12 outdoor party themes

Plan a Mad Men-inspired soiree, a faux pool party, and more with these inventive ideas for backyard bash menus

Faux pool party

Photo by Rachel Weill; written by Stephanie Dean

Faux pool party

Pull up a chair by the pool and enjoy some refreshing, fruity sippers alongside some grilled bites and a sweet-spicy fruit platter.

Drinks:

Margarita "Poptails"

Watermelon Daiquiri

Eats:

Caramelized Tomato Bruschetta  

Grilled Meatball, Halloumi, and Baby Squash Skewers

Fancy Fruit Platter (pictured)

 

 

Mad Men party

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Margo True

Mad Men party

Stock up on the martini and highball glasses and serve plenty of finger food with the booze—you don't want too much scandal! Put on your curve-hugging knits or that skinny tie and flirt like it's 1963.

Drink:

Death Valley Martinis

Eats:

Boozy Olives (pictured)

Salmon Rillettes

Smoked Oysters on the Half "Shell"

Lemon Drop Chicken Wings

Graduation party

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Stephanie Dean

Graduation party

Celebrate the big day with crowd-pleasers: mini steak tortas, classic guacamole, cheesy stuffed peppers and, of course, some big, bold drinks for toasting the grad.

Drinks:

The Party Starter

Sunset's Spring Punch

Eats:

Gabriel's Guacamole

Chile and Lime Steak Tortas (pictured)

Mini Peppers Filled with Goat Cheese and Asparagus

Downton Abbey party

Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy; written by Margo True

Downton Abbey party

Borrow some tips from the gorgeous PBS series and put out your best serving pieces for this classy do. Maybe even pass around a few of the appetizers, in grand manor style.

Drink:

Pimm's Cup

Eats:

Deviled Cucumber Cups

Salt-and-Pepper Gougères

Spiced Beef Tenderloin with Crusty Rolls and Chutney

Yogurt Honey Jelly with Strawberries and Roses (pictured)

Izakaya party

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Margo True

Izakaya party

Japan's answer to tapas—a spread of savory morsels you can't seem to stop eating. Hang up some paper lanterns to set the mood, and bring on the sake, the Kirin lager, and the shochu.

Drink:

Infused Sake 

Eats:

Yakitori (pictured)

Sesame Spinach Salad

Skillet-Roasted Edamame

Hard-Boiled Quail Eggs with Dipping Sauces

Diner-style party

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Elaine Johnson

Diner-style party

When you're thinking comfort food, but not the same-old same-old, here's how to wow your guests.

Drinks:

Brandy Shakes (pictured)

Citrus Kiss

Eats: 

Pine Nut-Salad Spears

Puttanesca Meatball Sliders

Sweet Potato Fries

Sopranos party

Photo by Iain Bagwell; written by Stephanie Dean

Sopranos party

Think big, bold flavors, rich tomato accents, dirty martinis, and lots of red wine to finish it off.

Drinks:

Dirty Martinis

Your favorite red wine

Eats:

Sicilian Bruschetta

Puttanesca Meatball Sliders (pictured)

Broccoli Rabe Fritto Misto

Breakfast for dinner party

Photo by Leo Gong; written by Stephanie Dean

Breakfast for dinner party

Get your eggs, sweets, and toast in appetizer style, and enjoy some twists on our favorite breakfast cocktails, the mimosa and the Bloody Mary.

Drinks:

Sea Breeze Mimosa (pictured)

Garden Bloody Mary

Eats:

Tomato Breakfast Toasts

Mediterranean Deviled Eggs

Cardamom Rolls

Bollywood party

Photo by James Carrier; written by Elaine Johnson

Bollywood party

Queue up Bride and Prejudice and try out your dance moves for this celebration of Indian flavors.

Drinks:

Grapefruit Mimosa (a.k.a. Madras Mimosa)

Frozen Mango Lassi

Eats:

Spicy Indian Snack Mix

Potato-Chutney Crisps (pictured)

Cauliflower Panko Pakoras

Vegan party

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Elaine Johnson

Vegan party

Here's what to serve when your eco-conscious pals show up to party.

Drinks:

Carrotini

Apple of My Iced Tea

Eats:

Eggplant with Mint Bruschetta

Spiced Potato and Cauliflower Samosas with Two Chutneys

Tofu Fries with Gingered Ketchup (pictured)

Prohibition Era party

Written by Margo True

Prohibition Era party

Slip on a flighty little cocktail dress and some wine-dark lipstick, put on some jazz, and invite your friends over to your very own speakeasy.

Drink:

Negroni (pictured)

Eats:

Shrimp Cocktail

Garlic-Stuffed Mushrooms

Blue Cheese Cocktail Crackers

Chocolate lovers' mini-desserts party

Photo by Lisa Romerein; written by Elaine Johnson

Chocolate lovers' mini-desserts party

Okay, so it's a little decadent. But hey, you can always skip dinner, right?

Drinks: 

Ruby Port Sparklers

Keoke Coffee

Eats:

Chocolate Chip Shortcakes with Berries and Dark Chocolate Sauce (pictured)

Chocolate Panna Cottas

Chocolate Candied Almonds

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/entertaining/outdoor-party-themes-00418000077168/