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 “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! They officially unveiled it TODAY, so this is one of the very 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!
This is the first of several party themes we’ll bring 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, designer printables, and – of course – delicious DRINKS!
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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 an 8×10 Bubbly Bar Sign for this station and styled it out with some playful, creative details like “peach” and “cherry” mini balloons! The sparkly tassels on the giant balloons were made by cutting up 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.)
Recreate this look – use a paintbrush 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 of 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!
The Centerpiece 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.
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 from Target! The purchase price was about the same price as renting a standard solid polyester linen and WAY less expensive than renting a “designer” linen with this sort of look.
I cut up store-bought geometric banners (in rose gold and silver/gold) and attached them to the chair backs with glue dots.
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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 every day, 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 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. It is a “medium fullness” garland. 2 types of pumps 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 woodblocks 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 chance 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 drinks 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.
We used 3 Master of Mixes flavors – White Peach, Watermelon, and Old Fashioned – plus Grenadine and Mint Syrup from their Cocktail Essentials line for this signature drink menu. 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 a bonus!
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: