Late Summer Drinks, OUTDOORS

After being indoors all week, and anticipating the cold Chicago months ahead, savoring summer and  loving to create a weekend outdoor bartender garden for my guests. What could be easier?

Perfect for creating a tiered bar on my small urban deck, my French wire planter holds glasses, cutting boards, muddlers, knives, garnish, carafes, napkins, bar ingredients and all the herbs I need to make everything from Mojitos (add Mint, Lemon Balm, Sprig of Thyme) to Peach Basil Iced Tea (bunches of basil) to Sun Cocktails (vodka, triple Sec, Fresh Juices, Lemon and Rosemary)..

Culinary garnish accompaniments for our garden bar include all manner of Chef Shawn market pickled onions, stem on carrots, jalapenos, pickled green beans and okra to be added to drinks or munched on as an hors d’oeuvre.

Snacks, are to be passed on slate trays and garnished with fresh herbs. Summer one- biters with garden style include Microgreen and Humboldt Fog Strawberry Souffle Toasts and Arugula Lemon Mascarpone  Pizzettas.


Here are the 5 Essentials for our Garden Bar, in addition to fave alcohol, naturally!

  1. Never-used Garden Slate Trays for Garden-esque snacks (think Home Depot!)
  2. Pitchers of all sizes
  3. Herbs to Snip: Mint, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Cilantro, Lavender and Sage. We start the herbs early and buy the little pots from Save-on-Crafts
  4. For larger groups, chalkboard signage to let guests know what we’re serving
  5. For our friends who don’t drink, garden canisters filled with summer cool teas (Black Currant Iced Tea, Ginger and Kiwi Tea and Fiesta Cilantro Lemonade).