A Guide to Summer Eating and Entertaining

From tiki cocktails to portable fireplaces, boozy pickles and beyond

The season of summer entertaining is upon those of us in the northern hemisphere, and with that our consumption (and decorating) habits change. With our guide to summer entertaining and eating, we’ve selected food and food-related items that can help to punch up any party—even if it’s a party of one. There are homewares with personality, as well as a camping tool and cocktail book that don’t condescend. Summer is meant to be fun, so go ahead and pour yourself a glass of sparking rosé and nibble on a pickle, all the while celebrating the sun and our ability to make the best use of the outdoors. Even if space is at a premium at home, invite guests over or out and wow them with some of these wonders.

Green Chambray Apron

Made from gently crafted, banshu woven 100% cotton, this Japan-made apron ($72) is perfect for all your spring and summer cooking adventures—whether grilling outdoors or concocting a breakfast smoothie. With two deep pockets to keep all your culinary tools in, this refreshing green chambray accessory is functional as it is comfortable.

Pack + Carry Fireplace

Whether you’re looking to grill or simply enjoy the flicker of fire at dusk and beyond, Snow Peak’s 11-pound stainless steel pack-and-carry fireplace ($190) makes for a safe place to whip of a small blaze. It easily folds up for cleaning and transport, but when standing upright it allows reliable, sturdy fire-construction. The Pack + Carry Fireplace was built in Japan, and comes complete with a nylon carrying case to make it all the more easier to stow and travel with.

Pitcher + Glass

Measuring 11.5 inches tall, this glass pitcher (and glass) ($95)—found by new conscious lifestyle shop Kindred Black—is perfect for a solo backyard sunbathe or to share lemonade with pals. Gently ridged for easy handling, it’s a rich ombre blue that will have you dreaming of sunshine and Santorini—even if it’s not quite summer where you are.

Round Popsicle Molds

Embrace the warmer months and your inner child at your next pool party or grilling session and make four popsicles at a time with Zoku’s round pop molds ($17). Totally BPA- and phthalate-free, the silicon-made molds make it easy to peel away your popsicles once they’re frozen. The set comes with one mold; four removable, individual molds; and four sticks (complete with drip guards) to make all your summer parties a little sweeter.

Smuggler’s Cove Cocktail Book

From the owners of SF’s acclaimed Smuggler’s Cove cocktail bar—consistently regarded as one of the best in the world—comes “Smuggler’s Cover: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki” ($20) and it’s more than a manual for making drinks. Beyond the 100 historic and original recipes included, there’s an in-depth look at the spirit that inspires it all: rum. And for those who like to garnish more than just their drinks, there are also plenty of tips on how to turn your home bar into a tiki haven.

Stainless Steel Straws

Aside from jazzing up the look of your drink, these stainless steel straws ($7) come with an environmentally friendly upshot: they drastically reduce waste, unlike their plastic counterparts. Sold in a pack of four, these sleek straws are pre-bent at the perfect angle for sipping on everything from fresh juices to milkshakes to cocktails.

Everyday Napkins

Championing the use of non-disposable products, California-based company Ambatalia crafts reusable products for all sorts of activities. Their Everyday Napkins ($14 for a pair) are made from a cotton/hemp blend and measure 17 x 17 inches—the perfect size for wrapping up lunch, covering fresh produce in the fridge, or simply using as table napkins.

Sparkling Rosé

Composed predominantly of Prosecco grapes from northeastern Italy, Ruffino’s new Sparkling Rosé ($15) carries a bright but elegant berry flavor. This extra-dry sparkling wine bears a crisp acidity and steers clear of overt sweetness—though it delights all the way through a long finish. It’s certainly one of the best in its (ever-growing) category and retails at quite the affordable price.

Insulated Canteen

Corkcicle’s canteens ($20) stand out thanks to their attention to detail. Patented easy-grip sides prevent the bottle from rolling (while also providing an angular look), its no-slip bottom keeps it secure on almost any surface, and triple insulation keeps drinks hot or cold for 12 and 25 hours respectively. Available at four different capacities and in a range of colors—from glossy pastel peach to brushed copper—there’s an option to fit anyone’s style.

Corn Holder Sets

One of the great joys associated with corn on the cob is the opportunity to sink your teeth in—grabbing up vegetable, salt and butter. For those who love to layer the seasoning on, keeping one’s fingers clean can be problematic. With both weenie dog and piglet options, these Corn Holder Sets solve that problem—with charm. They’re almost as fun as the food itself and are light on the wallet.

Hefeweizen Bread and Butter Pickles

Sacramento-based Preservation & Co is aptly named, and their Hefeweizen Bread and Butter Pickles ($13) are as good as you’d expect from preserving experts. There’s not much beer in this concoction, so no need to worry about boozy lunches, instead just enjoy the slightly sweet and very zesty sandwich essential.

Juice Bruce Lemon Squeezer

If squeezing lemon and lime juice for summer cocktails doesn’t make you grin, try using Juice Bruce ($18): a wooden hand-juicer complete with a slightly bemused face. A super-simple and functional design, this guy is also easy to use—whether you’re making fresh juice for breakfast or crafting boozy concoctions for an afternoon by the pool.

Images courtesy of respective brands