Progressive parties can be a fun way to get the gang together, and picking a theme can help make the planning a bit easier for everyone who’s hosting a portion of the evening. For your next moveable feast, why not design each of the courses around one of the four seasons? Here are some ideas for what each host can prepare to showcase each season.
Starting your soiree with a summer theme seems like a natural fit, as there are so many cocktail options that evoke the spirit of the season. Mix up a few batches of fruit-forward drinks that have a seaside or tropical theme and you’ll be sure to set the right mood. With its refreshing blend of fruit juices, schnapps, and vodka, Sex on the Beach would be a terrific choice, as would mixing up pitchers of Sea Breezes or Blue Hawaiians.
Round out your drink menu with fresh lemonade and iced tea for those who choose not to imbibe alcohol, and don’t forget to have some fresh fruit and paper drink umbrellas on hand for garnishing glasses. You’ll want to offer a few light nibbles, as well. For simple appetizers that fit the theme, set out a bowl of fruity salsa, skewers of grilled shrimp, and some bacon-wrapped pineapple bites.
The soup-and-salad course gives you a great opportunity to focus on fall’s bounty of flavors and colors. A beet salad with spinach, goat cheese, and walnuts is both beautiful and delicious, while a dried fig salad with radicchio and pecorino can pack a bit of kick. Even though each of these choices features perfect representations of fall flavors, the ingredients are available year-round.
If you’ll be serving a soup, something rich and satisfying will be a nice fit for your autumn-themed meal. A cheesy broccoli and cheddar would be sure to satisfy, while getting a creamy mushroom or turkey noodle soup going in the slow cooker early in the day can free you up to relax before guests arrive. Set out some rustic loaves of bread with herbed butter to put the perfect finishing touch on this autumnal course.
Nothing says wintry goodness quite like an oven-braised roast; the warm and comforting aromas that will greet your guests as they arrive will surely put them in a cozy frame of mind. Roasted meats also tend to be real showstoppers when they take center stage on your table, and many are much easier to prepare than they look.
A simple roast beef with freshly-prepared horseradish cream is a likely crowd-pleaser that doesn’t require too much effort, as is a hearty herb-crusted pork loin or turkey breast. Almost any braised meat pairs perfectly with roasted potatoes and vegetables, meaning your winter-worthy sides can be a breeze to cook up, as well.
When it comes to the spring-themed dessert course, almost anything fresh and fruity is ideal. You can keep it simple by serving an easy peach cobbler, or you can go offer something more elaborate like a French coeur à la crème with roasted fruit sauce. For those guests who are already feeling stuffed after the previous courses, set out some freshly-sliced fruits to provide satisfying sweetness without overindulgence. Serving your treats with light herbal teas will cap off the night with notes redolent of the freshness of spring.
Following a theme for your next progressive party can give everyone a sense of direction while still allowing for individual creativity. Enjoying a four-seasons feast can be a fun and unique way to spend a wonderful evening with your friends.