How to Keep Drinks Cold at a Summer Party

Serious summer heat calls for seriously cold drinks: Try these seven tips for keeping beverages chilly at an outdoor event during the warmer months.

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Photo By: Stephen Murello ©Stephen Murello

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Serve Crisp Sips

At an outdoor party in the heat of summer, ice-cold beverages (and lots of them!) are an absolute must. Offer friends and family a variety of crisp, thirst-quenching options to keep them happy and hydrated, allowing them to focus on having a great time. But no matter what libations you're serving at your next summer party, the most important thing to remember is that drinks should be easy to access and kept ice cold, which can be extra tricky in the sweltering heat. Setting up a functional and efficient drinks display doesn't have to mean sacrificing style and presentation. Here are some great ways to guarantee both.

Masters of Mixology

Let guests play mixologist with an array of liquors and mix-ins. In a shaded area, set up a drink buffet where friends and family can make their own beverages. Mix and match pitchers and glassware, and throw in a punch bowl for added appeal, then label the different mix-ins for easy identification.

Colorful Containment

If you’re serving margaritas or agua frescas in various flavors, glass drink dispensers are a gorgeous way to preserve coolness. They look bright and uniform lined up in a row, and once you fill them, you can forget about beverage service. Place fresh fruit or herbs in bowls for DIY garnishes, and line up glassware nearby for easy access.

Ditch the Cooler

Think outside the cooler when setting out bottled or canned beverages. Galvanized buckets, wine barrels, wagons and wheelbarrows filled with ice will keep refreshments cool and collected all day long, and they are way more visually appealing.

Better Bottling

Skip plastic bottles at your next soiree; instead, decant beverages into glass bottles to instantly dress up the look and feel of a summer table. Since their smaller-volume capacity means they need to be refilled often, you can be sure drinks are constantly chilled. And their tall and slender size makes them easy for pouring and passing.

Ice, Ice Baby

Rather than fill mixed drinks with ice, which will quickly melt and water down your beverage, encase liquor bottles in frosty fruit-specked shells to keep alcohol perfectly chilled. Watch how to make this ice bucket here.

Watch the Video: Fun Ways to Serve Cocktails

Pleased as Punch

Punch bowls are a great addition to any summer party, but keeping the contents cold without watering down drinks can be a battle. One great solution is to set your punch bowl into a larger bowl that's filled with ice. Alternately, you can use a large plastic container to freeze one jumbo ice cube, which will melt much more slowly, keeping the punch cool and still flavorful.

Fruity Freeze

Hosting a smaller gathering? Dress up your ice cubes by freezing berries, herbs, citrus or edible flowers into your ice cube tray. Not only do they add bright pops of color to your cocktails, the summery flavors will infuse drinks as the ice cubes melt. This trick pairs perfectly with iced teas and freshly squeezed lemonades.