We asked three experts for ideas and tips for turning a summer drinks table into the star attraction at your next party.

Related to summer drinks table: Shop drinks party accessories


summer drinks table - styled - Garden and Home

For this laid-back tropical drinks setup on her veranda, Malindi Widlake of vegetarian blog Saltfreesaffa started with a gorgeous floral arrangement of anthuriums, proteas, fan palms, bromeliads, croton leaves and purple cordyline. “Everything else is an extension of the flowers,” she says.

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To pick up the shade of the proteas, Malindi chose copper accessories and echoed the colours in a fresh fruit platter. “Cocktails are key for any party. These ones were created to complement the flowers. Their tropical flavours combined with a powerful fruit hit get everyone in a summer mood.”

Malindi advises arranging the drinks and garnishes so that guests can create their own cocktails with ease. “Include lots of fresh tropical fruit, because this takes any drink to the next level. I’m all about offering fewer options but making sure that they are spectacular.”

Similar to this summer drinks table: Tropical Summer Decor


summer drinks table - styled - Garden and Home

“I wanted a fun, eclectic look for this drinks table,” says Lindy Fourie of KZN event planners Labola. “My main objective when sourcing the drinks was to find quirky-looking bottles to add interest and excitement.”

summer drinks table - styled - Garden and Home     

Make the stylish ice bucket in from this drinks table

She combined these finds with coloured and textured glasses and displayed metal and glass containers on a trio of contemporary tables. “These elements all contrast with the metal decor elements and hammered bronze mirror,” she says. The edible greenery includes strawberries, mint, lavender, thyme, parsley and rosemary.

summer drinks table - styled - Garden and Home

“A drinks table can easily look cluttered so ensure that everything is functional,” she advises. “Keep the garnishes interchangeable and give your guests a variety so they can mix their drinks to their taste.” Instead of a traditional ice bucket, Lindy created her own, adding fruit, flowers and herbs.

Similar to this summer drinks table: A chic elf-service drinks table


“I wanted this drinks table to be full of interesting conversation pieces,” says interior designer Amy Mitchell of Studio Mitchell. “A mix of materials like horn, brass and ceramics helps it look curated and rich.” She included items that are functional and decorative such as a large monkey bowl to hold lemons and a resin cattle skull bottle stopper. The use of black gives the display a chic, contemporary feel.

“When setting up the table, think about the guests and arrange things so that they can serve themselves and the flow is seamless,” advises Amy. “One way to achieve this is by placing cocktail napkins and glasses in different places on the bar so guests always have one within reach.”