This post was created in partnership with Cointreau. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Glitter Guide running.
Almost as a rule, our team here at Glitter Guide turns to French style for elegant entertaining inspiration. The colors, textiles and flavors pulled from the region are easily the epitome of luxury, so it's no surprise that our editorial director, Caitlin Kruse, went right to the source for visual and tactile motivation in order to design a simple, yet stylish, dinner party of her own.
Caitlin was also able to pull a bit of motivation from the Parisian-inspired party hosted by our friends at Cointreau last month in New York City! The event (which was designed in collaboration with the sisters behind Dannijo) brought to life 'The Art Of La Soireé"—in other words, the idea of curating an experience and an occasion centered on delicious flavors, creative scenery and good friends. Ultimately, the event taught Caitlin that it's so much more than just hosting a party, and so she made it her goal to tap into that type of elevated style with thoughtful conversation-starting décor and (of course!) fine Cointreau cocktails, too.
Below, Caitlin shares all of the dreamy photos from her soirée (plus tips for throwing your own inspired summertime gathering outdoors this season!), a chat with Cointreau's master mixologist and a conversation with Danielle and Jodie of Dannijo about their inspiration for the soireé!
A Chat With Danielle and Jodie Snyder of Dannijo:
- What was your inspiration for the soirée design? The soirée was inspired by the colors of our jewels, our love of romantic summer garden parties and the craftsmanship that we share with Cointreau. Different sections of the event were intended to start a conversation and inspire creative entertaining at home.
- Favorite part of the night? Our favorite part of the night was creating an inviting environment for our friends and fans of both brands to connect and share in our creative vision for inspired entertaining.
- Your favorite summer cocktail to sip? Our favorite cocktails are handmade with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Right now, one of our favorite summer cocktails is the Cointreau Rickey. It’s easy to make and you can do it at home with three simple ingredients: Cointreau, a spritz of lime juice and club soda. It’s also nice to add fresh fruit.
Hydration is key.
First things first! Make sure to have plenty of chilled water on hand to keep your guests hydrated while out in the elements. It's no secret that summer has a way of stealing moisture out of thin air, so combat the heat's effects by setting sips on every surface for your guests to grab from. If you have time and want to snag bonus points from family and friends, consider infusing your water pitchers or glasses with herbs or fruit (Think: Lavender, oranges, limes).
Keep the bugs and sun at bay.
Heat isn't the only seasonal side effect that you'll have to fight against when hosting an outdoor fête. Your party can go from bad to nightmarish in seconds with the arrival of a high summer sun or a swarm of bugs, so make sure to situate bottles of repellent and sunscreen in an easy-to-access spot, like a pretty basket by the back door. While you're at it, keep insects off your food, too, by picking up food tents at the store and placing them over plates and platters come party day.
The perfect seasonal menu.
Of course, no outdoor gathering would be complete without the food! Cut yourself a break by planning a simple, low-fuss menu inspired by the outdoors. Utilize a grill to put together everything from your salad and toasted crostini, to the main events—things like grilled tuna steaks or veggie burgers. Speaking of vegetables, spend time in your market's produce section a week or two before the soirée, and choose only the freshest of ingredients for a menu that's colorful, tasty and summer appropriate, too.
Serve a signature cocktail.
You can encourage lots of animated conversation with a thoughtfully mixed pitcher for friends and family to enjoy! We personally love to sip on a glass of Cointreau Rickey throughout the summer because the recipe is both light and refreshing. Get the cocktail details below!
Makes 1 drink
- 2 ounces Cointreau
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 3 to 4 ounces club soda
- Pour Cointreau and fresh lime juice into a glass.
- Add ice, top with club soda and stir.
- Garnish with a lime and orange zest.
Q&A with Stilo Pimentel, Master Mixologist for Cointreau:
- What are your tips for French-inspired summer entertaining?
- Seating is very important for a soirée. I usually group three chairs together so two friends don't huddle in conversation. Three's a crowd, but in a soirée, that's a good thing!
- Music is extremely important. Figure out what you want your guests to feel. The idea of a soirée is that it's meant to transport your guests, so choose foreign or more obscure music. You can choose well-known bands, just choose their deep cuts as opposed to their top 10 so your guests are always discovering.
- How can our readers create their own signature cocktail for summer soirées? Any tips for creating something custom at home?
- Always search for seasonal fruits, herbs and vegetables as they'll be ripe and sweet. This will allow flavors to shine brightly in all drinks.
- What's your go-to summer drink?
- The Cointreau Rickey, which is easy, stress-free, quick and most importantly, refreshing.
- Your favorite way to sip Cointreau?
- Depends on the weather and my mood. Sometimes I just want it on ice with bitters, sometimes in an original margarita, but the Cointreau offers easy and personal creativity.