Lemonade

What a year it’s been! Like the good ol’ saying goes, let’s make some lemonade out of lemons. We hope you enjoy! This box is inspired by nostalgic scoops of lemon gelato, the refreshing taste of fresh squeezed lemonade and the bittersweetness of spring turning to summer.

Looking to get in the mood?
We recommend these reads:
Mykonos Muse by Assouline
The House at The Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

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Entertaining
Menus
Beverages

Wine is always a good idea, but signature cocktails can really set the mood. Choose one or more from below to start the party off right.

WINE

Rose: Wolffer Estate’s Summer in a Bottle or Whispering Angel
White: Pinot Grigio
Red: Pinot Noir

Suggested service in all purpose or designated wine glasses. Because there are 5 bottles of wine per glass, we typically estimate 3-4 glasses per person (to be safe). For 6 guests, this means about 5-6 bottles split between white and red, depending on your crowd’s preferences. If your guests lean more toward wine than other alcohol or cocktails, increase these amounts.

Wines

LEMON BASIL SPRITZER MOCKTAIL

Serve from any cocktail glass

Prep ingredients, but make cocktails when guests arrive

Ingredients

  • Simple Syrup (or use pre-made)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Spritzer recipe:
    • 18 leaves fresh basil
    • 12 lemon wedges
    • 12 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 12 tablespoons simple syrup or 4-5 drops liquid stevia
    • 5 cups cold sparkling water
    • basil leaves or lemon wedges for garnish

Instructions

  • If using simple syrup, place water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil, lower and simmer for 6 minutes. Allow to cool. If using liquid stevia, skip this step
  • To make drink: place a few basil leaves and 2 lemon wedges in bottom of glass, muddle, crushing the lemon wedges and basil together
  • Add lemon juice and either simple syrup or stevia drops, and muddle more. Then pour tonic water into glass.
  • Add a few ice cubes, and garnish with additional basil and lemon wedges if desired.

THE PARASOL

Suggested service into champagne glasses

Prep fully, but add champagne upon serving

Ingredients for 6 cocktails

  • 3 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 3 oz St. Germain
  • 3 oz Honey Syrup (equal parts honey and water combined)
  • 5 oz Lemon Juice
  • 18 oz Champagne

Instructions

  • Add ice to shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne

LEMON TEQUILA SODA

Suggested service into Collins or other cocktail glasses

Prep fully ahead of time (but add the club soda as drinks are poured)

Ingredients for 6 cocktails

  • 9 oz Casamigos Blanco Tequila
  • 6 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 3 oz agave nectar
  • 3/4 oz ginger juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Club soda to top

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients except cayenne pepper and soda in a shaker over ice. Shake and strain over new ice into a rocks glass. Top with club soda and garnish with pinch of cayenne pepper

LEMONDROP MARTINI

Suggested service into martini glasses

Prep fully ahead of time

Ingredients for 6 cocktails

  • 9 ounces Grey Goose Vodka
  • Grand Marnier
  • 6 tsp super fine sugar (or simple syrup)
  • 9 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Lemon twists or wedge for garnish
  • Superfine sugar and zest for rim

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the vodka, grand marnier, sugar, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously and strain the liquid into the sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish.

The Classic Lemonade

Suggested service in Collins glass

Prep fully ahead of time

Ingredients for 6 mocktails

  • 6 lemons
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 cups cold water

Instructions

  • Juice the lemons to make 1 cup of juice.  To make the process easier, firmly roll the lemons between your hand and the countertop before juicing.
  • In a gallon pitcher, combine 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar and 6 cups cold water.  Stir and adjust water to taste.  Chill and serve over ice.

 

Styling and Accents

If you’re not inspired by what you have at home, we’ve created a few suggestions. The goal with the décor is to keep things organic, fresh, and citrus-inspired (without being too predictable).

Candles
Sicilian Lemon from Williams Sonoma
Lemon Verbena from Agraria San Francisco
Beeswax Taper Candles from Lehman’s

Cocktail Napkins
Embossed lemons from Etsy
Hemstitched lemons from Etsy

Dinner Napkins
Olive green linen from Williams Sonoma
Linen double hemstitch from Williams Sonoma

Napkin Rings
Cloisonné lemon napkin ring from Williams Sonoma

Ice cube molds
Lemon Wedge Shaped Ice from Fairly Odd Novelties
Ice Cubes with a Lemon Slice Inside from Home-X

Votives (don’t forget the inserts!)
Clear glass from Koyal
Light green from Serene Spaces Living

Dinnerware
Rimmed set from Williams Sonoma
Lemon Pattern Melamine from H Ware

Cocktail glasses
Bee Glassware from La Rochere
Forgo the lid and straw of these kitchy lemon vessels and garnish with fresh mint instead

Flatware
Dragonfly set from West Elm
Richmond set from West Elm
Blue Flatware from Hampton Forge

Water glass
Light green glasses from Macy’s
Highball from Godinger Silver Art

Wine glass(es)
Yellow Spotted Glass from Veridian Bay

Single Use
Cups from Frances H Designs
Plates from Frances H Designs
Napkins from Frances H Designs

Disclaimer: We’re here to make sure you look (and feel!) like a million bucks on your big night. While we can’t guarantee size + style availability or delivery timing, we do update our links and recommendations frequently.

Floral and Decor

We love, love, love fresh flowers! If florists aren’t open in your area, pick up some bundles at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. Below are a few suggested varieties! If something is out of season, try to find something similar.

CENTERPIECE INSTRUCTIONS

Determine whether your arrangement will be on the dinner table (and therefore need a lower center of gravity for ideal crosstable conversation) or the bar / kitchen island / etc. (which can be a taller piece). A good rule of thumb for basic arrangements is that your arrangement should be at least the same height as your vase.

Remove any extra foliage from the lower 2/3 of the flower.

Beginning with the greenery, trim stems diagonally (this allows for more water) and place immediately into the vase of water. By angling the greenery stems diagonally into the vase, you’ll create a “grid” to anchor your blooms.

Evenly distribute the bigger blooms (called “mass” flowers) using odd numbers and vary each bloom’s height. If they haven’t opened up, try clipping the stems and placing in warm water for 20 minutes or spinning the stem between your hands (as though you’re warming chilly fingers).

Add the secondary smaller flowers (called “filler” flowers). Then finish with the most delicate blooms, or spectacular statement stems.

Turn the arrangement and tweak from all angles to ensure every seat gets a good view.

For Something A Little Different, Try…

If you’d prefer a floral garland versus vase (and are okay plating verses serving family style), focus on the foliage mixed with lemons, as the blooms will likely wilt. Begin with the foliage, ensuring the clipped stems are hiding, and add clumps of 1, 3 or 5 pieces of fruit as vignettes. 1-2 vignettes per foot is plenty.

Fashion and Style

When life gives you lemons, dress for it in shades of sunny yellows, fresh greens and bright blues. Breezy dresses and collared shirts in playful patterns add to the festive vibes this party is sure to bring. If you’re looking for something new to mark the occasion check out our recommendations below.

WOMENSWEAR

DRESSES
Noelle Tiered Maxi Dress by Intermix
Puff Sleeve Sweetheart Neckline Dress by Eloquii (plus size option)
Ruffleneck Tiered Popover Dress in Stripe by J.Crew
Ruffle-Front Sheath Dress in 365 Crepe in Bronzed Ochre by J.Crew
Geometric Lace Midi Dress in Golden Sun and Ivory by J.Crew
Poplin Tiered Maxi Dress by Banana Republic
Ruffle-Trim Crepe Dress by Lauren Ralph Lauren
Marley Dress in Lemonade by Reformation
Lemnos Belted Off-the-Shoulder Perforated Floral-Print Cotton Midi Dress by Marysia
Emory Dress by LoveShackFancy
Belted Shirred Cotton-Poplin Midi Dress by Self-Portrait
Easy Maxi Dress with Wrap Tie Skirt in Yellow by Eloquii
Carnaby Ruffled Floral-Print Linen Maxi Dress by Zimmermann
Wildflower Guipure Lace Midi Dress by Lela Rose

JUMPSUITS
Balloon Sleeve Palazzo Jumpsuit in Sun Glazed by Eloquii
Tie-Waist Linen Jumpsuit in White Sea Moss Gingham by J.Crew
Mila Jumpsuit by Boden
V-Neck Jumpsuit in Striped Cotton Poplin by J.Crew

TOPS
Yellow Olivia Peplum Top by Pomander Place
Embroidered V-Neck Tunic by J.Crew
Ruffled Puff Sleeve Eyelet Top by English Factory
Lucky Printed Tee by Zimmermann
Soft Satin V-Neck Top in Luscious Green by Banana Republic
Stripe Halter Camisole by Banana Republic

BOTTOMS
Fadua Skirt and Belt by Silvia Tcherassi
Stripe Poplin HIgh-Low Skirt by Banana Republic
Smocked-Waist Midi Skirt in Stripe by Madewell

MENSWEAR

SHIRTS
Regent Fit Oxford Blue and Green Plaid Sport Shirt by Brooks Brothers
Casual Short Sleeves Shirt by Kenzo
Washed Linen Shirt in Sun Stripe by Bonobos
Lightweight Button-Down Shirt in Green Stripe by Bonobos
Thunderball Camp-Collar Striped Linen and Cotton-Blend Shirt by Orlebar Brown
Slim-Fit Tech-Stretch Cotton Shirt by Banana Republic
Slim Brushed Twill Shirt in Every Square Navy by J.Crew
Reissued Riviera Short-Sleeve Shirt in Yellow Lemons by Bonobos

BOTTOMS
Zaine Twill Chino Shorts by Theory
250 Skinny-Fit Pant in Stretch Chino in Navy by J.Crew
Stretched Washed Chino Shorts in Faded Navy and Soft Yellow by Bonobos
Aiden Slim Core Temp Pant in Coastal Blue by Banana Republic

ACCESSORIES
Faye Earrings in Buttercup by Jennifer Behr
Marguerite Crystal Earrings by For Love & Lemons
Attica Grosgrain Headband in Lemon by Jennifer Behr
Sicilian Lemon Crossbody by Serpui
Citrus Slide Sandals by Kate Spade
Madison 12-Hour Pump in Grass Green Suede by Banana Republic
Lauren Espadrille Sandal by Soludos
Lemon Platform Smoking Slipper by Soludos
When Life Gives You Lemons Mask by Mmccandle
Small Crystal Lily Earrings by Lele Sadoughi
Gingham Knot Headband by Draper James

 

Disclaimer: We’re here to make sure you look (and feel!) like a million bucks on your big night. While we can’t guarantee size + style availability or delivery timing, we do update our links and recommendations frequently.

Place Setting and Details

A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE FOLDS

THE KNOT
Fold the napkin in half diagonally. Starting from the point of the triangle, roll towards the long edge. Finish by tying this rolled up napkin into a knot.
THE POCKET
Fold a square dinner napkin in half, then in quarters. Fold the open corner’s top layer to meet the opposite corner. Turn over the napkin, fold it into thirds, and turn it back over. Tuck your polished cutlery into the pocket. Add a place card or printed menu to the vignette, if desired.
THE NAPKIN RING
Lay your napkin flat on the table, pinch the very center and lift it up. Then slide the pinched portion through your napkin ring and adjust the folds

Below is EVERYTHING else you need for a successful event!

Speaker system
Printer and appropriate paper for menus and place cards
Flowers and vases
Clippers
Lighter or matches
Inserts for votives or other candles
Table Settings (we recommend 1 or 2 extras of each, as things like slippery fingers or unexpected guests have been known to happen)

  • Appetizer plates, cocktail napkins and or skewers for hors d’oeuvres
  • Salad and dinner plates (which can be combined if necessary) and bowls, if your menu requires
  • Napkins
  • Salad fork, dinner fork, spoon and knife for each guest
  • Water glasses
  • Wine glasses

Serviceware, like platters, bowls, serving spoons, etc. depending on what your menu requires
Carafes for prebatched cocktails and water
Extra service spoons (in general, always helpful)

OPTIONAL
Additional linens, like placemats or table runner
Cocktail glasses
Charger underneath dinner plate
Place cards holders, if you’d like to assign seats
Napkin rings
Wine bucket and ice scooper
Hand sanitizer and face masksBox
Enough chairs for all guests
Wine and bottle openers
Paper towels and cleaning supplies
Extra hangers for guests’ coats or bags

Stationery

Utilize our templates to send digital invitations through Paperless Post to invite your guests,
then make them feel special with printed menus, seat cards, and take away gift tags!

1 Download Stationery Templates
2 Download Invitation Template
3 Create And Send Your Digital Invitations

Disclaimer: We have such a great eye that sometimes our favorite things become other people’s favorite things, too. For this reason, we can’t guarantee the inventory or delivery window of the products we recommend. We suggest checking product links and connecting with Etsy sellers as soon as possible to confirm availability and shipment dates. You don’t want anything to be late to the party! 

Music

It’s no fun to walk into a quiet party. We created a custom playlist for this curated evening (along with 2 other existing playlists from Spotify if you’re looking for a different vibe), to set the right tone.

Custom Playlist on Spotify

Surf Rock Sunshine on Spotify
The Beach Boys meets Washed Out

Soak Up the Sun on Spotify
Weezer, Foster the People and other carefree, light tunes

Timelines and Checklists
10 DAYS BEFORE PARTY

Review the optional list of items to order and decide whether you’d like to purchase anything (Pay close attention to delivery dates, as supply chains may be interrupted due to COVID).

Create your guest list, send digital invitations using our printables and consider any dietary needs of your guests.

Ensure your guest list complies with local (COVID) gathering restrictions.

5 DAYS BEFORE PARTY
Ensure all of the items you ordered have arrived
Select the menu items you’d like to serve and review the cooking equipment and
suggested service / display

2 DAYS BEFORE PARTY
Ensure your speakers or music projection system is in working condition
Grocery shop
Prepare and print any stationery you’d like to include

DAY BEFORE PARTY
Tidy the kitchen, dining area and guest restroom
Ensure you have enough ice either premade or purchased
Prep anything from the menu that you’d like to avoid doing tomorrow
Check in with guests and confirm what time they’ll arrive
Check restrooms for extra toilet paper

DAY OF CHECKLIST

It’s the big day! Below are our tips to help start your party in the best, least stressful way possible.

MORNING
Open the windows and allow some fresh air into your home
If you haven’t already, ensure all beverages are chilling
Set the dining area with plates, napkins, glassware, flatware and stationery, along with any other optional items.
Create your floral arrangement.
Decorate the table with your floral and decor.
Run and empty your dishwasher – there’s nothing worse than having to do dishes with guests watching!

FOUR TO SIX HOURS BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
Prep and Cook!

ONE HOUR BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
Finish any menu preparations
Light candles (don’t forget the restroom!) and ensure guest entrance areas are lit
Start the music
Take the chilled alcohol out of the fridge and ensure the first bottles of wine are opened
Take your hors d’oeuvres out of the fridge and set for guests
Snap a photo of your table and share it with us using #bluebirdinabox
Take a deep breath, pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy the evening!

SAMPLE PARTY TIMELINE

6pm Guest arrival and cocktails begin
7pm Guests sit for dinner and First Course is served
7:30pm Main Course is served
8:15pm Dessert is served
8:45pm Evening continues with cocktails / conversation prompts / movie etc.

Disclaimer: We recommend snuggling up with your device and reading everything in the Blueprint right away! As you review the recipes and consider other parts of the evening, like décor and wardrobe, you may decide that you need to order some items in advance. We want to make sure you have ample time to plan (and then relax!)

Thank You

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for purchasing and enjoying this box. We hope it brought you as much joy as it has us.

We’d love to see your celebration!  Share your photos with #bluebirdinabox and tag us on Instagram and Facebook a chance to win another Box.