Gar­den par­ties

Warm sum­mer days and balmy nights are made for en­ter­tain­ing out­doors. Host an al fresco cel­e­bra­tion in a flower-filled gar­den.

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Warm days and nights are made for en­ter­tain­ing out­doors. Whether it’s a birth­day party, Mother’s Day brunch, or an English high tea, it’s a great ex­cuse to bring out the pretty china and fancy dec­o­ra­tions. Make flo­ral nap­kin rings (wire small posies to clear shower rings), of­fer flo­ral ice cubes for cool drinks (sim­ply freeze water with ed­i­ble flower petals), and in­clude sev­eral bud vases with freshly picked flow­ers. For a per­sonal touch, in­clude a tiny bou­quet for each at­tendee marked with his or her name. Use flo­ral doilies as sim­ple place­mats (or dye white doilies pretty pas­tel colours with food colour­ing) and hang pa­per flow­ers from nearby trees. Lav­ish fer­tiliser and water on your gar­den to en­sure blooms are in flower for your party.

MINTY LIME LEMON­ADE

Lime is surely the most cool­ing of all cit­rus juices. Even with­out the ad­di­tion of al­co­hol it's the thirst quencher of choice in trop­i­cal climes from South­east Asia to Cen­tral and South Amer­ica. The stan­dard spiked homage to the lime is the mar­garita – lime juice, te­quila, triple sec (or­ange-flavoured liqueur), and a bit of sugar. Al­co­hol and syrup ra­tios are flex­i­ble, but the taste of lime juice should dom­i­nate.

As limes bear their fruit in win­ter, many a mar­garita is made from cor­dial pre­mix. In­stead, make lime juice ice cubes in win­ter when the fruit are plen­ti­ful and trans­fer to sealed bags once frozen. Add grated zest to the juice as well.

For an al­co­hol-free re­fresh­ment, make minty lime lemon­ade. Com­bine the juice and zest of 4 lemons, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tea­spoon of citric acid to a jug of just-boiled water. Stir and let stand (in­crease quan­ti­ties as re­quired). When cool, add lime ice cubes, lime slices, mint and ed­i­ble flow­ers.

Quench your thirst with fruit juices, home­made spritzers and cock­tails em­bel­lished with ed­i­ble flow­ers.

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