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Throwing a sizzling summer pool party

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

A summer party for the grown-ups

There are summer pool parties, and then there are sizzling summer pool parties. Make your next gathering the social highlight of the season with these exciting party planning tips.

Summer pool party

Tropical decor

Stock up on beach party supplies (try OrientalTrading.com or WindyCityNovelties.com) to create a seaside mood. Think luau!

  • Cover tables with grass skirts
  • Toss play sand on the driveway or patio
  • Hang colorful paper lanterns
  • Display inflatable artificial palm trees
  • Serve drinks with little umbrellas
  • Give tiny pink flamingos as party favors

More pool party decor >>

BBQ Branding kitSizzling BBQ

Nothing says pool party like a great cookout. Preparing food on the grill keeps everyone outdoors — where the fun is — and means you can enjoy a fantastic array of BBQ foods.

Personalize your steaks, burgers and pineapples with your name or a fun message. The BBQ Branding Iron Kit includes everything you need to leave your personal stamp on your next cookout. (Always Fits, $25)

4 Homemade spice rubs for barbecuing >>

Beach tunes

Sure, you could play the Beach Boys or a little Don Ho, but to set a sizzling party tone, you'll need to jazz things up a little bit. Visit iTunes to download some funky dance music and fab island beats. Since this is for adults only, you don't even have to worry if the lyrics are censored!

Set the mood with calypso tunes, steel drum music and party songs like these:

  • Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO
  • NaNa by A. R. Rahman (from the Couples Retreat soundtrack)
  • You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
  • Single Ladies by Beyonce
  • Shots by LMFAO featuring Lil Jon

Ultimate pool party playlist >>

Tiki bar

Keep the standard party fare on hand — beer and wine — and add some scrumptious summer drinks to the mix, too. You don't have to be a professional mixologist to create a fun bar. Just pick up some frozen cocktail mixers (like Bacardi) and whip up an array of margaritas, rum runners, daiquiris, mojitos and piña coladas!

(Spiked) Strawberry Lemonade

Recipe courtesy of Bacardi

This refreshing drink combines two of summer's most popular flavors and adds a little kick:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can frozen Bacardi Mixers Strawberry Daiquiri mix
  • 1/2 cup Bacardi Limon
  • 1/2 cup pre-made lemonade
  • 4 cups crushed ice
  • Sliced strawberries and lemon slices for garnish
  • Tall drink glasses, chilled or frozen

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a pitcher and blend for one minute or until the mixture reaches a uniform consistency.
  2. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with fruit.
  3. Bottoms up!

More sip-worthy summer cocktail recipes >>

Get your summer skin on

Beach body beauty: Tips for turning up the heat
Summer skin savers: 5 Products you need now
Put your best foot forward: Pretty summer pedicures

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