Get in the Summer Games Spirit By Hosting a Legendary Potluck

You don't have to be in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the Summer Games.

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So far, my favorite thing about watching the Summer Games in Rio is seeing how the world's top athletes band together. Swimmers congratulate each other after a big race, gymnasts from opposing countries take selfies — every event is an opportunity to share cultures and build friendships.

In the spirit of bringing people together, why not host a sporty soiree of your own? We've got a few tips that will help you throw a legendary Summer Games-inspired potluck.

Set the Table With Your Team's Colors

Ombre Party Tablescape

Ombre Party Tablescape

Give your plain white placemats and napkins a modern and patriotic update. Dip-dye using red- and blue-colored dye for a stylish look that can be used all summer long.

What would dinner be without an eye-catching table setting? To keep spirits high, layer the table with dip-dyed linens in hues of red, white and blue for Team USA or gorgeous greens and yellows in honor of this year's host country.

Make This: Ombre Table Linens

Choose an International Menu

Grilled Beef Kebabs
Healthy Snack for Kids: Chicken Salad Sushi
Jacob Blount; Styling By: Callie Blount

Grilled Beef Kebabs

Photo By: ©

Healthy Snack for Kids: Chicken Salad Sushi

No special equipment or ingredients required to make these fun chicken salad sushi roll ups at home. Simply press out a piece of soft white bread (or let the kids smash it with their hands) on a large Swiss chard leaf, then top the bread with chicken salad, cucumber sticks and carrot sticks. Roll the “sushi” and slice into 1-inch pieces. These little sushi rolls are adorable for snack time, a picnic or packed in a lunchbox.

Photo By: Jacob Blount; Styling By: Callie Blount

Before the big event, ask guests to sign up as a participating country and bring a corresponding dish. We’re thinking pretzels for Germany, sushi for Japan and grilled beef kebabs for Brazil. Not only will you have a sizeable spread, but you’ll also avoid any overlaps in the menu. (Seriously, no one needs two salads.)

Pair With Global Brews

Creative Uses For Beer

Creative Uses For Beer

Ready for a nice cold beer? Go ahead and grab you one as you check out some creative uses for that beer at HGTV. You're about to add a few more reasons to the list of why you need a beer, as if you had to have one.

Photo by: Creatas Images

Creatas Images

Variety is the spice of life, am I right? Give your guests a wealth of drink options by purchasing different brews from around the world. They can show off their team spirit with a beer from their country of choice or try something new. As a specialty drink, make a big batch of red, white and blue sangria to sip while cheering on Team USA. 

15 More Cocktails That Serve a Crowd

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Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Our twist on the classic gin and tonic combines muddled mint, fresh pink grapefruit and sweet elderflower liqueur for a refreshing summer brew that will prove to be a major party pleaser. 

Make This: Grapefruit Gin and Tonic

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

The Lime in the Coconut

Made from coconut vodka, coconut water, pineapple puree, fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of cherry-lime sparkling water, this refreshing big batch cocktail is a summery twist on the classic vodka soda.

Make This: Lime in the Coconut Cocktail 

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Coconut Mango Margarita

Not too sweet — but not too spicy — a blend of jalapeño, mango and coconut milk is a winning combination. You can make it in 10 minutes from start to finish, and no need for a high-powered blender because the recipe uses frozen mango cubes in lieu of ice cubes. 

Make This: Coconut Mango Margarita

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Boozy Berry Patch Lemonade

Fresh, ripe berries + whiskey + tart lemonade = a not-too-sweet cocktail that's sure to please a crowd.

Make This: Boozy Berry Lemonade

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Coastal Citrus Punch

This refreshing punch can be made in a large glass jug and placed in a pail of ice for your summertime gathering. Place additional fruit and ice in glasses for a fun, decorative touch.

Make This: Coastal Citrus Punch

Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Hibiscus tea, pineapple juice, rum and ginger simple syrup are the perfect mix of sweet, spicy and refreshing.

Make This: Pineapple Hibiscus Punch

Photo By: Jason Kisner ©Copyright Scripps Networks, 2016

Honeydew Green Tea

Blend fresh honeydew melon with ice and add it to green tea for a new fruity-flavored drink. 

Make This: Honeydew Green Tea

Photo By: Photographs by James T. Farmer III and Maggie Yelton from Sip & Savor by James T. Farmer III, reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith

Oranges-and-Cream Punch

The flavors of this festive punch will bring you back to your childhood. Perfect for an outdoor gathering, bridal shower or Sunday brunch, this sunny concoction is easily doubled and great for a crowd. 

Make This: Oranges-and-Cream Punch

(Watermelon) Keg Party

Make a big batch of your favorite watermelon sip then turn the shell into a party serving vessel. Sweet!

Make This: Watermelon Keg

Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Adorn this tart and bubbly punch with pretty, yet simple to make, floating ice flowers.

Make This: Sparkling Sunshine Punch

Lemony Summer Shandy

This beer punch couldn't be easier to whip up, and its light, lemony flavor helps cool down hot summer days. Careful, though: The Canadian whiskey packs a punch. 

Make This: Lemonade-Beer Punch


Rose and Lemon Sparkling Punch

Sparkling rosè and cranberry juice give this lemony punch its blush-pink hue, making it perfect for a summer picnic or bridal or baby shower. 

Make This: Sparkling Rosè Punch

Sparkling Summer Sangria

Dress up white wine and Prosecco with summer's freshest fruit and herbs. To keep the mixture cool, freeze the fruit unitl your party begins. 

Make This: Sparkling Summer Sangria

  1. sangria

Photo By: ALX Creatives

Red, White and Blue Sangria

For a patriotic take on sangria, decorate your pitcher with cookie-cutter fruit shapes in red, white and blue. 

Make This: Red, White and Blue Sangria 

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Refreshing Muscadine Sangria

This Southern spin on sangria features thick-skinned muscadine grapes, lime and white wine. 

Make This: Muscadine Sangria 

Photo By: Reprinted from the book "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2013 by Matt Lee and Ted Lee. Photographs copyright © 2013 by Squire Fox. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

Pick a Triumphant Playlist

Retro Playlist for the Summer Games

Retro Playlist for the Summer Games

Photo by: ©


For an event as highly anticipated as the Summer Games, a killer playlist is a must. To put your dinner guests in the right mood, skip the T-Swift and go straight to classic anthems like “Eye Of The Tiger” and “We Are The Champions."

Encourage Friendly Competition

How to Make a Corn Hole Game From Pallets

How to Make a Corn Hole Game From Pallets

Liven up your next backyard bash with this vintage inspired corn hole game made from old wooden pallets.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

If you're waiting for a particular sport to air, keep guests entertained with a few good-natured games. We recommend volleyball, table tennis or a classic bean-bag toss in the backyard.

Sweeten the Victory

Lemon Curd Tart With Berries

Lemon Curd Tart With Berries

Tangy and creamy, this fruit-topped tart is the just-right, not-too-sweet finish to your Thanksgiving dinner. Get the recipe:

Honestly, there’s nothing sweeter than seeing your country bring home a gold medal. Well, maybe just one thing: this decadent lemon curd tart. Celebrate your team's victory and serve this baby up for dessert. 

Make This: Lemon Curd Tart

Honor Your Attendees

Party Favor Medals
Dog Supporting Team USA

Party Favor Medals

Photo By: ©

Dog Supporting Team USA

Photo By: ©

The Big Games wouldn't be possible without the participating countries, and neither would your party without the attendees. Thank your guests for coming, and send them home with a prize pack of medals, sunglasses and beaded necklaces. In this house, everyone’s a winner.

Next Up

10 Cocktails to Sip While Watching the Summer Games

Sit back, turn on the Summer Games and sip on one of these internationally-inspired cocktails.

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