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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.

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After more than a year of few social gatherings, you may not want the party to wrap up. But alas, all good things must come to an end — but that doesn’t mean the end of the night should go out in a whimper. After all, you’ve done the hard work to set the mood and find new ways to surprise and delight your guests — now’s the time to end the night with a bang.

When hosting a very extra backyard party, you’ll want to leave your guests with a lasting impression. The details at the end pay off: a break before the dessert course, a sentimental toast, and a last call of the cocktails. (Don’t be surprised if the last call is a long one, everyone will want to savor the moment!)

Karleen Roy, celebrity event planner and all around vibe curator, shares her guidance on how to close out a dreamy summer soireé. Time the dessert course just right, close the night with a memorable toast, and mix up one last cocktail that’s easy to serve in a big batch for one last round. Ice, a pour of Courvoisier VSOP Cognac, another of a citrusy soda, and a garnish — it’s the secret ingredient to a memorable night. When the last drink is drunk, your guests will go home with a lasting memory of the perfect summer soireé.

Still looking for more inspiration? Find a recipe below to make your party stand out (and your guests satisfied).

French Twist


1 34 parts Courvoisier VSOP

12 parts Orange Curaçao or quality Triple Sec (you can incorporate any flavored liqueur here)

34 parts Sirop de Gomme (or 2:1 simple syrup)

12 parts fresh lemon juice

3 to 4 parts of Fever-Tree soda water

Lemon slice, for garnish

A raspberry, for garnish


Step 1: Build all ingredients into the tin, except the soda water.

Step 2: Add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice in a double Old Fashioned glass.

Step 3: Top with soda water and garnish.

Strawberry Galette


Pie crust

10 ounces all purpose flour

3-4 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

10 ounces unsalted butter cold, and cut into cubes

Ice water (the amount will vary)

Strawberry filling

½ cup strawberry or any berry jam

1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

2 tablespoons sugar

2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

Half of a lemon zested (optional)

Egg wash

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk or cream

Raw sugar to sprinkle on top


Pie crust

Step 1: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed, cold butter and use your fingers to cut/rub the butter into the flour. You can also use a pastry cutter, or even your food processor for this. The butter pieces should be no larger than pea-sized.

Step 2: Drizzle ice water (or very cold water), ½ tbsp at a time, while mixing the butter and flour mix with a fork (or pulse it in the food processor). Mix enough water until you get a dough that binds together (when a fistful of the dough mix is squeezed in your hand it should bind together).

Step 3: Turn the dough out onto a parchment paper or work surface, and press the dough together to form a dough. Do not knead the dough. If too dry, drizzle a little ice water. If too wet, add more flour.

Step 4: Form the dough into a disc, and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until chilled. Can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours, but let it sit at room temperature for a bit to soften before rolling out.

Strawberry filling

Step 1: Cut the hulled (stems removed) strawberries and cut them in half. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest over them. Toss to combine. Cover and set aside for 15 - 30 minutes.

Assembling the tart

Step 1: Roll out the dough to about a ¼ of an inch thickness. It can be a circle, oval, rectangle or square shape. Make sure that your work surface is floured to prevent it from sticking to the countertop.

Step 2: Transfer the rolled out dough onto a parchment paper-lined half sheet pan. Trim the edges of the parchment paper if needed. Spread about ⅓ cup of the strawberry / raspberry jam on the surface of the pie crust. Leave a 1 ½ - 2 inch thick border along the edges.

Step 3: Place the strawberries in the middle of the tart, on the jam. They don’t have to be arranged in any pattern, but they should be piled up more towards the center than the edges. Fold the edges of the dough over the strawberries. The folds don’t have to be neat, but should create an enclosed margin for the strawberries. Use a little water to seal overlapped edges together if needed. If the pie crust cracks, press the cracks with a damp finger to re- seal. Or use any trimmed, extra dough pieces to seal the cracks.

Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 15 - 30 minute for the crust to re-harden.

Step 5: Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 205°C while the galette is resting in the fridge. When the oven is preheated, prep the galette for baking.

Step 6: Whisk the whole egg (or the egg yolk + milk) in a little bowl. Brush the galette crust with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle raw sugar over the egg wash brushed margins.

Step 7: Bake the galette for about 15 minutes at 400°F/ 205°C, and then reduce the heat to 325°F / 163°C and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the crust has a darker golden color, with some dark spots. The edges of the crust will be very dark in color.

Step 8: Remove the galette from the oven and brush the strawberries with a little glaze using a pastry brush (optional - recipe for glaze below). Let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool down. Slide the parchment paper onto a wire rack and let it cool down further. This galette can be served while warm, or at room temperature.

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

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