There’s always somewhere to go on St. George Island. After all, fun awaits you at every turn! But the hidden benefit of our properties is that you can have just as much fun by extending an invitation to your friends and neighbors.
Porch time is a uniquely Southern concept. When we look at our properties, we’re just as proud of their porches as their spacious bedrooms, decks and breathtaking views. So with the season upon us, it’s time to plan the ultimate summertime porch party.
First, you have to set the mood. Bluetooth speakers are inexpensive and available at nearby shops, so grab one and spend a few minutes putting together an upbeat, festive playlist. Internet radio is a great source for limitless streaming music, too, so you can offer your guests a wide range of musical styles.
Want to be the talk of the neighborhood? Keep a small bucket full of hand fans in a highly visible place on the porch. Folks won’t want to be handed one right after the welcoming hug or handshake, but they’ll appreciate having one handy when things get hopping and folks want to stay easy and breezy.
And because you’re only going to invite people who like you and want to have a good time, make sure you have a good-sized serving table positioned nearby, with a couple of coolers underneath it, full of ice. Folks are likely to bring something to drink or to nibble on, and the sooner you give them a place to set it down, the sooner everyone can enjoy it. And make sure you keep a “clean” cooler for beverage ice—you’ll go through a lot of it!
Speaking of beverages, Florida has some of the best signature cocktails in the world, because so many of them have evolved from recipes created around the world! Nothing says “welcome to our own private island” like a distinctive drink of your own creation. From the fuzzy navel to hurricanes and rum runners, the sky’s the limit when it comes to refreshments. Just remember to keep them light, cold, and colorful, with some fresh fruit for a garnish. And it never hurts to keep a decanter of 12-year Scotch handy, as well, because there’s always at least one guest who has simple, yet refined, taste.
A festive soiree is a fantastic way to show off your tastes as host and hostess, especially when it comes to food. Remember, this isn’t an expansive sit-down supper. You want your guests to be just as comfortable noshing while leaned against the railing as they are in a porch swing. Hors d’oeuvres and tapas are all the rage for these events, because they can offer a tour of delicacies without weighing anyone down. Melon balls are easy, tasty and look great on a table, and for the veggie lovers, consider putting a few teaspoons of ranch dressing in the bottom of a clear cup and standing carrot sticks and celery in them.
For the savory-loving guests, you can create grilled sirloin and portobello mushroom sliders, served with artichoke hearts stuffed with cream cheese, chives, and roasted garlic.
The beauty of a stellar porch party is that there are no wrong choices as long as you surround yourself with the people you like—and maybe even a few new faces, too. If you want to take it to the next level while learning a bit more about your guests, consider breaking out a few games.
As long as you’re all laughing and engaged with each other, you’ll set the standard for epic St. George Island shindigs!