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.
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
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
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.
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.)
Make This: Pub-Style Pretzel + Beer Cheese Sauce
Pair With Global Brews
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.
Make This: Red, White and Blue Sangria
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
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
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
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
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
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
Pick a Triumphant Playlist
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
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.
Make This: Old Palette Turned Bean-Bag Game
Sweeten the Victory
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
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.