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Rule #1 for Hosting the Ultimate Summer Soirée: Set the Mood

Socializing this summer is back with a bang, here’s how to do it right.

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Summer is finally here, and this summer feels different — it feels special. The sun is out, the breeze is refreshing, and six feet apart be damned, we’re able to host our friends and family IRL again. What better way to take advantage of the weather and be with the ones we love than by hosting a chic backyard summer soirée?

When hosting a very extra backyard party, there’s a lot to consider and plan. There’s the proper table setting, the right hors d’oeuvres, and perhaps most importantly, the ‘gram-worthy cocktail that will have the whole party talking.

Karleen Roy, celebrity event planner and all around vibe curator, shares her guidance on how to host a dreamy summer soirée. Find the right playlist, set the tone, and mix up a cocktail that’s a crowd pleaser. Ice, a pour of Courvoisier VS Cognac, another of a citrusy soda, and a garnish — it’s the secret ingredient to a memorable night. Once the mood is set and everything is in place, the soiree can truly begin.

Still looking for more inspiration? Find three recipes to make your party stand out (and your guests satisfied).

The Gala Cocktail



1 ¾ parts Courvoisier VS

4 to 5 punches of sweetened citrus soda

Lemon wheel or ½ moon slice of grapefruit, to garnish


Step 1: Build all ingredients over ice in a highball glass, and garnish with citrus.

Smoked Salmon Crostini


1 baguette sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 ounces thin sliced wild smoked salmon

8 ounces cream cheese room temperature

4 sprigs fresh dill stems removed and minced

1 lemon juiced

1 teaspoon garlic minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

Capers and fresh dill to garnish


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat both sides of bread slices with olive oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

Step 2: Arrange toasts on a platter with a piece of salmon on top of each one.

Step 3: In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Either spoon a small amount on top of each crostini or squeeze out of a plastic bag with the corner snipped off.

Step 4: Top with capers and additional dill

Crudite-filled Phyllo Cups


2 boxes of frozen phyllo cups

1 red bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

2-3 carrots

1 bunch of chives, with flowers if possible

1 pomegranate

1/2 cup favorite balsamic dressing (optional)

Chive blossoms to garnish


Step 1: Thaw phyllo cups according to package.

Step 2: Mince, peppers and carrots in very small dice.

Step 3: Seed pomegranate pearls

Step 4: In a bowl mix minced peppers and carrots with pomegranate pearls and toss with dressing if desired.

Step 5: Arrange cups on platter and fill with mixed crudite.

Step 6: Top with chive blossoms, or minced chives to garnish and serve.

Enjoy Responsibly. Courvoisier® Cognac, 40% Alc./Vol., ©2021 Beam Suntory Import Co., Chicago, IL

More From Courvoisier 2021

Rule #3 for Hosting the Ultimate Summer Soirée: Make a Lasting Impression

When the night winds down, you can still create moments that feel special — here’s how.

Rule #2 for Hosting the Ultimate Summer Soirée: Surprise and Delight

The secret to hosting a party that will have the guest list talking (and sharing the photos).

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