7 Stylish Ways to Serve Summer Drinks

Wow party guests with these super-fun extras (think botanical-style stirrers and rainbow ice cubes) that add flair to ordinary beverages.

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A Clever Sip

The food might be the star of any summer get-together, but drinks (the first things your guests reach for) really set the stage. But you don't need to slave over a complicated drink recipe to make a statement — even basic beverages can get dressed for the occasion with just a little extra creativity.

Offer Garden Garnishes

Gather the prettiest herbs, veggies and even edible flowers to set up a drink-topping station. Snip herbs into tidy solo portions, and use a peeler to turn produce into delicate ribbons. They'll add an extra pop of flavor and a bit of decoration to any drink.

Stack Up Edible Stirrers

Scoops of summer melons create geometric works of art that double as drink stirrers. Use a melon baller to make spheres, or use a kitchen knife to make cubes; skewer a variety of colors and shapes to create a dazzling lineup. You can even freeze the stirrers flat on a sheet pan before serving so they'll help chill beverages too.

Freeze a Rainbow of Ice Cubes

Who says you're limited to water when it comes to making ice? Puree a variety of produce (such as cherries, pineapple or kiwi) and spoon into an ice tray in rainbow order. Freeze until set, fill a glass with your favorite flavor combo, and pour in your drink of choice. Bonus: Toss any extra fruit into a salad for a side that matches your sips.

Chill Drinks in a Wheelbarrow

Fill your wheelbarrow with ice and decorate it with freshly cut florals for a party cooler that's a little more "garden party" than "tailgate." Plus, after the party's over and the ice melts, you can push the wheelbarrow around the yard to water your plants.

Serve a "Dip and Decorate" Bar

Nothing says "it's a party!" quite like a glass dipped into something fun. Create a delicious dipping station with flavored salts or sugars, crumbled cookies, crushed nuts, rainbow sprinkles or even cotton candy. For wetting the rim of the glass, offer water or citrus wedges so guests can pair appropriately.

Gather Vintage Glasses

Kick plastic cups to the curb (in the recycling bin, of course) and have fun with vintage vessels instead. Whether you break out glasses from Grandma or raid your local thrift store, retro pieces will add a unique element to your party. And you don't even need a matching set! Pick an assortment of your favorites — the eclectic look is in.

Make Living Labels

These cuties are a favor and name card in one. Glue air plants to a drink stirrer and wrap washi tape below so guests can easily ID their drinks. Because air plants don’t need soil or much water, these botanical decorations will easily survive an entire hot summer day.

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