4th of July Party Menu and Entertaining Tips.
Sharing my 4th of July party menu, along with some easy entertaining tips and tricks, to make your patriotic gathering the best ever. Talking about everything from cocktails, to appetizers, to main courses, to sides, and of course desserts. This menu has something for everyone!
Happy Friday before 4th of July week! I decided I would do something a little different today. Instead of sharing a recipe, I thought it be fun if I shared my easy 4th of July menu, along with some tips to make entertaining this summer fun and easy.
Growing up, I used to help my Nonnie with family parties before everyone would arrive. It was my favorite thing to do, especially in the summer when I was bored. I’d head over to her house early in the day to help her prepare for later guests. After setting up for many a party with her, I learned a thing or two along the way. Entertaining is something I’ve always loved, so I’m excited to be sharing my love for throwing a good party with you guys!
This is meant to be more of a mix and match menu. Meaning you guys pick out your favorites based on my suggestions. I didn’t want to overwhelm you with dozens of recipes (because I literally have SO many I could share), so I picked my favorites. Use what you love, overlook what you don’t!
Let’s get started!
Every good summer party needs a refreshing cocktail. Since it’s the 4th of July, I have a few options for guests, but don’t worry, that doesn’t mean a ton of work for you. Each of these is meant to be made ahead so you don’t have to play bartender all night.
Tip: freeze the fruit for the sangria and use the frozen fruit in place of ice cubes to keep your sangria from becoming watery.
Tip: cut the melon into stars using a small star cookie cutter for a patriotic punch.
Tip: make this cocktail in mason jars (8 ounces is best) and seal with a lid. Keep them chilled in a cute bucket or washtub full of ice. Then simply have guests add ice and ginger beer before drinking. It’s super cute and fun and gets your guests involved!
Bonus: Summer Sodas 3 Ways
It’s always nice to have a non alcoholic option and either of these sodas are great for summertime!
Tip: make the cocktails the day before your party and keep them in the fridge, this will save a lot of time and stress the day of.
If you ask me, the appetizers are the star of any summer party, so have some fun ones on the table for guests to snack on all night long. You can never have too many appetizers.
Tip: make the cherry tomatoes and grill the bread a few hours in advance. Also, cheese is best served at room temperature, so set this out a little before guests arrive.
Tip: grill the bread for the cherry tomatoes and this crostini at the same time.
Sides are also very important. You need a good veggie, a good carb…or two, and at least one fun salad. Below are a few options. I’d pick at least two for a good BBQ menu.
Tip: make this ahead of time, but serve at room temperature for best flavor.
Fact: this is a true crowd pleaser, no one can resist it.
Fact: this is the perfect make ahead salad, that will not get soggy on you.
I always keep it simple when it comes to the mains. I like to provide a meat based option as well as a veggie based option, so I’d pick out two of the options below.
Tip: marinate the chicken and make the vinaigrette the night before so all you have to do the day of is grill the chicken.
Tip: this is just as delicious at room temperature as it is warm, so grill this ahead of time to leave room on the grill for the chicken.
Tip: skip the corn fritters, since there will already be corn on the table
Tip: make the burger patties before the party, then grill just before serving
And finally dessert…the part everyone waits and waits for (at least in my family)! Here are all my favorites. Make as many as you feel necessary!
Tip: this is best for a smaller gathering, and while it’s great at room temperature, it’s magical right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tip: use two or three sparklers to decorate the top of this cake to make it extra festive.
Tip: instead of serving these for dessert, try packaging them up as cute take home party favors. I recommend wrapping the pies in cellophane or brown parchment paper and tying them up with cute red and white string.
Some More Entertaining Tips
- serve your menu family style. this is easiest when entertaining big groups and allows for guests to pick and choose what they’d like to eat.
- keep the table decor simple by lining the tables with single stem flowers. this is simple, but elegant and pretty at the same time. It also allows for guests to not have to talk over a large centerpiece.
- make red, white, and blue mason jars for your flowers. love this easy DIY project. these can be used to hold flowers and eating utensils.
- embrace the casual summer gathering and use mix and match plates to keep thing fun and colorful. I love this look and recently did it for my Anthropologie workshop.