When planning party menus it’s key to stay relevant to the seasons, but what does this mean for basic flavors? Here are some fun ideas for presenting balanced summer menus both at home and at your next catered event.
Mingle flavors by pairing bitter drinks with sweet snacks: a summertime classic drink that’s back in vogue is the Negroni (gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth). For sharp, balanced bitterness, serve it with the subtle sweetness of tea cakes, biscotti, or figs.
Incorporate herbs and summer greenery: you can stray from the traditional by combining both herbal and botanical flavors. Herbal liqueurs like Amari, Cynar and Aperol are very popular right now. Try mixing these with gentler herbs like mint and basil for a bright summery cocktail.
Play with mildness and intensity: talk to your caterer about ideas for a menu that involves a balance between bright flavors and mellower, longer ones that will round out your party and satisfy your guests. Classic combinations like fresh mozzarella and ripe tomatoes are a traditional example of this balance (the softness of the dairy, the sharpness of the acidity in the tomatoes). But for a more updated menu, try experimenting with various cuisines–like pairing kumquats with tangy yogurt and fresh mint.
These are just some ideas for creating the perfect summer menu for your next party. Keeping your menu balanced and varied will keep your guests interested. Variation is the key here, the fun will follow!