Host with Love: Summer Party Prep 101 with CB2 Canada

A few weeks ago, we had Chef Ben come into our home to provide us a culinary experience. It was the first of many to ring in my summer of event hosting.

Chef Ben taught me the basics of cocktails. I’ve always been a wine lover so getting my feet wet with cocktails had me all sorts of giddy. We’re so excited to share with you our 3 classic cocktails, which are definitely our staples for this summer season.

Kicking off his 3 curated beverages is the Burnt Peach Manhattan - Ben’s take on the classic cocktail but with a tropical twist. This sweet yet boozy beverage is great for lounging, sunset watching, barbecues and intimate conversations.

Chef Ben blow-torching fresh peaches for garnishes. (I had my fire extinguisher on standby)

Chef Ben blow-torching fresh peaches for garnishes. (I had my fire extinguisher on standby)

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” - but in this case, yields a delicious caramelized peach garnish ;)   Pebble Matte Grey Rectangular Serving Platter

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” - but in this case, yields a delicious caramelized peach garnish ;)

Pebble Matte Grey Rectangular Serving Platter

Burnt Peach Manhattan

ingredients: (per glass)

  • 1.5 oz whisky (we used Spicebox Whiskey)

  • 0.75 oz sweet vermouth

  • 0.5 oz of peach schnapps or peach juice

  • peach slices, brûlée-d (if you dare) for garnish.

directions:

  1. In a bar tumbler, add 1 cup of ice, whiskey, sweet vermouth, peach schnapps & stir

  2. Strain onto desired rocks glass containing fresh ice

  3. Brûlée peach & garnish

Hope this candy-like boozy bevvy adds a little spice to your summer soirees!


Next up: Pineapple Sour

This fruity yet boozy beverage will be the hit of the party. Whiskey sours are easy go-to drinks for a fun night, but adding pineapple gives it a tropical boost. This drink is great for an upbeat event like pool afternoons and in our case, our upcoming Canada Day party.

Pineapple Sour

ingredients: (per glass)

  • 1.5 oz whiskey

  • 0.75 oz lemon juice

  • 0.75 oz simple syrup

  • 2 oz pineapple juice 

  • 2 - 3 pineapple chunks

  • Egg white optional

  • 1 cup of ice

  • Pineapple garnish - Chef Ben oven-dried pineapple slices

  • Limes, for garnish

directions:

  1. Shake without ice to emulsify eggs

  2. Or shake with ice (if you prefer to not use egg) for 20 to 30 seconds.

  3. Strain into fresh ice

  4. Rocks glass (or neat into a coupe)

  5. 2 drops Angostura on top for aesthetic

  6. Preserved pineapple garnish


Next beverage: Watermelon Gimlet

This final signature cocktail is a refreshing and fruity friend for hot summer fiestas, sunny days by a lake, as well as fun girls’ nights.

Watermelon gimlet

ingredients: (per cup)

  • 1.5 oz Gin

  • 0.75 oz lime juice

  • 0.5 oz simple syrup

  • 2 oz watermelon puree

directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker tin. Shake and strain.

  2. Coupe glass and or fill with ice

  3. Garnish. You can garnish with a lime, a watermelon wedge or a long strip of cucumber (lined on the inside of the glass)


party prep

Every year, we host our annual Canada day party. It’s where most of our friends come to gather, eat & enjoy the summer sun & the panoramic views of Vancouver. This will be our 3rd consecutive event and I always take it upon myself to meticulously plan every detail to ensure our guests have a great day filled with food, fun & of course, drinks. What can I say? I’m a typical type A!

all in the details

We collaborated with CB2 Canada to ensure this summer’s Canada Day party is elevated to the next level. Their glass-free “glass” ware is an absolute must-have for summer hosting. It’s not only dangerous when something breaks, but it’s incredible difficult to clean.

CB2-June-selects-0066.jpg

tablescape

One of my favourite things about hosting is designing the tablescape and incorporating platters with decor details such as florals, textiles, vessels and more. This year, the theme of our event is a modern luau. I love the organic curves of palm leaves and fans so this table is going to be SO much fun to design with my platters. To add pops of colour, I’m leaving it with Blossom & Vine floral to provide unique, colourful florals to add that extra pop.

space design

With every party or event, it is important to have a great layout and set up of spaces to ensure a great flow of traffic & things to do/ eat/ drink. I always watch out where there could be spaces with potential bottle necks or a gathering of people (usually around the spread) so I ensure I maintain lots of passing-by space so no one feels like they’re in the way. I also try to maximize every square foot of my home so it can help spread out our group of friends if they wanted to enjoy perhaps a quieter conversation. Spreading out the drinks, the spread, games, etc are a great way to maximize every part of our outdoor entertaining area.

Brass Tiki Torch  - so pretty you don’t really need to light it!

Brass Tiki Torch - so pretty you don’t really need to light it!

party planning hacks

Without a wedding to plan anymore, it’s fun to fill that creative void by adding beautiful touches to my hosting events. With the theme & title of our event A Modern Luau, I wouldn’t have been able to execute a fun party without a few of my go-to tools…

wunderlist

I’ve used Wunderlist for several years now - not just for party planning, but it’s my favorite app to use for to-do lists & grocery shopping. You can also invite collaborators in your checklists (ie. groceries) and you can literally check off the things you accomplish or pick up! It also refreshes so you can see who has done what - live! It is available via desktop & mobile application - hello convenience!

airtable

My husband introduced me to Airtable this year - and my gosh it is a Godsend when it comes to organizing various tasks, collecting information, contacts, every single detail you need for a certain event, company & more. (I use it mainly for my art inventory sales) It works like a spreadsheet but has the power of a database… meaning the sky is the limit with this application! I love organizing my projects on desktop & use the mobile app on the go - I wouldn’t be surprised if more event planners used this program!

paperless post

As much as I love paper invites, it’s so much more convenient to use an online invitation system to track your guests & responses. I loved designing my e-invites to set the tone of our event & using my personal card on Paperless Post. Another convenient feature on PP is that it can send reminders for those who haven’t responded over a period of time. Paperless Post is also available online & via mobile.

Online invitations designed by me. Watercolour graphics from Creative Market

Hope this helps with your upcoming summer events! I’d like to thank my partnership with CB2 Canada to make this Canada Day party a memorable one. This post is sponsored by CB2 and made with love for all your creative & inspirational purposes.

I’d also like to thank Celine for all the beautiful photography. Chef Ben for helping me curate beverages that will be a hit this summer. Vancouver PR Girl for photography with my collaboration with Chef Ben. Blossom & Vine for affordable floral creations.

As always, with love,

Veronica


s h o p w i t h l o v e

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