Planning a Spectacular Shower Season
The welcome arrival of warm, summer months means that shower season is officially here. Whether you’re solely planning a shower for a friend or family member or looking to bring some extra pizzazz to a joint-effort event, these easy yet elegant tips will have you feeling confident and inspired in terms of shower refreshments.
Set up a bubbly bar
If you plan on serving mimosas or any other type of sparkling cocktail (alcoholic or otherwise) a bubbly bar is always a fun addition to any shower. Set up buckets of ice to keep bottles of sparkling wine (prosecco, cava, and Moscato wine all work well, or substitute your favourite alcohol-free sparkling wine) and sparkling water or juice well-chilled. Provide two to three different kinds of fruit juices for guests to choose from; orange juice, lemonade, watermelon juice, and strawberry juice are classic mixers but feel free to experiment with other flavours. A selection of complementary fresh and frozen fruit can be set out for garnishes as well as citrus wedges and thinly sliced cucumber.
Up the elegance with edible flowers
Edible flowers add a touch of instant class wherever they’re used and wedding and baby showers are especially good settings to make use of these beautiful garnishes. When using edible flowers, it’s very important to buy flowers that have been grown without the use of pesticides and that are specifically meant for eating (for this reason, avoid flowers from your garden and stick to store-bought), this will also eliminate the potential for accidentally including flowers that aren’t safe for human consumption. Popular edible flowers include carnations, daisies, apple blossoms, cornflowers, honeysuckles, and roses. Use edible flowers to decorate cakes and cupcakes, fruit and vegetable trays, or in ice (simply add edible flowers to an ice cube tray fill with water and freeze).
Set up a savoury parfait station
Although parfaits are typically associated with sweet flavours, guests will enjoy building their own savoury parfaits to snack on during the shower. Stemless clear wine glasses are perfect for portion size and presentation but any clear glass will work well. Guests can layer nonfat plain yogurt with a variety of savoury ingredients such as roughly chopped fresh herbs (parsley, mint, basil, and cilantro), toasted and lightly salted nuts and seeds (walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds), deli ingredients (cubed salami, marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes, preserved lemons, capers, and olives), grated or shredded vegetables (carrots, beets, and jicama) and cheeses (crumbled chèvre and feta, ricotta cheese, tangy blue cheese, and grated firm cheeses such as cheddar, Gruyere and gouda).
Up your appetizer game with shot glasses
Rethink your appetizer options by using shot glasses (disposable cups are fine, too!), not only are shot glasses exactly the right size to hold bite-sized ingredients, they also eliminate the need for awkward small plates and napkins. Make tiny shrimp cocktails by filling the shot glasses full of cocktail sauce, garnishing with grilled shrimp and a thin slice of lemon. Vegetable dip, guacamole, and hummus can also be scooped into shot glasses and filled with carrot and celery matchsticks, thin cucumber spears, and blanched green beans. Spoon ceviche into shot glasses with a thin curl of lime zest and a sturdy leaf (or two) of endive lettuce. For an appetizer on the sweeter side fill the shot glass with chocolate mousse and top with sliced fruit, crumbled pretzels, and shavings of dark chocolate.