Ali Larter Shares 5 Tips for Summertime Entertaining
June 23, 2017by Laura Schreffler

Born out of shared passion for fresh flavors and spirited revelry, actor and “Kitchen Revelry” cookbook author Ali Larter teamed up with Cointreau this week to celebrate The Original Margarita at an event entitled ‘The Art of La Soirée’ at The Fig House in Los Angeles. The evening evoked the spirit of 1948 Acapulco and the creation of The Original Margarita, which was crafted with Cointreau by Margarita Sames. The event was highly interactive and demonstrated for guests how to artfully celebrate the summer season through fresh cocktails and unique food pairings, a concept that’s quite familiar for Larter, who has truly earned the title of hostess with the mostess thanks to her own, personalized high-end shindigs as well as her artful entertaining style. Here, the Pitch actress and L.A.-based lifestyle connoisseur shares five tips with Haute Living on how to throw the ultimate summertime soirée.

1.Cocktail: No soirée is complete without a good handcrafted cocktail. One of my go-to cocktails right now is the Original Margarita. I love how few ingredients are required, just Cointreau, blanco tequila and fresh lime juice. You can make the original recipe at home and for a twist, bring in a bit of heat with jalapeños for a spicy margarita. It’s a chic, summertime cocktail in a snap that’s an instant crowd-pleaser, elevating your party to a soirée.

2.Décor: Citrus is a big part of my cooking year-round, but during the warmer-weather months I brighten up my space with citrus in décor too. You can use them just about anywhere. I like to put citrus in tall glass vases, mix into my floral arrangements or in a bowl with a few leaves to add a touch of greenery. Not to mention – they can refresh a simple yet irresistible cocktail when the decorating is done.

3.Involve Your Guests: When I am having a smaller group over, I usually like to shake up margaritas for them to set the soirée apart. With a larger group, sometimes I like to create a “make your own” area and set out the ingredients – Cointreau, blanco tequila, fresh lime juice and other seasonal fruits and herbs – so guests can assemble the cocktails themselves. It’s fun and interactive, while also taking some of the stress off you!

4.Food: I love creating recipes that everyone wants to devour and evoke the flavors of the season. For summer, I make mahi mahi tacos with fresh mangoes or nectarines, whichever is ripest at the market that day. If entertaining a big group, an easy trick is to serve a platter of the grilled fish and put out bowls filled with salsa and creme verde. Marinated grilled-pineapple skewers are also a favorite as a fun dessert to round off an evening of flavors and heat.

5.Seating: Warm weather calls for outdoor entertaining, from an alfresco feast with family or a midsummer soirée with friends. When it comes to seating arrangements, you want your guests to feel at home, so creating a comfortable place for them to sit is key. I like to swap in colorful pillows and cushions to create relaxed, warm ambience that defines summer entertaining.