details…
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1. THE BUBBLY BAR
Mini drink stations are such a fun way to greet your guests! We used a portable bar cart to set up a special place for our champagne-based signature drink, the “Peach Cherry Bubbly”. The recipe is simply 6 oz of champagne with a dash (or approximately a half ounce each) of Master of Mixes White Peach Mixer and Grenadine Syrup. Yum!
I designed a (free printable) 8×10 Bubbly Bar Sign for this station and styled it out with a some playful creative details like “peach” and “cherry” mini balloons! The sparkly tassels on the giant balloons were cut from a rose gold foil fringe curtain.
“Crafty” Champagne Flutes
The embellished champagne flutes were my favorite part of this station! These are actually good quality plastic flutes dressed up with acrylic craft paint. (I used a mix of matte colors + metallic rose gold.)
To recreate this look – just use a paint brush with an oval shaped tip, and make short, vertical brush strokes all the way around the bottom. Let that dry, then repeat with a 2nd color a little ways down. Dab on little dots and dashes for the finishing touch.
These flutes look extra pretty filled with Peach Cherry Bubbly!
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2. COLORFUL APPETIZERS
Pretty appetizers don’t have to be complicated! Include a couple easy, no-cook options in your party menu that taste AND look great, like Watermelon-Feta-Mint Skewers and Blueberry Ricotta Crostini drizzled with honey.
The ricotta crostini is made from toasted baguette slices topped with ricotta, fresh blueberries, and honey. Garnish with mint leaves for extra flavor and lovely “garden party” vibes.
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3. SETTING THE TABLE
I’m a big fan of warm, inviting tablescapes that have hints of “fancy” without feeling super formal or overdone. This rings especially true for outdoor parties!
For a unique twist on your centerpiece, go with a combo of small balloons and greenery instead of flowers. I used a mix of (partially inflated) 5” and 12” balloons for this design. The balloons were tied to decorative party straws and displayed in small bud vases filled with glitter. Accent greenery was also glammed up with a touch of rose gold paint on the leaves.
Pattern & Texture
Mixing different patterns and textures is a great way to add visual interest to even the simplest of table settings! The “artistic” beverage napkins (with their painted brush strokes and metallic accents) really helped set the tone of this table. I paired them with octagon paper plates, disposable hammered flatware, rose gold rimmed cups, and Sip Sip Hooray napkins to create a fun & festive look:
One of my favorite tabletop tips is to think outside the box when it comes to “table linens”. This will vastly expand your design options, especially when budget is a factor. For example, the “tablecloth” pictured here is actually a curtain panel! The purchase price was about the same price as renting a standard solid party linen, and WAY less expensive than renting a “designer” linen with this sort of look.
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4. BALLOON GARLAND
Bringing a creative atmosphere to life is one of my very favorite things about parties! They’re the perfect excuse to treat guests to things they don’t get to enjoy everyday, such as big balloon garlands adorned with greenery and bursting with color:
How to make it:
A quick online search will show you that there are various ways to assemble balloon garlands. However, my personal favorite method involves a using a large craft needle and string (or fishing wire) and looks like this:
- Inflate LOTS of 5″ and 12″ balloons. The garland pictured on this fireplace has approximately 25 large balloons and 20 small ones and is a “medium fullness” garland. There are 2 types of pumps that will make this process a zillion times easier: an electric balloon inflator (for the larger balloons) a hand balloon pump (for the 5″ balloons). Both are very inexpensive and SO worth it for the sake of your time AND your lungs! ;)
- Thread the large balloons together through their tails, mixing up the colors as you go. Push the strung balloons pretty close together, until you like how it looks.
- Hang or place the garland wherever you’d like to display it.
- Use lots of 5″ balloons to fill in gaps and add dimension to the garland. Attach them with glue dots or rolled tape.
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5. GIANT DIY “COCKTAILS”
Another fun element your guests don’t see every day… giant “cocktails” with wooden block “ice cubes”! These vases were 6″ to 11″ tall. The wood blocks used for the ice cubes were a mix of 1″, 1.5″, and 2″. Party straws and printable “drink garnishes” made for the perfect finishing touch!
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6. THE BAR AREA + SIGNATURE DRINKS
The bar is a popular spot at any cocktail party, so it’s also a great place to let your creativity shine! Use signage and labels to give your drink station a stylish and cohesive look. (Download this 8×10 “Time for Drinks” sign and the matching decanter labels below.)
Also – don’t feel like you have to offer a full bar set up at all of your parties. 3 to 5 types of alcohols plus a variety of different mixers will create plenty of cocktail options for your guests.
Signature drinks are a fantastic way to play up your party theme and give your guests the opportunity to try something new. It’s a good idea to keep the recipes simple and stress-free, though, especially if guests are making their own cocktails or if several need to be made at once. (Nobody loves long lines at a party!)
Master of Mixes Cocktail Mixers make ALL the difference here. These high quality mixers simplify your favorite drink recipes and keep flavors consistent, making delicious cocktails fast and easy to whip up.
For this signature drink menu, we used 3 Master of Mixes flavors – White Peach, Watermelon, and Old Fashioned – plus Grenadine and Mint Syrup from their Cocktail Essentials line. I also set out a few other Cocktail Essentials flavors in case guests wanted to use them for scratch cocktails, too. Plus, the colorful bottles look great displayed together on the bar, so that’s an added bonus!
The Featured Drinks:
Next up, the Bourbon Old Fashioned, made from the Old Fashioned Mixer + bourbon. SO easy! 🙌
One of my personal favs is the Watermelon Mojito, with its vibrant pops of red and green. This recipe features the Watermelon Mixer, Mint Syrup, fresh limes, rum, and soda.
And last but not least, for something really unique, we also included a frozen blue cocktail! In addition to coordinating well with our color palette, this cocktail tasted amazing too. If you’re like me and enjoy sweet drinks that instantly transport you somewhere tropical and warm – this one’s for you. ;)
Dubbed our “Festive Freeze” to match the theme, making a big batch is easy-peasy:
- Start with the Master of Mixes Big Bucket Blue Hawaiian Mixer.
- Pour in a bottle of raspberry vodka (750 ml) + 12 oz of cranberry juice.
- Freeze overnight (or for at least 8 hours) – and done!
Remove from the freezer for a bit and stir before serving. To make it extra pretty, garnish with berries and mint!
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7. THE DESSERT STATION
Here’s a sneak peek of our matching dessert station for this theme. Head over to the full post for a closer look!
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Once again, big CONGRATS to Master of Mixes on their rebrand and fun new look! And thank you to our readers for supporting the brands that make it possible to keep sending creative inspiration your way. We are so grateful to all of you. 💛